Mint or Spearmint health benefits: for colic, hiccups, bad breath and safe for kids

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This is the mint used to make mint sauce

This is the mint used to make mint sauce

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Mint, as the British generally call it, otherwise known as spearmint or green mint (Mentha viridis spicata), is found in almost every garden somewhere, not least because once it has taken hold, it tends to spread as far as you let it. Like its cousin, the peppermint, it’s best grown in a sunken pot or other container, making sure not to let it get too dry if you want an attractive plant.

Spearmint is mainly used as a culinary herb, as a garnish and for tea. However, unlike peppermint, this herb can be used safely as a herbal remedy for children. Which I guess is all to the good, as some kids really go overboard with the mint sauce on Sunday, eating at least as much as you will find in the average infusion.

p>Make a standard infusion using 3-4 teaspoonfuls of fresh or 1-2 teaspoonfuls of dried chopped mint to a cup of boiling water. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes, then strain and use. Add a little honey to sweeten it if you like. The dose is a cupful, which can be sipped over a couple of hours.

Spearmint is not as powerful as peppermint, and is used mainly for indigestion, colic, flatulence (“gas” or “wind“) and hiccups. You can also chew the leaves to freshen the breath.

If you are going to use mint as a herbal remedy – or even as an ingredient in mint sauce – it’s important to grow it organically so as not to subject yourself to unacceptably high levels of chemicals. Find out about growing organic mint at the Gardenzone, as well as other uses for this herb.

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