Mint is more than a decorative piece to a dessert place or a cocktail complement. Traditionally, mint has a strong medicinal use to ease digestive issues and to freshen breath.
Have you ever wondered how the tradition of eating a mint after dinner came from? I have no idea if mint’s medicinal usage for digestive problems has anything to do with it, but I suspect perhaps it does. Ancient cultures in their wisdom knew how to use herbs for healing and used to chew on a mint leaf to settle the stomach. Today, mint is still a tasty way to ease stomach discomfort from stress or overeating. Chewing a leaf is still an option, although making tea is much more enjoyable.
To make a tea:
Pouring boiling water over a stem of leaves in a mug is the quickest method for mint tea. Cover the mug so the essential oils don’t escape through the steam—they’re the active ingredient. Hot tea is perfect before bedtime in the winter, but for summer, make a strong tea with lots of leaves, sweeten with honey, then cool in the frig or pour over ice for a light refreshing drink.
I’m one of those people who puts stress in my stomach, so when dealing with monumental issues, my stomach feels a bit off. This tea soothes my stomach and allows me to feel an appetite again, so I can eat, then think clearly!
I’ve even seen iced green tea heavily flavored with mint leaves, lemon, lime and sweetener to taste.
Try chopping it and sprinkling over a salad – it adds another dimension to a dish that is often times too flat.
It’s quite easy to grow in a little pot or an herbal garden and does well in most environments. It does not have a season, so you can grow it effortlessly year round. Mint is best when fresh, although it can be dried or frozen for later use. When freezing mint, chop it and freeze in olive oil. To keep mint in the refrigerator, store it in an air-tight plastic bag with a paper towel to absorb moisture. It can keep for up to a week, depending on how fresh it was to begin with.