I'm so excited to have this Herbal School available to all of you to share my knowledge! I also plan to send additional emails from time to time to tell you about new things I've learned (coming up - oil cleansing!)
This March we are focusing on MINT, and this week we will talk about the historical and traditional uses of the plant.
Here’s a little background:
Mint’s family is called “Lamiaceae”; the Deadnettle family, which sounds as badass as it is. There are over two dozen different species of mint and HUNDREDS of cultivars (varieties).
Mint likes to do this thing where when it’s near another mint of a different variety, it will make beautiful new babies together of an entirely new variety. This is how we get cool things like “chocolate” mints that actually smell like chocolate - they’re very easy to selectively breed.
They also meld together so much in the wild that, once you’ve identified a plant as a mint, it is usually quite difficult to pinpoint which TYPE…
but we will learn more about how to identify wild mint in an upcoming newsletter.
Peppermint is the most popular type of mint. It, along with field or wild mint have grown wild in North America and Europe since the 17th century.
Other popular mint types are pennyroyal (which should be avoided if you are pregnant!) and spearmint.
History & Folklore - Roman and Greek Mythology:
“Mints are held sacred to the diety Minthe, once a lover of the god Pluto. … [They were] anciently an honored herbe, considered worthy of use as payment to the Pharisees, and used by the Romans to crown themselves at great celebrations.” - Paul Beyerl
The name “Mentha” or “mint” actually came from the diety Minthe that Beyerl was talking about. According to Greek mythology, Minthe used to be a distractingly beautiful wood nymph. She caught the eye of Pluto and his wife Persephone was so jealous of the attention Pluto gave Minthe that she turned her into a plant. Pluto wanted to change her back but could not reverse his wife’s spell, so instead he was able to make her smell nice so that she would never go unnoticed. How kind!
Mint also became a symbol of hospitality in mythological Greece. The gods Zeus and Hermes were travelling and were only greeted by one old couple in a village they were visiting and ignored by everyone else. The couple invited the two into their home and offered them a meal. Before serving the meal, they rubbed their table down with fresh mint to clean it. They liked it so much they brought the sentiment back with them and associated the smell with their hospitality.
Other minty facts:
- After Gladiatorial events, Romans used to honour their victors by covering the streets with spearmint leaves
- Both Romans and Greeks used to wear wreathes made of mint for scholarly events as the mint’s properties improved their mental clarity and alertness.
Where Soothsayer uses mint:
Energy mist uses essential oils of citrus fruits and peppermint to help you wake up in the morning and stay up in the afternoon!
If you have any questions about the use of Mint in herbal medicine (or questions about anything, really!) Hit the comment button and I'd love to have a discussion with you!
I hope you all enjoyed the first Soothsayer Herbal School session! If you know of a friend who would love to learn about this stuff, forward this link to them or send them the newsletter sign up link! Next week’s session - the topical uses of mint. (You’ll want to read this one if you have migraine issues!)