Mint is one of the most simple to use of the natural herbs, and has a
lot of good uses, besides just tasting good. It is also easy to grow,
and in fact will tend to take over an area pretty easily. There is also
naturalized mint growing in almost all areas of the country.
There are about 30 different kinds of mint, and other commonly used plants, belong to the mint family. Some of the more common kinds of mint include peppermint, spearmint, horse mint, summer mint, and catnip. They all have similar medicinal qualities, with stronger properties in certain species like peppermint. Where they are grown also affects their strength.
Many of the preparations are quite simple yet affective. For instance, a few drops of mint extract or several bruised mint leaves in a cup of boiling water, sweetened with honey, makes a very good soothing drink for upset stomach, such as that accompanying the flu.
Mint also functions as an expectorant, helping to drain the sinuses and ease the congestion of colds. It can be imbibed in a tea, or it can be added to a vaporizer or pot of boiling water, to fill the air with mint impregnated steam.
Added to bath water, it is soothing to muscles, as well as helping with cold congestions. In fact, Wintergreen is common in muscle rubs, as is Menthol, which is distilled from mint.