Posts Tagged With: Mentha

Herb of the Day – Peppermint

Herb of the Day – Peppermint

Peppermint is a prolific plant, often spreading beyond its intended borders. In Pliny’s writings, he mentions that the Greeks and Romans decorated their feasting tables with sprigs of peppermint, and in fact flavored many of their foods with it. Dioscorides, the Greek physician, notes that it had medicinal properties, when its oil was extracted and used to treat spasms and disorders of the digestive system. Peppermint may have been cultivated by the ancient Egyptians as well. It appears in the Icelandic Pharmacopoeias around 1240 C.E., and eventually was accepted for use in western Europe around the mid-1700s.

During the Middle Ages, monks — who were known for their herbal wisdom — used peppermint leaves to polish their teeth. Around the same time, cheesemakers figured out that mint leaves sprinkled around cheese piles would keep the rats out of the storeroom.

Peppermint is a natural stimulant, and in Back to Eden, Jethro Kloss says it should be in every garden. He says Peppermint is “an excellent remedy for chills, colic, fevers, dysentery, cholera heart trouble, palpitation of the heart, influenza, la grippe and hysteria.” It also works nicely as a toning astringent, and peppermint applied to the skin provides a nice refreshing feeling (try a peppermint foot bath at the end of a long day at work!).

Peppermint, like other members of the mint family, is found often in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. Use it to season lamb, curry, couscous, or your favorite vegetables.

Magically speaking, peppermint is often used in healing and . It can be burned or rubbed against objects to clear them of negative energies, or consumed as an elixir or tea to bring about healing. Pliny also noted that peppermint “excites the emotion of love”; add it  to bring passion your way.

Other Names: Lammint, Brandy mint
Gender: Masculine
Element: Fire
Planetary Connection: Mercury
Deity Connection: Pluto

You can make a tasty peppermint tea in the same way people make sun tea: Gather up about two cups of fresh peppermint leaves, and place them in a gallon of water. Allow the tea to steep outside in the sun until fully blended. Add a bit of stevia to sweeten it for drinking, or use the mint tea as a refreshing cleanser in the bath.

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Love Tea

 

You will need:

2 teaspoons of black tea

1 pinch of rosemary

2 teaspoons of black tea

5 pinches thyme

5 fresh mint leaves

6 fresh rose petals

1 Cinnamon stick

5 pinches nutmeg

6 lemon leaves

3 cups pure spring water

Honey

 

Instructions:

Add all the ingredients to a cauldron/ saucepan and bring to the boil.

Before drinking the tea recite the following:

I have brewed this tea,

In the hope that my love

will desire me.

 

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The Wicca Book of Days for August 28 – Memorable Mint

The Wicca Book of Days for August 28

Memorable Mint

 

The botanical name of mint is Mentha, for a Greek myth tells that the river nymph Mentha (or Mintha) was transformed into this herb following a doomed affair with Hades. The Greeks and Romans dedicated the plant to Mercury, this Virgoan day’s planetary ruler, however, on account of its ability to clear the head and encourage rational thinking. Still the world’s most popular breath-freshener and an invaluable herb to have to hand in the kitchen, it is furthermore a refreshing, cooling agent whose power to relax muscles makes mint tea an excellent digestive.

 

Be Open to Orange!

If you need to remain calm and objective before making an important decision today, infuse yourself with these Mercurial characteristics by incorporating a splash of orange – Mercury’s color – into your outfit, maybe in the form of a scarf or handkerchief.

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Herb of the Day for August 17: Peppermint

Peppermint

Mentha piperata

MEDICINAL: Peppermint cleans and strengthens the body. It acts as a sedative on the stomach and strengthens the bowels. It is also mild enough to give to children as needed for chills and colds. Used with bitter herbs to improve their taste.

RELIGIOUS:

Peppermint is used in charms to heal the sick, as well as in incenses in the sickroom of the patient. It is burned to cleanse the home, and is used in sleep pillows to aid in getting to sleep. Placed beneath the pillow, it can bring dreams that give a glimpse into the future. The essential oil is used in spells to create a positive change in one’s life.

GROWING:

Peppermint is a perennial grown in full sun, is tolerant of most soil types, and grows to 3 feet tall.

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Daily Feng Shui Tip for August 1 – ‘Lammas Cooler’

Everyone else might be dancing in honor of today’s Lughnasad, or the Celtic celebration of the upcoming harvest, but I’ll be making some magically delicious ‘Lammas Cooler’ to keep the heat away and the mystical here to stay. If you’d like to join me in this uplifting libation then you’ll need one half cup each of blueberry puree and freshly squeezed lime juice (approximately a dozen limes), three tablespoons of agave sweetener, two tablespoons of brown sugar, three cups of cold spring water and some fresh mint for garnish. Place the berries and the agave in a blender and blend until smooth. In a mixing bowl stir the puree, lime juice and the sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Divide this mixture among drinking glasses filled with crushed or shaved ice. Stir in the spring water and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Of course, it couldn’t hurt if you’d like to add a little something more potently potable. Either way, the Llamas libation is believed to banish the blues while allowing you to feel lighter, brighter and better about life in general. Now, that’s a wonderful way to start a waning summer month!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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LOVE POTION TEA

LOVE POTION TEA

 
1 pinch of rosemary
2 teaspoons of black ordinary breakfast tea
3 pinches thyme
3 pinches nutmeg
3 fresh mint leaves
6 fresh rose petals
6 lemon leaves
3 cups pure spring water
Sugar to taste
Honey
 
To make another person fall in love with you, brew this tea on a Friday during a waxing moon. Waxing = moving from dark or no moon to fullPlace all ingredients in an earthenware or copper tea kettle.
Boil three cups of pure spring water and add to the kettle. Sweeten with sugar and honey, if desired.
Before drinking, recite this magical rhyme:
 
BY LIGHT OF MOON WAXING BREW THIS TEA TO MAKE [lover's name] DESIRE ME.
 
