Spearmint

History::

 

The name is derived from Minthe, which according to Greek mythology was a nymph that was transformed to a mint plant by Persephone when she was caught seducing her husband Hades on the banks of river Acheron.

It was considered by ancient Greeks a mind stimulant, and was used for the treatment of headaches. They used to rub it on the table before eating, while Egyptians and Chinese flavored the water before bathing.

 

Medicinal Properties::

 

Spearmint exhibits a wealth of beneficial, therapeutic properties. Used as an infusion, it has a positive effect on gallstones, and acts as an anticonvulsant and relaxant, while it aims digestion. Spearmint is also used for the cure of insomnia and hiccups.

Prepared in the form of poultice, it is beneficial on certain skin diseases, and offers relief from arthritis pain.

It is used extensively on pharmaceuticals to enhance flavor and scent.

It is also used in perfumery and soap manufacturing.

 

In Cooking::

 

Spearmint is one of the most famous aromatic herbs. It is usually used raw, in sauces and soups, meatballs, pies and eggplant salad. It is also widely used on confectionary and chocolates.

Place a pot of spearmint on the kitchen windowsill provided it receives plenty of light. It should always receive plenty of water. It is quite frost resistant, so it can be planted outside.

When cooking, the leaves should be added (and to a lesser extend the stems), during the last stages of food preparation, since prolonged heat destroys spearmint`s volatile compounds and results in loss of flavor.

TIP: spearmint deters ants.


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