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Mint



Growing Information:

Mint

DAYS TO GERMINATION: 10-14 days

SOWING TIME: Spring

SEEDING METHOD: Transplant

SUNLIGHT PREFERENCE: Sun/Part Shade

PLANT HEIGHT: 18-36"

PLANT SPACING: 12-18"

HARDINESS ZONES: Zones 4-9

Habitat and Description


Growing Mint
CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Mint seeds can be started indoors and transplanted into the garden, or seeds can be sown directly into the soil in the spring.
  • Mint has crawling roots that can overtake your garden and kill other plants. To keep this under control, begin by digging a hole large enough for the bottomless bucket (simply a bucket with the bottom cut out). Place the bottomless bucket in the hole and fill in dirt all around. It should be close enough to the surface that the roots will grow down inside, but deep enough that it cannot be seen.
  • Another option for rows is to dig down approximately 1 foot and line the row with black plastic. Fill in with the removed dirt and plant the seeds according to instructions on the packet.
  • Place the plants into the prepared area when planting. As the plant grows the bucket/plastic will help to contain the roots as much as possible.
  • Place seedlings about 1 foot apart or thin seedlings once the seeds have sprouted.
  • Water occasionally until the plant is thriving, after which you will only water during extended droughts.
  • Fertilization is usually unnecessary, unless the soil is unusually poor.
  • Growing mint in containers is equally as easy, and potting compost is sufficient. Water only when dry and feed once a month during the growing season.
  • Containers also allow the plants to be brought indoors for the frost and cold to enjoy mint all year long!


Mint


The benefits of Mint

  • Digestion: Mint is a good appetizer and promotes digestion, due to its typical aroma. It also soothes stomach in cases of indigestion, inflammation etc. This aroma of mint activates the saliva glands in our mouth as well as glands which secrete digestive enzymes, thereby facilitating digestion. Thus it is extensively used in culinary.
  • Nausea & Headache: Again, the strong and refreshing aroma of mint is an excellent and quick remedy for nausea. Whenever you feel it, just smell the oil of mint or crushed fresh mint leaves or use any product with mint flavor, whichever is available near you, and it will be gone. In fact, many people keep mentha oil or mint flavored products with them to avoid nausea, particularly when they are traveling. Balms based on mint or simply mint oil, when rubbed on forehead and nose, gives quick relief in headache.
  • Respiratory Disorders, Cough etc.: The strong aroma of mint is very effective in opening up congestion of nose, throat, bronchi and lungs, giving relief in respiratory disorders resulting from asthma, cold etc. As it cools and soothes throat, nose and other respiratory channels, it gives relief in cough too. Many balms are based on this property of mint. Unlike other inhalers which are based on aerosols, those based on mint are more effective and eco-friendly too.
  • Asthma: Regular use of mint is very beneficial for asthma patients, as it is a good relaxant and gives relief in congestion. But, over dosage may irritate as well.
  • Skin Care, pimples etc.: While mint oil is a good anti septic and anti pruritic, mint juice is an excelle,nt skin cleanser. It soothes skin, cures infections, itching etc., and is also good for pimples. Its anti pruritic properties can be used for treating bites of insects like mosquitoes, honey-bees, hornets, wasps, gnats etc.
  • Female Sterility: Now, there is a mixed opinion about this. Some say that prolonged use of menthol may cause sterility and induce inability to conceive, by interfering with the production of ova and also killing these gametes, because of its germicidal and insecticidal properties. It is also heard that men who smoke menthol cigarettes are more likely to suffer from impotency than those who smoke normal cigarettes. It is not certain whether it is due the tobacco alone or mint has anything do with it. But menthol certainly has insecticidal properties. While another group suggests that mint may be used to treat sterility in females.
  • Oral Care: This is a well known property of mint. Being a germicidal and breathe freshener, it takes care of oral health by inhibiting harmful bacterial growth inside mouth and by cleaning tongue and teeth.
  • Cancer: Current researches show that certain enzymes present in mint may help cure cancer.
  • Other Benefits: Besides its wide industrial use in food stuffs such as ice-creams, chocolates etc., alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, medicines, inhalers and mouth and breathe fresheners, it is used as a condiment and decorative item in culinary world-wide. Drinks and food-stuffs containing mint cools you off in summer. It is a good relaxant. One more peculiar property which is very much in contrary to its cooling and soothing effects is that it induces sweating if consumed in fever, thereby curing it. Mint juice can be applied on burns to heal and soothe them. It is also beneficial in rheumatism. It is also said to improve activity of the brain, although there are no sufficient proofs.




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