Mint is a significant herb that is used all over the world. Recognized for its distinctive smell and unique flavor, it is a versatile herb that is commonly used for ornamental, culinary, and medicinal purposes.
Peppermint is a genus of flowering plants that includes about thirty species of perennials in the family Lamiaceae. It is an aromatic plant with a poorly developed root (up to 4 cm below the soil surface). But also exceptional properties that everyone should know about.
The word mint comes from the Latin word mentha, which is rooted in the Greek word minthe, personified in Greek mythology as Minthe. That was a nymph transformed into a mint plant and a reflex of the Proto-Indo-European root from which also comes the Sanskrit – mantha, mathana (premna serratifolia).
Mint leaves, without qualifiers such as “peppermint” or “applemint,” usually refer to spearmint leaves. In Spain and Central and South America, mint is known as mint. In Lusophone countries, especially in Portugal, mint species are known as hortelã. In many Indo-Aryan languages, it is called pudīna.
This herb has been used for at least 10,000 years and is believed to have originated in the Far East. It is famous worldwide, especially in Arab countries, where it is often used to make tea and as a spice.
The use of mint plant
Peppermint owes its intense aroma and refreshing taste to essential oil, the content of which increases with the appearance of side shoots. Peppermint essential oil contains more than 20 ingredients, the most valuable of which is menthol. The quality of the essential oil is determined by the menthol content, primarily found in the young leaves.
Mint contains vitamins A, C, and other active substances, such as rosmarinic acid, which strengthen the body’s resistance to infections and inflammation.
Besides the smell, menthol is also responsible for the cooling sensation this plant causes because it activates cold-sensitive receptors on the skin. Menthol helps prevent bad breath and gum disease, which is why it is one of the main ingredients in toothpaste.
Mint has a diuretic effect, stimulates metabolism, and reduces appetite. Tea and other mint preparations are very effective in irritable bowel syndrome.
It relieves the symptoms of dry coughs and colds, and it is believed that thanks to rosemary acid can alleviate asthma and allergies. Peppermint can reduce headaches and upset stomachs caused by stress. Peppermint tea has a calming effect and helps you fall asleep more easily.
Peppermint essential oil has a similar effect to tea. In official medicine, it treats migraines, itchy skin, allergic skin inflammations, rheumatic complaints, colds, coughs, irritable bowel syndrome, and flatulence.
It is added to salads, soups, various vegetable dishes, desserts, and refreshing drinks and can be combined with yogurt or chocolate.
Varieties of mint plants
There are several types and subspecies of mint, of which these are the most famous:
- Wild mint (Mentha spicata)
- Peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.)
- Polish mint (Mentha arvensis)
- Black mint
- Alba white mint
- Mint, peppermint
Mint plant flower
The tiny mint flowers are arranged in elongated spikes, and their color can vary from white to purple. The flowering period lasts from June to October. Each branch ends with spiky inflorescences composed of 6-7 light purple flowers that quickly fall off, and rarely a germinating seed can be found on the plant.
What do mint plants look like
Mint leaves are elongated, egg-shaped, and pointed at the top. They are dark green and grow on short stems. They are mostly covered with hairs, and on the other side, there are glands with essential oil. At the top of each branch are spiky flowers made up of tiny purple flowers.
Peppermint or mint has a characteristic, pleasant smell of menthol and is used in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.
With over 600 varieties of the mint plant, it can be difficult to distinguish which plant is which.
Each mint plant variety offers a unique and distinctive aroma and flavor. To give you a glimpse of what mint has to offer, we’ll share 15 types of mint plants!
Banana mint is a unique variety of mint plants. The banana mint plant contains a distinctive fruity taste and sweet smell that is similar to that of a banana hence the name banana mint.
This mint variety is scientifically known as Mentha arvensis. Being a perennial plant, this variety of mint is not only easy to grow but will also continue to return each year.
During the summer months, the banana mint contains lilac flowers that make for a beautiful display in the backyard. This plant features thick, bright leaves that consist of a strong scent.
The banana mint is commonly used as an ingredient in baking desserts, cookies, adding to ice cream and fruit salads. With a distinct scent and a subtle banana aftertaste, it’s no surprise that this mint is frequently used in making sweet treats and baked goods.
Grapefruit mint consists of a bold and sharp citrus flavor and fruity scent. Grapefruit mint is scientifically known as Mentha x piperata f. citrata.
This plant variety produces pollen-rich flowers that attract pollinators such as bees. This unique mint variety contains a unique mix of mint and grapefruit flavors.
