ALL about Mints

When it comes to growing your own herbal teas, you gotta love the mint plant!  Easy to grow, lots of wonderful scents and flavors to choose from ... what could be better than that?!

SpearmintContainer-Grown Spearmint for Herbal Tea

Are you looking for "easy keeper" plants for your herbal tea garden? Want to add unique taste sensations to your tea cup? You can't go wrong with mint!

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Mint Basics

Type: Perennial

 To about -15°F (-26°C)

Sun: Part to full sun

Soil: Moderately rich, moist

Grow From: Rootings, cuttings, seeds,
starter plants

Garden Spacing: 12 in. (30 cm)

Grow Indoors: Yes

Varieties for Tea:

Parts Used: Leaves, stems

Scent/Flavor: Varies by variety

Mint Varieties

Someone once told me that mint plants come in more than 100 different flavors. As hard as that might be to fathom, I suppose it's possible.  Looking at my plant catalogues, it seems like there's a unique new hybrid every year! 

These are a few of my favorites: 

Apple Mint -  The soft,  downy leaves of apple mint are a delight to the senses - to the touch and to the taste. Brewed into an herbal tea,  there's a smooth apple flavor with just a bare hint of mint.  

Chocolate Mint - Some say they can't detect any chocolate flavor. I sure can! To me, it tastes just like my favorite after-dinner mints, Andes candies.

Citrus Mint - This is a spicy one! For a great pick-me-up, orange mint tea has a little peppery kick, balanced by undertones of orange.    

Pineapple Mint - My first sampling of pineapple mint left me wondering, "Where's the flavor?" Thankfully, as the plant matured, the pineapple-y taste and scent became more pronounced.

Spearmint - The old standby, spearmint, blends well with lots of other flavors. It makes a great single-ingredient tea, too.  Sweeter and less spicy than peppermint, spearmint tastes and smells just like Doublemint chewing gum.


Mint spreads. Period.

If you let it roam free in your garden bed, your mint plants will quickly grow out of control. So ... contain them! ;-)     

benefits of mint

We all know that sipping a cup of spearmint tea or chewing a fresh peppermint leaf is a quick, all-natural way to freshen your breath.

Did you know that this versatile herb might also help:

  • relieve stress headaches
  • improve a bad mood
  • reduce bloating
  • minimize that embarrassing "gas-passing" affliction
  • open up congested nasal passages
  • alleviate the nastiness of diarrhea
  • cool you when you're overheated
  • soothe sore throats and coughs
  • increase energy and alertness

The menthol in peppermint also repels ants, fleas, and mice. No need for chemicals or those wretched snap-traps. How cool is that?!

mint allergies & Side effects

Although it's generally thought to be safe when taken in moderation, mint tea isn't right for everyone.

Small children, for example, and anyone who suffers from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), should avoid drinking mint tea unless they have a doctor's okay. There's also a concern that consuming mint might worsen kidney stones or gallstones.

Mint has been found to interact with, or alter the effects of, some prescription drugs and over-the-counter supplements and medications. Some mint teas (pennyroyal, especially) could cause pregnant women to miscarry.

For safety's sake, always check with your doctor in advance, to be sure it's okay for you  to drink mint herbal tea!

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