Mint: A Plant That Is Often Found From Personal Hygiene Products?

Mint (Mentha) is a perennial and a prevalent plant. They are one of the easiest herbs to grow, and that’s why one of the most grown herbs worldwide. It is a prevalent plant because of its taste, aromatic smell, and distinctive use.

Plants from the mint family are some of the easiest herbs to grow. Mint belongs to the Lamiaceae family, with 25 species that are famous for their vigorous growth habits. Although it is a widely known herb and does not need any introduction, we will still thoroughly tell you what the mint plant is?

Mint is used for different culinary and medicinal purposes like most other famous herbs. They are easy to grow and don’t need much care. This is also why they are effortless to grow both inside and outside without using much space.

Mint is very fragrant, consist of toothed leaves and tiny pink or purple, sometimes white flowers. They have a fresh fruity taste and a very refreshing effect on the body, so mint drinks are considered summer drinks.

Common NameMint
Botanical NameMentha
Plant TypeA Perennial
Size (Fully Grown)12 – 18 Inches (30 – 46 cm) Tall And 18 – 24 Inches (45 – 61 cm) Wide
Sun ExposurePrefers Full Sun But Tolerates Partial Shade Too
Soil TypeOne That Drains Well (But Is Moist) And Is Rich In Organic Matter
Soil pHFrom 6.0 To 7.0
Flower ColorPurple, Pink, Or White
U.S. Hardiness Zones3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, And 11
Native AreaNorth America, Southern Africa, Eurasia, And Australia

How Many Mint Varieties Are There?

Mint is a globally known plant with more than 600 different varieties, thanks to its properties and uses. The plant is highly used in countries with hot summer for its cold and refreshing effects. It is used in food recipes, drinks, and teas as well.

It also has medicinal properties, which makes it a part of the medical industry. Growing it is an effortless job, and there is a wide variety available. If you are ready to grow mint, try these varieties:

  1. Basil
  2. Apple
  3. Orange
  4. Lavender
  5. Pineapple
  6. Spearmint
  7. Grapefruit
  8. Watermint
  9. Horsemint
  10. Peppermint
  11. Red Raripila
  12. Chewing Gum
  13. Calamint Licorice
  14. Pennyroyal Ginger
  15. Catmint Chocolate

Where Does Mint Originally Come From?

Mint is a perennial herb with a unique scent and vibrant history. The word “mint” is a Greek word derived from Greek mythology. The specific history of it is unknown. But, still, its popularity as a culinary and medicinal herb has remained significant throughout history.

The plant originates from Eurasia, North America, southern Africa, and Australia. But even though mint originates from those areas, it can grow almost anywhere. Almost anywhere, meaning as long as you provide it favorable conditions and temperatures.

How To Recognize Mint?

Plants that belong to the mint family usually have a distinctive stem structure. The stems are square and not round like most plants. All the different mint types have similar properties, such as toothy leaves, shinny or fuzzy with sometimes smooth and sometimes crinkled texture with the bright green color.

Mint usually covers the ground with its long branches that grow upwards. It also has tiny noticeable flowers found in various colors that attract bees, butterflies, and even birds. They are as beautiful, and they are almost foolproof to grow. It can be a vigorous spreader, so be careful where you plant it.

But if you want to use your other senses other than your sense of eyes to recognize this plant, crush the leaves, and you might notice a strong scent.

How To Grow Mint?

Mint is a herb that is simple to grow without giving it much extra care. You can grow it in your outdoor garden or even in a container inside your house. All the plant needs are moist soil that is rich in organic matter. But keeping a little check for overgrowth is a wise thing to do because the plant will use the leftover space in your garden if you let it. Also, reap or trim it to keep them producing leaves.

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Temperature And Humidity

Mint is a very adaptable plant, although it’s still best to grow them in warm seasons because they cannot withstand cold temperatures. A great way to grow them in winter is to do it inside to save them from freezing.

How Much Sunlight Does Mint Need?

Since it can grow both inside and outside, they prefer partial shade. You can also grow them in full sun if you remember to water the plant frequently. And as a little side note, mint belongs to the group of those few herbs that grow well even in shady places!

