Mint or more precisely referring to peppermint herb is a variety of herb that originated in Europe and the Middle East and is cultivated worldwide. It is best known for its volatile essential oil menthol, menthone and menthyl acetate found in its leaves and stem.
The plant has arrowhead-shaped leaves with ragged edges and vein leaves. The leaves are dark green in color and the plant bears purple flowers.
These oils produce the refreshing cooling breezy effect in the mouth and nasal glands when eaten or inhaled. Peppermint is closely related to watermint and spearmint. It grows best in shady and moist locations and spreads via underground rhizomes.
Mint makes ideal home garden plants and potted plants. The leaves and flowering tops are the parts usually used. The oil in peppermint is rich in natural pesticides.
Culinary Uses of Mint
It is used to flavor sweets and confectioneries. It is also widely used in flavoring dessert and ice cream varieties, and stuffing for cookie and cake preparations as well as icing mixtures. You will also find mint widely used in chewing gums and toothpaste. Aside from cooking it can also be used in soaps, shampoos, and other skin care products.
Spearmint which contains a clear pungent but mild aroma is an essential ingredient of Moroccan tea. It is an ingredient in several types of cocktail or mixed drinks such as the mojito and mint julep. It is also used in Sweet tea, iced and flavored common tradition in summer in the Southern United States.
Mint contains no calories and contains anti-oxidant properties. It is rich in vitamins and dietary fiber. It is also very rich in vitamin A beta-carotene. Also present is high levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Also mint is rich in B complex vitamins such as Folates, Niacin, Pyridoxine, Pantothenic acid, Riboflavin, and Thiamin. It contains a good amount of minerals like Iron, Manganese, Potassium, Calcium, Copper, Magnesium and Zinc.