Family: Labiatae - mint family crossbreeds abundantly and many varieties can be found
Origin: Europe and Asia and cultivated in many locations, including: the United States, Japan, Spain, Morocco, England and Brazil.
Description: Some varieties may grow to a height of 20-32 inches. Leaves are ovate to lanceolate with purple blossoms growing from the axis of the leaves and from the stem. The mint plant propagates through sending runners and seedlings and grows well in high humidity.
Essential Oil: Is clear liquid to slightly yellow and produced by steam distillation from somewhat dry plant matter. Its fragrance is fresh, bright, full bodied and minty. It takes approximately 1,000 pounds of plant matter to yield 1 ounce to 1 pound of pure essential oil.
Myth has it that Pluto, the god of the underworld, fell passionately in love with a lovely nymph by the name of Mentha. Pluto's wife Persephone became extremely jealous and tried to destroy Mentha by fiercely pounding her into the earth. It's said that the god Pluto, bereaved by his loss, then elevated the spirit of Mentha by bestowing upon her tremendous fragrant and restorative healing powers to sooth and mend. Mint does refresh the spirit and clears the mind. It has a very grounding effect. As it stimulates the hippocampus (short term memory) it is excellent for treating mental exhaustion as it clears the mind and helps you to focus and retain information.
Mint is one of the most well-known essential oils in aromatherapy. Though it is perceived of as having cooling action in traditional five element theory it is considered a "hot" oil and care should be taken as it may cause sensitivity. Mint is a stimulant, and helps warm the digestive system and is good for promoting digestion.
As a stimulant mint is good for stimulating lymph flow, increasing heat in the body, assuaging chills and beneficial for treating colds and flu, among other things.