Mint: pure breath, freshness on the skin and color on the plate! May 18, 2017 Liliana Allodi

For the lucky ones who have a little garden on the porch or a little pot of mint indoors, the help is right there.

Mint is a plant that relieves nasal congestion and sore throat, adding a few drops of honey and a sprig of rosemary to the tea so everything will be better!

With decongestant volatile essential oils, mint is bactericidal, and has anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal properties, helps in indigestion, nausea and especially when the person is undergoing chemotherapy, is also antiparasitic digestive tract.

And its benefits don’t stop there. Mint can be used as a skin tonic and astringent in small portions, helping to reduce greasiness and relieve itchiness caused by scabies and contact dermatitis and allergies. Acting as a stimulant, its odour can help with a confused mind, lack of focus and contained emotions.

Mint is a perennial plant in the Lamiaceae family. There are different types of mint, such as the piperine mint (in the image below), with a more pointed and serrated leaf, with a more minty flavour, and the mentha rotundifolia, better known and used here in Brazil, with a sweeter flavour. There are also varieties with reddish leaves and others with tiny leaves.

Growing Mint

Peppermint like moist soil. Ideally, it should be planted near a trickle of water or dripping places, such as at the exit of hoses, air conditioners or water fountains, gutters and taps.

The best way to get your feet is to ask someone to have a flowerbed with too much mint. During spring, highlight the mother plant a horizontal branch, which has three to four superficial roots. Make a flat flower bed, such as a rectangular cake pan, well-fertilized with compost or worm humus. Bury the branch with the roots horizontally in shallow furrows, covering them with an 8 cm layer of soil.

In the first summer, be careful not to uproot the whole plant in the first harvest. Cut the leaves gently, once their roots are still shallow, avoid overharvesting after all the plant is still developing.

In the fall, it’s time to prune almost the entire plant. Cover the roots with compost and heap the soil from the sides to the top of the branches. This procedure is called “heaps” and returns to the flowerbed height and soft earth, which during the summer is compacting with the rains.

If your mint begins to spread too much in the fall, simply pass the hoe and take the opportunity to distribute new seedlings to pots and beds, but a warning this time, keep these seedlings protected from the cold, indoors or covered with straw. Although they need sunshine, they can withstand a season indoors, however, the location chosen should be well lit.

To store and harvest the dried herb, use the whole leaves. It is best to harvest before flowering, but not after a rain, because the wet leaves are darkened and mouldy.

When making use of mint in cooking, be sure to place it as a decoration for desserts, puddings and fruit salads. It looks great on grain salad dishes such as Tabuli ( Lebanese Syrian-tomato-wheat-tomato salad ), roast meats, and even sauces and jams, not to mention, of course, delicious mojito, drink Cuban based on rum and lemon. But if you prefer a non-alcoholic drink, this thousand-and-one herb gives an unparalleled flavour to water and juices.

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