This mint variety consists of delicate and narrow leaves that are commonly used for adding to fruity desserts and cocktails.
Grapefruit is also frequently used for cooking and adding to dishes containing seafood and lamb. This unique mint plant can spread up to 2 ft wide. Its scent is significantly strong. These can be stored and dried for later use.
Chocolate Mint is a distinctive variety of mint plant that releases a sweet, chocolatey, and fresh minty aroma. Chocolate mint is scientifically known as Mentha x piperata f. citrata.
This mint plant consists of a popular flavor mix with a combination of mint and chocolate.
This mint variety grows throughout the summer. It features unique smooth dark-green leaves that consist of thick distinctive markings.
The plant’s leaves consist of a spear-head shape and it produces flowers similar to that from a lavender plant. These flowers are pollen-rich and are great for attracting pollinators.
Chocolate mint contains a strong and distinctive flavor and aroma.
These properties make it a popular choice of ingredients for adding to desserts. Its combination of flavors is nicely paired with sweet and chocolatey desserts and hot beverages.
Strawberry Mint is a unique mint variety that consists of subtle, sweet, earthy flavors of strawberry and mint.
It contains a fragrant flavor that tastes similar to strawberry candy. Strawberry mint, also scientifically known as Mentha spicata subsp.
citrata consists of small and thin delicate leaves. This variety of mint plant contains a subtly sweet flavor and a fruity fragrance. This mint plant contains exceptionally smaller leaves in comparison to other varieties of mint.
It is a delicate plant that is commonly used as an ingredient that’s added to desserts and cocktails. Strawberry mint produces flowers that are rich in nectar and are great for attracting pollinators such as butterflies and bees.
Curly mint is a creeping variety of mint that contains a unique appearance. The mint is scientifically known as Mentha spicata var. crispa. This mint variety consists of distinctive frilled leaves.
Its leaves and stem consist of a strong peppermint flavor and scent that make it a popular mint for eating. Due to its bold flavor and scent, curly mint is frequently added to cocktails and desserts. It is also commonly used as a garnish due to its unique appearance.
Pennyroyal is a popular mint plant for adding to herb gardens. It is characterized as a creeping variety and is scientifically known as Mentha pulegium. Pennyroyal mint is a plant that contains a strong and distinctive minty scent and flavor.
Its strong scent has been shown to contain insect repellent and medicinal properties. As a result of this property, pennyroyal is commonly used as a natural insect repellent and a natural way to control garden pests.
It is also commonly used as a herbal medicine for treating gastrointestinal problems. The pennyroyal mint plant consists of soft and small jagged leaves and it produces pale blue flowers that look similar to lavender flowers that are pollen-rich.
Water mint is a unique mint plant that is a significantly moisture-loving species and is scientifically known as Mentha aquatica.
This mint plant can commonly be found in poorly-drained soil or near waterways and rivers. This is a mint plant that grows well in hardy areas of land and it is commonly mistaken as a weed.
The water mint plant consists of fury oval-shaped leaves that contain a strong scent. This plant features an accumulation of thick green leaves and it produces thick pink and purple flowers that are pollen-rich and beneficial to pollinators.
Water mint requires plenty of space to grow as it grows vigorously and can become dense when grown in moist areas. Left to its own devices and put in the correct conditions, water mint will spread freely.
This plant is commonly used as a natural herbal remedy for relieving muscle pain and healing wounds as it contains antibacterial properties.
Peppermint is classified as one of the most popular mint plants in the world. It is characterized as a hybrid mint plant that consists of a combination of watermint and spearmint.
This popular mint plant originates from several countries in Europe and the Middle East. Peppermint can typically be found growing in moisture-rich areas such as riversides and streams.
Peppermint is a plant that contains a strong and distinctive yet sweet mint aroma. It offers a cool and refreshing flavor and is commonly used as an ingredient in candy, tea, and garnish for desserts.
Peppermint consists of thin, jagged, dark green leaves. The plant produces thick purple pollen-rich flowers and can grow up to 3 ft tall.
Spearmint is another popular mint plant that can be found all over the world. This mint plant is commonly known as garden mint or common mint as it is a widely used mint plant. Spearmint is scientifically known as Mentha spicata.
This mint plant is native to several regions across the world including Europe and southern Asia. Spearmint offers a uniquely refreshing and sweet but mild mint scent and flavor.
It is a mint plant that is commonly used for culinary purposes by adding it to a range of foods and drinks and cosmetic purposes as it is frequently used to make toothpaste, shampoo, etc.
