Health Benefits and Reasons to Grow Mint

Posted on Feb 1 2012 - 1:14am by Mike Lieberman

Mint is a commonly grown herb in container gardens…

…but do you know the health benefits of this herb?

Well today, I’ll share some with you some ways that I use it and other ways that it can be used.

Common uses for mint

Soothes aches, pains and stomach problems
You can easily make mint tea by steeping mint leaves in hot water for a few minutes. This has been known to help with:

  • Digestion
  • Hiccups
  • Farting
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Constricted muscles
  • Other minor aches and pains

Antiseptic and antibacterial
“Mint possesses astringent, antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties,” said the Marketing Manager for an online herb company. “Peppermint is great for cleaning abrasions, cuts, burns and wounds. It’s even good for treating acne.- best when steeped with hot water and left to cool, then applied as an external rinse.”

Relieve headaches
If you are suffering from a headache or migraine, you can mash up mint leaves with some oil. Then apply the mixture to where you are feeling the pain.

Decongestant
“It’s also a decongestant and has expectorant and antiviral properties,” said the marketing manager. “Peppermint tea isn’t just a great stress reliever, it’s good for clearing respiratory issues, treating colds and helping to open up nasal and chest passages aided by its mentholated aroma.

I like adding a pouch of it to hot water or to my shower to infuse the steam with peppermint to help me breathe better when sick.”

Growing mint

Mint is an herb that you shouldn’t start from seed, and can easily transplant in your container garden.

When you harvest mint a certain way, you can promote even more growth.

You can get a mint transplant from your local nursery or a cutting from a friend.

Sound off

How do you use mint?

  • Tris

    Good stuff, Mike!  I didn’t know about the headache tip…will have to try that next time.  I like to steep some mint in vinegar for a few weeks, strain it and use it 1:1 with water as a household cleaner.  I personally prefer fresh mint for this but have used dry mint in the winter.  Fortunately, my plants come back every year if I toss an old blanket over the container they’re in. (zone 4b) Thanks again, Mike!

  • Craft Whimsy

    A couple of years ago on my  honeymoon we went on a tour of a tea factory and learned that the difference between spearmint and peppermint was that spearmint leaves a cool and refreshing sensation while peppermint is warm and spicy.  I’ve planted both and both are hardy but spearmint IMO is probably just a bit hardier.  My tiny plant survived frost and drought (and neglect) all by itself since it was in a container that I forgot about.  And personally I just really like the larger, lacy leaves.
    I love using it in tea, fruit salads and of course, mojitos!

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    I like that mint cleaner idea. Gonna steal it ;-)

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Never knew the difference. Thanks for sharing.

  • steph

    I’ve managed to kill off every mint plant i ever bought.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    What’s up with that?

  • Mamasimpson

    Mint is my favorite! We’ve had such a mild winter that my plant has continued producing. I used some in a salad last night for dinner. Yum. I use mint essential oils for headaches and in the shower I should try using my own plant. We also love peppermint tea.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Want to start making my own peppermint essential oil too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408646956 Juanita Wright

    Good idea on making your own essential oils.  Need to try this. I love the relaxation that a good cup of spearmint tea gives me after a particularly hectic day. Spearmint is my favorite. Is yummy in peas, fruit salads, desserts, etc. But  I must say I didn’t know about the gas thing. Must REALLY harvest a lot for around this house. lol.Mine is growing in a cinder block. I can sorta keep it confined there w/out much trouble. Love growing my own herbs. I also love what you do Mike.

  • http://marysgardeningendeavors.blogspot.com Mary C.

    hmmm. I chew on leaves now and then to fresh up the breath. I cut and dry it for my dad to make tea. I have made herbal vinegars with it which were ok.
    Never thought of using it in the shower for congestion though. Usually I use eucalyptus oil drops for that.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Awww thanks. I’ll share the essential oil idea when I make it. I really need to use mint in more dishes.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Loves the mint tea.

