Fresh mint is the wintry herb that appears in products, foods, and gardens everywhere. Part of the Lamiaceae family, it’s an herb that everyone knows and loves. From savory and sweet flavorings to across-the-board health benefits, it’s a super useful (and tasty) herb to have around.
The best part? It’s an undemanding herb. Mint is easy to grow and thrives as well in a small container on a window sill as in a garden plot.
We all know certain things about mint. We know that it allegedly combats bad breath, that it tastes great with chocolate, and that its fresh scent invigorates us. But there’s so much more the know. We asked our Grow Pros to provide us some interesting mint facts and they have delivered.
Here are five mint facts that you’ll be happy to discover.
1. It’s a very rich source of nutrients.
Believe it or not, mint’s tiny dark green leaves are actually jam-packed with nutrients. Mint leaves are an especially rich source of Vitamin A, which is a critical vitamin for eye health and night vision. It also contains Vitamin C (protects your cells) and B2 (helps break down carbohydrates and proteins). Mint also contains notable amounts of calcium, copper, and magnesium.
The best way to get these nutrients from mint is to eat it. Because of the composition of the herb, it doesn’t matter if you consume it as an oil, as a flavoring, or if you simply chomp down on a whole leaf. Mint is a tasty and low-calorie way to get your extra nutrient needs!
If you are growing your own mint plants and you want a recipe to use your mint harvest in try our Mint Infused Sugar Recipe. It’s a great way to add cool sweetness to any dessert or baked good!
2. Mint produces a cooling and relaxing effect.
Mint is a source of menthol, which is a cooling and relaxing agent. Because of this, mint is a really great way to produce relief for discomfort. It’s especially well known for treating skin burns, but is also useful for relieving respiratory difficulties.
Additionally, mint is also quite good at relaxing the muscles in your body. It’s used to treat stomach and chest pains. Most notably, it may be able to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome because it relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract.
Fun Mint Fact: One study showed that 75% of patients with IBS that took peppermint oil felt relief, as compared to 38% of patients that were in the placebo group.
3. It works wonders on your complexion.
Mint is a source of menthol and salicylic acid. These two characteristics make it an incredible addition to your skincare routine.
Mint will brighten your complexion by allowing the muscles of the skin to relax, while acting on blemishes. Because it contains salicylic acid and antibacterial properties, mint treats acne. Additionally, the Vitamin A in mind helps to reduce the secretions of oil in the skin.
4. Mint is an aromatherapy must for the brain.
We’ve all smelled mint and noticed the invigorating and refreshing feeling we get after. But wait — there’s more. Smelling mint alone has actually been shown to improve memory. It increases alertness and acuity, while decreasing frustration, anxiety, and fatigue.
While more scientific studies are needed to show the long term effect of mint on our brain, you can rely on mint aromatherapy to make you feel smarter.
5. Mint grows best in a partially shaded position!
Mint is a largely undemanding plant to grow. It’s pretty hardy and will survive most situations. However, most people don’t know that garden mint grows best when it’s partially shaded. So rather than the 8 hours of full sun most plants prefer, mint likes 5-6 hours.
This means mint is an ideal candidate for container gardening — especially for small box growing indoors. As long as it has access to one window, it will thrive.
We hope that you learned something new from these little known mint facts. Let us know what you thought about these facts via social media @gardenuity!