Mint

Above all other herbs, mint has got to be my favorite.  I’m a huge fan of all the varieties and pretty much all things mint flavored.  From wintergreen to spearmint, there’s just something about the sharp flavor that I love.  And I’m not the only one. Mint grows in every continent except South America and Antarctica, and has been used all over the world.  It’s actually probably the easiest herb to grow, though can easily take over the yard of an unprepared gardener.  Mint grows very easily, similar to a weed, and if grown in a garden, should be planted in a pot, not the ground.  If grown in the ground, you’ll soon have an entire yard of just mint (not really a problem if you ask me).

There are thirteen to eighteen species of mint plants that grow throughout the world.  Since hybridization happens naturally, there tends to be a dispute between various authors and none of the herb species all have been recognized in the same book.  The most well known, wintergreen, spearmint, and peppermint, appear as flavoring all over the world.

Health wise, mint had a wealth of helpful properties.  Often used as a breath freshener and in toothpaste, mint leaves themselves have been used to promote oral health since ancient times.  The leaves and tea can also be used to help with digestive issues and menthol oil, which helps with motion sickness is derived from mint plants.  The aroma of mint is actually believed to help stimulate the salivary glands which aids in digestion, and because of this, many dishes use it as part of an appetizer.   Mint is also used to help for headaches, both taken orally and used as a lotion or balm spread on the forehead or under the nose.  As most people who’ve been around mint know, it has a really strong odor.  This odor can actually help clear up respiratory issues and colds.   Breastfeeding mothers can also use it to help alleviate the pain that comes from breastfeeding.  Mentally, mint acts as a stimulant and therefore helps with depression and fatigue.

The properties of mint don’t end with health benefits either.  In the metaphysical community, mint has a lot of uses as well.  Since it’s a stimulant, mint promotes energy and vitality.  Since it’s a green plant, it’s also used to draw money and customers to a business.  It’s also considered a healing herb and one that is useful in protection spells and charms.  Placed on an altar, it’ll draw in good spirits and if used in incense, it’ll cleanse the area.  As with all things in magic, it’s important to remember that your own associations play a role in how the herb is used in magic.  If you associate mint with being in the hospital and being sick, then the healing properties won’t be as potent.
~Elyce

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