Water

Mint likes water but never overwater it as they don’t like it when the soil gets soggy. So, all you need is to water it enough so that the soil stays moist but take good care of enough drainage.

An excellent way to do this is by watering it in the morning for better results as they may have enough moisture before the sun hits, and it gets by hotter in the afternoon.

Soil

Mint doesn’t need incredibly fertile soil, and garden soil rich in organic matter is all it needs. If you want specific measures, you can plant them in slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6 and 7. If required, you can also spread and mix some organic matter (like compost) and fertilizers to the ground.

Propagating Mint

The propagating is very easy to do through cuttings, and the cutting will root and sprout effortlessly in the soil. You can also propagate it by using its seeds, but most mints available are hybrids. Thus, it may not even produce seeds, so using cuttings is the best option.

Sowing the seeds outdoors in late spring and indoors about eight to 10 weeks before the last frost is an optimal time frame. The seeds usually germinate in 10 to 15 days, so you must take care that the soil is moist until the seeds germinate. The time from seed to maturity takes about two months.

If you grow it in a container, it might need fertilizing. One way to do this is by feeding it liquid fertilizer in early spring when it sprouts. You can also fertilize every six to four weeks for better results. But when doing this, don’t water the plant heavily because that could result in leaching of the nutrients.

Different Uses Mint Has

Mint is a refreshing and fragrant herb that is famous throughout the world. It has many different purposes with its peppery spiced, juicy taste, and cooling effect. Many types serve many purposes, such as:

Fresh mint, which is when we harvest the leaves straight from the plant, is often used to complete different dishes. And surprise, surprise, a drink called “mint margarita” contains mint as an ingredient. Fresh mint also adds a fresh taste to desserts such as ice cream and chocolates.

Then there is dried mint, which is used as a spice in different recipes across the world. Mint is famous for making tea, such as mint tea, and the plant is also used in medicines. Flavoring soups, stews, and sauces are much easier when there is a herb called mint to help you.

But even though it is a popular plant in the culinary world, it has other uses as well. It is very beneficial for the skin, so many skincare companies use mint in their products.

The herb also works as an insect repellent in your garden and house to shoo away the moths, aphids, fleas, flea beetles, ants, and even mice. And the most common use for mint outside the kitchen is the oil used to manufacture different products such as toothpaste, gum, breath freshener, and candies.

Is It Safe To Eat / Consume Mint?

Mint is an edible herb that is extremely healthy, so as you might expect, it’s not toxic. But are there some medical conditions where eating/consuming it in some way might be harmful to you? Or should pet owners be careful with it? Let’s find out!

Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women

We have already discussed that eating mint keeps your breath fresh, but it can also reduce nausea and help with digestive issues, two things that pregnant women have difficulties with.

Eating mint sounds healthy, but there can be side effects too. So, if you are already allergic to menthol or have asthma, avoid it during your pregnancy. Other things to remember include medications or supplements you take because they may have side effects.

Breastfeeding is another thing that mothers need to pay close attention to, and thus, plants like spearmint and peppermint can adversely affect milk production.

Even though those things sound crazy, I’m not trying to scare you, and eating mint in moderate amounts is entirely safe, and if you any concerns, always speak with your doctor.

Children

Like other edible herbs, mint can become your baby’s diet once they start to eat solid foods, and this age is somewhere around six months old. With this in mind, it is an excellent herb for kids!

People With Allergies

Many plant allergies exist, and allergy to mint is one of them. If you face symptoms like swollen lips and tongue, mouth-tingling, swollen throat, or even abdominal pain, you are allergic to mint.

People With Diabetes

Mint is a great plant to include in your diet if you have diabetes, and unlike other foods that raise blood sugar, peppermint, for example, lowers it. The downside of this is that it increases the risk of hypoglycemia, which is a condition of too-low blood sugar.

So, eat in moderation!

Pets

Some dog and cat foods already contain mint, so the plant isn’t toxic to pets, but it’s not that simple as that.

Yes, mint is helpful to dogs. For example, it aids in digestion and even freshens their breath. But, only a couple of fresh leaves is enough per day for a pet because more than that can cause vomiting, weakness, and diarrhea.

Also, remember that according to ASPCA, the plant is toxic to household pets.

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