Aromatic plants

Mint cultivation

The mint plant

An aromatic plant with a strong characteristic odor, mint can be found in every season of the year. Known since ancient times, it was used by the Egyptians and Romans as a real medicinal plant. The active ingredient of this plant is menthol and is used in many culinary, herbal and medicinal preparations. Mint is a decongestant of the upper respiratory tract. With mint and its extract, toothpastes, mouthwashes, candies, liqueurs, but also perfumes and cosmetics are made. It grows in Europe, Asia and Africa and its diffusion is massive. There are many varieties, although the most used is probably peppermint, which with its rhizomatous roots tends to extend and multiply in the soil. It blooms from summer to autumn, with small pink, white or purple flowers.

The cultivation of mint

Mint is a simple plant to grow. Whether in a pot or in the ground, it does not have many pretensions; it is satisfied with a position in partial shade, not disdaining the positions in full sun. For the cultivation of mint in pots, it is sufficient to obtain a container with a universal, well-drained soil. The simplest multiplication is that by division of the tufts, otherwise it can be reproduced from seed. Just a small tuft, divided from the mother plant in autumn or spring, to have the plant that will soon extend into the pot until it is full. The same can be said for the cultivation of mint in the vegetable garden. The mint plant is perennial and resists the cold of winter well; the leaves are a beautiful dark green and the flowering which begins in summer is formed by small flowers gathered in spikes. Mint is at its most fragrant just before the flowers bloom.The mint plant can be attacked by parasitic fungi that cause dark spots on the leaves. At the first symptoms it is better to eliminate all parts.

We use mint

Often the cultivation of mint takes place for purely decorative purposes, but, as we have seen, it can be used for many purposes. The fresh mint plant in the garden is useful in the kitchen for flavoring fish dishes, risottos, salads and vegetables, such as courgettes. However, this aromatic plant is often used for the preparation of refreshing and healing herbal teas. The mint infusion is expectorant and digestive and improves intestinal fermentations. The mint tea, recommended to drink throughout the day, but not in the evening because it could disturb sleep, is prepared with two teaspoons of dried leaves for each cup. In the same way, a mouthwash can be prepared that freshens the breath and disinfects the oral cavity. The dried mint leaves, together with the juice or lemon peel, give life to a excellent summer drink, fresh and rehydrating. A different use of fresh leaves, practical when you have mint plants available, is to rub them on your hands to eliminate any unpleasant odors.

Mint cultivation: Curiosities about mint

The cultivation of mint in the vegetable garden is suitable for easily filling empty spaces or borders, precisely due to the characteristic of this plant to gradually expand, so much so that it is almost considered a weed. Mint is suitable for growing in windy areas, where other plants would give problems, as it is not afraid of the wind and is stable. An interesting feature of mint is that it works effectively against motion sickness (or sea sickness). Just prepare some infusions to drink in the days before the trip, or even prepare the infusion to take with you and sip it at the first symptoms. Growing aromatic herbs is always very useful, but in the case of mint, its cultivation allows you to always have leaflets available that can also be chewed fresh, both to perfume the

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