  • http://www.geodesic-greenhouse-kits.com/community Stacey

    Hi Mike! It’s been awhile. I couldn’t resist this post on mint. Mint’s great and once it gets going it never stops. I was pleased to find wild mint growing on my property last year and have had great success growing a basic type of mint from seed. I wouldn’t close the door entirely on starting from seed, maybe just for specialty varieties? Hope you are well!

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Thanks Stacey. If you have the space to experiment with it, by all means, but for those of us with small spaces and in containers…it’s not worth it. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Mrs green @Littlegreenblog.com

    I adore mint and find it’s decongestant properties especially helpful for treating hay fever (I get the type where my nose drips like a tap during the day but blocks solid at night time). My Dad loves mint tea and for the past two years I’ve dried our harvest and made him little mint tea bags from muslin and twine to give him at christmas. He says they taste better than any brand he’s ever bought (and he’s not a man of gushiness or compliments so they MUST be good!)
    I can’t wait to smell fresh mint in the spring time again, it’s so uplifting…

  • Joe

    Here in South America mint leaves are used to make the very tasty drink “Mojito” with white rum, mint, sugar and ice, with a great taste!!

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    That’s great. Loves me some mint tea too.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Mmmmm…

  • http://www.freshblessings.net rawvelous

    I love mint :) i planted 3 kinds in my flower bed last summer. Happy to report it is back this year! I am on a 30 day juice fast in the month of April and am going to try juicing my mint! Thanks for reminding me :)
    -Joanna

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Mint is mad good.

  • Joanna

    Had mint in a juice this morning after your reminder post :) apple, cucumber, celery, spinach, lemon. Delish :)

  • Patdabratt10

    I sooo love this refreshing little beneficial plant.. Lol.. As I type this, I am chewing on this little leaf from inside my Ice Tea.. new to me, but from now, on, will use it as much as I can.. I have it growing like “weeds” in my front, and back yard… I have been eating this stuff for almost a month now, and will continue from now on.. Mmmm  ;)

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    That’s what’s up!

  • Stephen Lato

    Their are a lot of Italian Grandmothers that are going to curse me for writeing this but A LITTLE mint in your “red gravy” is an old secret ingredent.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    bite your tongue!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nncylgarrett Nancy Lee Garrett

    I make iced green tea, all my friends love my tea because I add mint to the tea. They said it is very refreshing, Especially in the summer heat.

  • Jackie d.

    Fresh mint is so refreshing, I made a fresh fruit drink with mint, fresh pineapples, lemon and strawberries, it was very delicious, and soothing to the digestive system.

  • Shelly

    I love mint. It is an easy plant. I have grown a few types. They survive the winter in Michigan and grow and expand in my vegetable garden. My favorite is Chocolate Mint. It has a very cool taste.

  • 21leftcenter

    i grow it indoors just for the air freshening qualities! :-)

  • 21leftcenter

    OMG!!! i almost forgot – i put mint leaves in the dryer with sheets to give them a minty smell!!! its like sleeping in a big pack of wrigleys double mint gum!!! LOL!!! :-)

  • harley

    i love to put a little in my pipe with my weed and smoke it its so good

  • Amy

    How was the mint in your juice? I’m really curious as I’ve thought of doing this. I add about 5 leaves of chocolate mint to a pot of coffee and it’s a nice change!

  • Amy

    Great idea, Tris. We live in zone 5b and our plants completely die out over the winter and come back with a vengeance each summer! I planted chocolate mint this year in our perennial raised bed. I planted it in a pot and it’s STILL taking over about a 4×4 foot section! WOW! Sure does smell good in that area of my garden! :)

  • April

    I just started using fresh mint leaves as an ingredient to put in my water, along with fresh cut lemons. It really does soothe my stomach and just makes me feel fresh and clean. Im changing my greasy lifestyle and pop drinking habits for good this time!

  • Usman Razzaq

    I have boiled mint leaves in water and added Honey and lemon in it. The taste was awesome while the healthy benefits were wide.