Finest quality dried Mint Leaves
Mentha (mint) is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae (Mint Family). Species within Mentha occur across Europe Africa Asia Australia and North America.
Mints are aromatic almost exclusively perennial rarely annual herbs. Leaf colors range from dark green and gray-green to purple blue and sometimes pale yellow. The flowers are produced in clusters (‘verticils’) on an erect spike white to purple the corolla two-lipped with four subequal lobes the upper lobe usually the largest. The fruit is a small dry capsule containing one to four seeds.
The most common and popular mints for cultivation are peppermint (Mentha × piperita) spearmint (Mentha spicata) and (more recently) apple mint (Mentha suaveolens). Mints are supposed to make good companion plants repelling pest insects and attracting beneficial ones. Mints are susceptible to whitefly and aphids. Harvesting of mint leaves can be done at anytime. Fresh mint leaves should be used immediately or stored up to a couple of days in plastic bags within a refrigerator. Optionally mint can be frozen in ice cube trays. Dried mint leaves should be stored in an airtight container placed in a cool dark dry area.
Mint essential oil and menthol are extensively used as flavorings in breath fresheners drinks antiseptic mouth rinses toothpaste chewing gum desserts and candies; see mint (candy) and mint chocolate. The substances that give the mints their characteristic aromas and flavors are menthol (the main aroma of Peppermint and Japanese Peppermint) and pulegone (in Pennyroyal and Corsican Mint). The compound primarily responsible for the aroma and flavor of spearmint is R-carvone.
The leaf fresh or dried is the culinary source of mint. Fresh mint is usually preferred over dried mint when storage of the mint is not a problem. The leaves have a pleasant warm fresh aromatic sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste. Mint leaves are used in teas beverages jellies syrups candies and ice creams. In Middle Eastern cuisine mint is used on lamb dishes. In British cuisine mint sauce is popular with lamb.
Mint is a necessary ingredient in Touareg tea a popular tea in northern African and Arab countries.
Mint was originally used as a medicinal herb to treat stomach ache and chest pains and it is commonly used in the form of tea as a home remedy to help alleviate stomach pain. During the Middle Ages powdered mint leaves were used to whiten teeth. Mint tea is a strong diuretic. Mint also aids digestion in a way that it breaks down the fats. In recent years it has been often recommended for treating obesity. A common use is as an antipruritic especially in insect bite treatments (often along with camphor). The strong sharp flavor and scent of mint is sometimes used as a mild decongestant for illnesses such as the common cold.
Menthol from mint essential oil (40-90%) is an ingredient of many cosmetics and some perfumes. Menthol and mint essential oil are also much used in medicine as a component of many drugs and are very popular in aromatherapy. Mint is also used in some shampoo products.
In Rome Pliny recommended that a wreath of mint was a good thing for students to wear since it was thought to “exhilarate their minds”