Who can resist a mint leaf? Refreshing, the plant has numerous health benefits, in addition to being a great ally in the preparation of juices, vitamins, desserts and meals. And best of all do you know what it is? Growing mint at home is easier than you think.
Want to see? So just follow this post with us. We brought lots of tips and cool information for you to learn how to care for mint. Check out:
Mint: characteristics and curiosities
Around the world there are about 25 to 30 different species of mint, all belonging to the genus Mentha.
The mint is native to the countries of the Middle East (there is no kibe without mint, right?) And some countries in central Europe, as well as some regions in Asia.
It was the Japanese (and not the Arabs!) Who brought this aromatic herb to Brazil. Since then, she has become a darling here and is already present in cooking and in several homemade health care recipes.
To identify a mint leaf, look at the leaves: they are elongated ovals, sawn and of an intense green.
If you are still in doubt, remove a leaf, rub it between your fingers and smell it. It is unmistakable.
Here, the most well-known mint species are peppermint (with stronger flavor and aroma), lemon mint (citrus flavor and aroma, perfect for juices and iced teas), vegetable garden mint (common in gardens and easy propagation and cultivation), mint mint (strong flavor, burning and widely used by the industry for the manufacture of chewing gum, toothpaste and candies).
Uses and benefits of mint
"Have a little mint tea that passes". Who never heard this sentence? Well, the plant is associated with numerous health benefits.
Scientific studies have already shown that mint has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, stimulating, tonic, carminative and antispasmodic properties.
Mint can be used to treat stomach pain, flatulence, gallstones, jaundice, palpitations, shaking, vomiting, uterine and menstrual cramps. Mint also favors sputum.
Another recurring use of mint is to treat intestinal worms. A tea made with the herb releases parasites. Mint is also said to favor milk production in women who are breastfeeding.
Want more? Mint can be used to treat toothache. Just moisten a cotton ball with herb tea and place on the tooth.
Mint can also be used in vaporizations to improve the air quality in the environments. In this case, it is very common to use the herb in the form of essential oil. Just drop a few drops into a diffuser and you're done.
And since we are talking about essential oil, it costs nothing to say that in aromatherapy, mint is an old woman known for treating emotional states linked to fear, fatigue, lack of attention and even depression.
Another benefit of mint is in the aesthetic part. The herb's essential oil can be used to treat skin blemishes, acne, open pores, cellulite and also to assist in hair growth and scalp cleansing and asepsis.
See how much?
Mint: from the garden to the kitchen
In addition to the health and beauty benefits, mint can also be used very well in cooking and in preparing juices, liqueurs and drinks, including the famous and dear pineapple juice with mint.
In Arab cuisine, mint reigns like a star. Tabboules, kibes and kebabs would not be the same without the presence of this aromatic herb.
In the rest of the world, mint is often used to give life and flavor to dishes that include yogurt, pork and lamb, as well as vegetables of all kinds.
Sweet foods are also great companions for mint. The herb gives a very special flavor to chocolates, ice cream, pies, creams and butters.
How to plant mint
After seeing so many benefits, you must be more than waiting for the moment to know how to plant mint and have this magic herb in your backyard. Well then, there you go. See the step by step below:
Step 1: Purchase a mint seedling. You can do this in two ways: buying one already taken or making it at home. For the first option, just go to a garden store, choose a good mint jar and take it home. For those who want to follow the second option, skip to the next step.
Step 2: Cut a sprig of healthy, adult mint. Just be careful to make the cut above the main stem. You can also choose to use a sprig of those mints sold in packs at the supermarket or at the fair, but it is not always a guarantee that it will spring.
Step 3: Fill a glass with water and put the mint branch inside. Leave this cup in a shaded place, but with good lighting. In a few days you may notice the first roots coming out of the mint branch. Wait until they grow between two and three centimeters before planting the branch.
Step 4: After the roots have grown, provide a pot at least 30 centimeters in diameter. Mint grows a lot!
Step 5: Cover the bottom of the vase with charcoal and expanded clay. Then fill the pot up to a little more than half with a common compound and substrate.
Step 6: Place the small mint seedling in the center of the pot and finish filling the space with the soil and the substrate.
Step 7: Water the mint well and keep the pot in a well-lit place, but without receiving direct sunlight.
Step 8: When you notice that the mint is well caught and starting to develop, remove it from the pot (if you want to plant it in a vegetable garden or garden) or just take it to the final location.
How to care for mint
Now that your mint is already beautifully planted in the place where you always wanted to see it, the time has come to find out how to care for the herb so that it grows and offers fresh, green leaves.
Mint is not a demanding plant when it comes to fertilization, but it is always good to reinforce the nutrients present in the soil. For this, every two months, fertilize with organic fertilizer (it can be earthworm humus or cattle manure).
You can also choose to fertilize the mint only if you notice the presence of yellow leaves or the growth stop.
Mint likes sun and heat. In the winter months the plant tends to fall a little bit, but if it has a good light source it can survive.
The best place to grow mint inside houses and apartments is by the window or on well-lit balconies, but always protected from strong winds.
Good irrigation is essential for the mint to develop well. Water the plant frequently, especially on the hottest days. In such cases, it may be necessary to water up to twice a day.
The soil must always be moist, but it does not need to soak. It is also important to ensure a good drainage system, so the excess water will go away and the plant's roots will not rot.
Time to harvest
Mint can be harvested about 40 days after planting. Always wait for the pot to be well filled before harvesting.
In order not to damage the plant, use sharp scissors and always make the cut five centimeters above the ground.
If you prefer you can remove all the sprigs of mint at once. The plant grows again, don't worry.
To conserve the branches that are not being used you can choose to dry and dehydrate the herb.
Following all these precautions, there will be plenty of teas, juices and delicacies with mint in your home.