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27 Jun 2006

Mint the Cool Herb

Imagine not having mint flavor in sweets, mouthwash and chewing gum. Both the sweet, cool flavor of mint and it's perfume is loved by everyone.

Due to it's menthol, vitamins A and C, carotene and folic acid it is also excellent for our health like many other herbs. There are about 30 common varieties of mint from well known spearmint and peppermint to catnip which some of our cats are crazy about.

Mint is aromatic, calmative, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, and is also a stimulant. Great as a lozenge, tea, oil or syrup for soothing sore throats, indigestion, colds, flu, hiccups, and flatulence. A great lotion for greasy hair or skin.

Easy to grow both for your own use or as a companion plant to stop aphids and ants on roses and other flowering plants. Mint is also an excellent moth repellent. It is also added to pot-pourris, herbal bags and perfume.

Peppermint oil is a popular massage oil when mixed in a carrier oil for easing muscular pain whereas spearmint oil is excellent for colds and flu when sprinkled and inhaled on a handkerchief or a pillow at night.

Store by drying, freezing in ice cubes or infused in oil or vinegar. In the kitchen it is great mixed with vegetables like peas, green beans and potatoes or added finely chopped in a green salad. Also wonderful in tofu ice cream. Great in both hot or cold tea or in cocktails like mint julep.

"It's not all mint tea and rose petals, football has a lot of problems to tackle."
Sepp Blatter President FIFA World Cup Football

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Recipe of the Day

Iced Mint Tea
Hema Bhatter at VegCooking.com

A cool, refreshing drink to quench your thirst.

5 cups water
2 tsp. ordinary black or Darjeeling tea leaves (2 tea bags)
1/4 cup sugar, to taste
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 Tbsp. lemon juice, or to taste
1 tsp lemon rind
1 tsp orange rind
1 cup crushed ice
4 slices lemon
4 slices orange
4 fresh mint sprigs

Boil 1 cup water and brew the tea in it for a minute.
Remove from heat, add the sugar and mint leaves, and let cool.
When cold, add more water, lemon juice, lemon rind, and orange rind. Mix well and taste to adjust the sweetness. Refrigerate until chilled.
To serve, pour into tall glasses with crushed ice and a lemon slice, an orange slice, and a mint sprig floating on the top.

Makes 4 servings

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