The leaves of a spearmint plant are long and narrow, spear-like in shape. They can be identified by their distinctive scent.
Apple mint is a unique mint plant that consists of leaves that feature a distinctive light green color and soft, almost wooly texture. Apple mine is a delicate looking but extremely strong and hardy mint plant.
Apple mint can withstand harsh, low temperatures and successfully grows in a variety of conditions.
This plant can grow up to 3 ft tall and can become dense as it is spread by runners. This plant can grow vigorously if it is not contained and can grow up to 2 ft tall.
Scientifically known as Mentha suaveolens, this plant offers a uniquely distinctive sweet and aromatic scent. It is a mint plant that is commonly used for culinary purposes such as making into a salad dressing and medicinal purposes for use in aromatherapy.
Pineapple mint is another unique mint plant that offers a subtle fruity and citrus aroma and flavor. Not only does this plant offer a unique flavor, but it is also unique in its appearance consisting of soft-spiked green leaves with a white edge.
Its bold appearance stands out amongst other mint plants and makes this plant a popular ornamental plant. Pineapple mint grows well in well-drained soil and can become dense when it is in the correct conditions.
Pineapple mint is scientifically known as Mentha suaveolens and is native to western European and Mediterranean regions.
This mint plant is commonly used for culinary purposes as a result of its unique flavor. It is frequently used for making jelly and adding to flavored teas.
It can also be used as a herbal remedy for treating gastrointestinal problems.
Lavender mint is characterized as one of the most beautiful mint plants and it is frequently grown for ornamental purposes as it makes an ideal decorative plant. Lavender mint contains an intense and distinctive floral aroma.
Lavender mint features long toothed leaves and thick purple tubular flowers that offer an intense scent. Lavender mint is characterized as a versatile plant as it can be used for multiple purposes.
This mint plant is shown to contain medicinal properties.
As a result, it is commonly used as a herbal remedy and it is commonly used to make cosmetics such as soap, shampoo, skincare, etc. It is also commonly used for culinary purposes and can be dried to use as an ingredient for adding to tea and salad.
Horsemint is a unique mint plant that is commonly used for medicinal purposes. It is said to contain medicinal properties such as it having a stimulating effect.
Iis frequently used as a herbal remedy for treating digestive problems and menstrual cramps. Horsemint is scientifically known as Mentha longifolia and is a mint plant that is native to North America.
This is a plant that grows well in extremely dry conditions and can commonly be found in dry sandy areas such as dunes and fields.
Horsemint is a mint plant that is commonly found growing in the wild and can be distinguished by its long and soft spiky green leaves and pale pink flower spikes. Its leaves contain a strong lemony scent and flavor.
Its lemon flavor is what makes it a popular mint plant for culinary purposes. It is commonly used for making savory dishes and adding to desserts.
Corsican Mint is characterized as a low-growing mint plant. This unique mint plant features tiny, soft spade-shaped leaves that are similar to a clover. Corsican mint is native to the Mediterranean island of Corsica.
This mint plant is scientifically known as Mentha requienii. This mint plant consists of bright-green leaves that emit an intense minty aroma.
As a ground-hugging plant, Corsican is a popular mint plant for adding to plant beds. Releasing a strong aroma when stepped on, Corsican plants are commonly used as an insect repellent as their scent is shown to repel pests.
Corsican is also commonly used for medicinal purposes as a result of it containing antiseptic properties that make it an ideal herbal remedy for healing wounds.
Basil mint is a significant mint plant that bears resemblance to the basil herb. This is a mint plant that is considered to be a favorite amongst gardeners as it is easy to cultivate and grow.
Not only does this plant look like basil, but it also emits a strong basil-like scent.
With its distinctive smell and flavor, basil mint is commonly used for culinary purposes as it can be used both fresh and dried to add to salads and drinks and can be made into pesto.
Basil mint is scientifically known as Mentha x Piperita f. citrata and is a herb that contains antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Hence, this mint plant is commonly used for medicinal purposes as a herbal remedy for treating anti-inflammatory conditions.
With over 600 mint plant varieties that exist, it’s fair to say that we’ve only skimmed the surface. However, with this comprehensive list of amazing and unique mint plants, you can see just how much mint plants have to offer.
Whether you’re using them for medicinal purposes, culinary purposes or you’re simply looking for something to add to your backyard to spruce things up a little, mint plants offer a range of distinctive and aromatic scents and flavors.
With this list, you can begin to explore a range of mint plants that you’ve never experienced before!
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