Drink some of the tea and say:
 
GODDESS OF LOVE HEAR NOW MY PLEA
LET [lover's name] DESIRE ME!
SO MOTE IT BE
 
On the following Friday, brew another pot of the love potion tea and give some to the person you want to love you. He or she will soon begin to fall in love with you.
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Herb of the Day for April 9th – Mint

Herb of the Day for April 9th

Mint

Overview:

Plants in the mint family are very hardy perennials with vigorous growth habits. Mint, left to its own devices, will spread quickly and become a nuisance. However, it is very popular as a flavorful herb and the plants can be grown easily. Just try to chose a spot where you won’t mind the rampant growth or grow it in a confined space.

Latin Name:

Peppermints (Mentha × piperita), Spearmints (Mentha spicata).

Mature Size:

Height – 12 to 18 inches (30 – 45cm).
Width: 18 to 24 inches (45 – 60cm). However plants will spread much further.

Days to Harvest:

Seed germinates in 10 – 15 days. Full size plant depends upon variety and growing conditions. Usually within 2 months.

Exposure:

Sun / Partial Shade

USDA Hardiness Zones:

Depends on variety. Peppermint is very cold hardy, down to Zone 3. Spearmint handles the heat best, up to Zone 11.

Description:

Mint really wants to be a ground cover. The long branches grow upward and then flop over and root, spreading the plant wherever it can reach. The spikes of white or pinkish flowers are attractive, but brief. However, they do attract bees, butterflies and even birds. Most mint plants are hybrids and will not grow true from seed.

Design Suggestions:

Many mints work well in herbal lawns. They will need to be kept mowed, if you plan on walking on them. But this will help control their spread and the scent will make the work more pleasant. Otherwise I highly recommend planting mint in pots and keeping them on patios or paved areas. There will be more than enough to harvest and you won’t have the high maintenance of keeping the plants in check.

Suggested Varieties:

  • Mentha piperita , Peppermint – The best for mint flavoring. (USDA Zones 5 – 11)
  • M. piperita citrata cv., Orange Mint – One of the tangiest of the fruit flavored mints. (USDA Zones 4 – 11)
  • Mentha suaveoloens , Apple Mint – Apple. Mint. What’s not to like? (USDA Zones 5 – 11)
  • Mentha suaveolens variegata, Pineapple Mint – Variegated offshoot of apple mint. (USDA Zones 6 – 11)

Growing Tips:

Mint is one of the few culinary herbs that grows well in shady areas, although it can handle full sun if kept watered.Cuttings of mint will root easily in soil or water and mature plants can be divided and transplanted. However you can start new plants from seed. Sow outdoors in late spring or start seed indoors about 8-10 weeks before the last frost. Keep soil moist until seed germinates.

Mint prefers a rich, moist soil with a slightly acidic pH between 6.5 and 7.0. If the soil is somewhat lean, top dress yearly with organic matter and apply an organic fertilizer mid-season, after shearing.

To contain the roots and limit spreading, you can grow mint in containers, above or sunk into the ground. Be careful to keep container mints from flopping over and touching the ground. Stems will root quickly, if given the chance.

Harvesting: Snip sprigs and leaves as needed.

If you don’t harvest your mint regularly, it will benefit greatly from a shearing mid-season. At some point, you will probably notice the stems getting longer and the leaves getting shorter. That’s the time to cut the plants back by 1/3 to ½ and get them sending out fresh new foliage again. You can do small patches at a time, if you have a lot of mint, and prolong the harvest season. All cuttings can be used, dried or frozen for later use. You can use, dry or freeze the cuttings.

Pests & Problems: Sometimes gets rust, which appears like small orange spots on the undersides of leaves. Use an organic fungicide and try to allow plants to dry between waterings.

Stressed plants may also be bothered by whitefly, spider mites, aphids, mealybugs

Recipe Suggestions for Enjoying Your Fresh Mint

  • Make a Mint Julep Video
  • Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Cake Recipe
  • Pea and Mint Soup Recipe
  • Chocolate Mint Syrup
  • Mint Tea Recipe – Mint Tea with Lemon and Orange Juice
  • Fennel and Orange Salad With Mint

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APHRODISIA: A Passion Drink

APHRODISIA: A Passion Drink

1 pinch Rosemary
2 pinches Thyme
2 tsp. Black Tea
1 pinch Coriander
3 fresh Mint leaves (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
5 fresh Rosebud petals (or 1 tsp. dried)
5 fresh Lemon tree leaves (1 tsp. dried lemon peel)
3 pinches Nutmeg
3 pieces Orange peel

Place all ingredients into teapot. Boil three cups or so of water & add to the pot.
Sweeten with honey, if desired. Serve hot.

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