Mint Facts

Mint Facts
Mint is herbaceous plant that belongs to the family Lamiaceae. This plant originates from Europe, Asia and Africa. Mint grows in temperate climate, usually on the moist soil in areas that provide enough direct sunlight. Mint is part of human diet ever since the Roman Empire. Aromatic chemicals and essential oils extracted from the mint leaves are often used in cosmetic and medical industry. Since it reproduces quickly and conquers new habitats easily, mint is sometimes classified as invasive species.
Interesting Mint Facts:
Mint is small plant that can reach 4 to 47 inches in height. Stem is square-shaped and divided in nodes.
Leaves of mint can be dark green, grayish-green or purple in color. They have lanceolate shape and serrated edges. Leaves are grouped in pairs that are oppositely arranged on the stem.
Flower can be white or pink in color. Individual flowers are grouped in cymose inflorescence scientifically known as verticillasters (false whorls).
Mint produces fruit called nutley which contains one to four seeds. Propagation via plant cuttings is more common compared to the reproduction via seed.
Name “minthe” originates from Greek mythology. According to the legend, Hades’s wife Persephone turned river's nymph Minthe into herbaceous plant after she discovered that Hades is in love with her. Since Hades couldn't reverse the spell, he added beautiful smell to a newly created plant. That way, thanks to Hades, mint spreads magnificent odor when people walk across her.
Leaves contain compounds called pulegone and menthol which are responsible for characteristic aroma of the plant and cooling effect that mint produces.
Apple mint, spearmint and peppermint are the most popular varieties of mint that are cultivated worldwide.
Mint is rich source of vitamins A, C and B2. It also contains valuable minerals such as calcium, copper and magnesium.
Fresh or dry leaves of mint are used in the preparation of various sweet or salty dishes.
Mint is widely used in the confectionery industry for the production of cookies, chocolates, candies and chewing gums.
Mint leaves are inevitable ingredient of popular mojito cocktail. Leaves are also used in the production of mint-flavored liqueurs.
Essential oils and menthol extracted from the mint leaves are used in the manufacture of toothpaste and mouthwashes.
Mint leaves are used in aromatherapy and in the cosmetic industry for the production of various creams, lotions, perfumes and shampoos.
Mint is used in traditional medicine mainly for the treatment of painful stomach and chests. It can also relieve respiratory difficulties and skin burns because it produces cooling effect. Therapeutic effect is often achieved after consumption of mint tea. Besides its healing effects, mint is popular and often used for whitening of teeth.
Most species of mints are perennial plants which mean that they can survive more than two years in the wild.

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