Mint is definitely my favourite herb. I love the smell, the taste, the way it looks. It was the plant which kicked off my herb garden as a child and my interest in herbs. There are so many types of mint that you could have an entire, aromatic, garden of them.
In Greek myth, Minthe was a beautiful water nymph who had caught the eye of Hades. Hades however was married to Persephone who became jealous of his mistress. Some stories say that Persephone turned Minthe into the mint plant, others that Minthe took the form herself to escape Persephone’s jealous attacks. This is a plant of violent love and intense emotions.
As you’d expect from a plant that was once a water nymph, mint thrives in moist places, especially alongside rivers. That said, it does grow in pretty much any condition, this is a survivor, a thriver. Mint is a fast growing plant, often considered invasive as they will quickly take over if planted directly into the soil (as opposed to putting them in a pot). This is a plant which needs firm boundaries if it is to live alongside other plants, just as we need to establish our own when we are working and living alongside other people.
Mint achieves its wide spreading nature though rapidly growing, creeping roots. This is a call to us to look at what goes on below the surface. Is someone or something taking over you and your sense of self? The best way for this to happen is for it to be less visible. Before long, you look up and find that you’re entangled in someone else’s web without realising it was happening.
Somewhere I read that mint is the plant of Jupiter, a planet of expansion and growth. I can’t refind the source but it feels very appropriate. Learning and exploring are fantastic adventures and an excellent way to reinvigorate the soul but be careful of spreading out in too many directions at once! The line between pleasure and overindulgence is a fine one. The same being true for positivity and blind optimism.
Mint has been used for a long time for healing. Mint tea is a cleansing, calming drink and is encouraged for people who experience nausea or poor digestion. Apparently a cold cup of the tea will help hiccups and flatulence. The plant has also been used to help flu, fevers, stomach ache and chest pains. Sinusitis, lung conditions, insomnia, tension, fatigue and headaches are other conditions which may be aided by mint. It is a stimulating, invigorating plant that energises but also soothes; it is complicated!
The abundant nature of the herb means it is used in money magic and love potions. It is also used to purify, to energise and to protect. Sleeping with mint under your pillow is said to enhance your dreams and wearing it round your neck will increase your focus.
Mint has many many other uses which I will only touch on here. It was strewn on floors to scent the room. Scattered leaves deter mice, ants and fleas. Rubbing mint on a new beehive was said to encourage bees to make their home there. Mint is said to be a good plant for the garden, repelling pesky insects and attracting helpful ones. It forms part of many cosmetics, perfumes and aromatherapy oils.
Despite all it’s many uses, many people think mint and think mint sauce. Do not underestimate this fantastically useful herb.
None of the above should be considered medical advice, do not eat anything unless you’ve done your research. Plants go by different names in different places and have different properties at different times of year. Some of the possible uses of this plant have come from folklore and should not be taken as fact.