Apple Mint scientifically known as Mentha suaveolens is also known as apple mint, woolly mint or round-leafed mint. It belongs to the scientific family Lamiaceae that also includes many of the other important aromatic cooking herbs, like basil, rosemary, sage, oregano, and catnip. It is a perennial plant belongs to the genus of Mentha. The plant is native to southern and western Europe including the Mediterranean region and is naturalized in central and northern parts of Europe. Other names occasionally used include Apple mint, Pineapple mint, Round-leaf mint, Round-leaved mint, Big-leaved mint, horse mint and woolly mint.
Genus name comes from Minthe or Menthe, a water nymph in Greek mythology, who was transformed by Persephone into a mint plant in revenge for Minthe’s ongoing affair with Hades, husband of Persephone. This is how it came to be called “mint”. Specific epithet means sweet-scented. Both the leaves and stems of Apple mint are covered in fine hairs, hence its nickname wooly mint. Consider planting apple mint alongside cabbage, peas, tomatoes and broccoli to improve their flavor.
Apple mint typically grows to a height of from 40 to 100 centimetres tall and spreads by stolons to form clonal colonies. The foliage is light green, with the opposite, wrinkled, sessile leaves being oblong to nearly ovate, 3 to 5 cm long and 2 to 4 cm broad. They are somewhat hairy on top and downy underneath with serrated edges. The flowers develop in terminal spikes 4 to 9 cm long and consisting of a number of whorls of white or pinkish flowers. Apple mint flowers in mid to late summer. The plant is aromatic with a fruity, minty flavour.
Round leafed mint, like many other members of this genus, is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses. Being rich in Nutrients and Minerals like Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, is used in medicines in many parts of the world like Africa, Asia, Europe, and America.
Flowers of the Apple Mint can be used to make tea which will cure problems related to digestive system such as stomach upset, indigestion and worms in the intestine.
Oil extracted from the leaves reduce fever and is used for aromatherapy to heal colds, flu, asthma, and other respiratory sickness.
This oil is antiseptic in nature that is used widely for many medical purposes. They bring about a cooling effect on the affected part of the body.
Apple mint is rich in Vitamin A and C and is also said to contain minimal amount of Vitamin B2. These act as antioxidants which helps in preventing cancer cell formation in colon and rectal.
An essential oil is obtained from the whole plant. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.
The crushed leaves of this plant are said to eliminate the pain caused by bee sting, wasp stings and other insect bites. They bring about a cooling effect on the affected part of the body.
Traditional Uses of Apple Mint:
- Is used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued particularly for its antiseptic properties.
- Essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.
- Tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments.
- Tea also aids in alleviating stomach aches, various ailments, such as intestinal disorders, and an assortment of other health conditions.
- Monks believed that you could use the herb to treat the fatigue that followed epileptic seizures.
- This herbal tea also aids in breaking down ingested fats and augmenting the level of metabolism.
- The mint leaves contains nutrients like iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin A and C which replenish our body.
- Leaves have anti-cancer properties.
- Mint tea is also useful for refreshing the head and curing headaches.
- Powdered leaves can be used to whiten the teeth.
- At some places, medicinal tea is prepared with apple mint leaves to treat inflamed gums.
- Essential oil extracted from the leaves is used in aromatherapy to cure acne, colic, cramp, colds, flu, stress, shock, asthma and travel sickness.
- Oil extracted from the leaves is used in aromatherapy to heal acne, cramp, colds, flu, stress, shock, asthma and travel sickness.
- Flowers can be used to make tea which if consumed promotes digestion, cures many ailments such as intestine problems, stomach pain and refreshes the mind.
- Researchers using essential oil of apple mint show promise for treating vaginal candidiasis.
Culinary Uses of Apple Mint:
- Various recipes using mint leaves are also popular in many countries of the world.
- Beverage base for preparing a herbal tea.
- Leaves can be consumed raw or cooked as a potherb.
- It is used as a flavoring in salads or cooked foods.
- Leaves have a similar flavor to spearmint, and are considered to be superior in flavor to that species but are also hairy, which makes them less suitable for garnishing.
- Used in making ice tea, jelly, and mint tea.
- It is used as a flavoring in dishes such as Apple Mint couscous.
- These can also be used as salads and in cooked foods to add essence.
- Apple Mint can be used in preparing jams, jellies, tea, sauces and desserts.
- Dried form of apple mint leaves can be used to prepare delicious potpourri.
- Leaves can also be used in making fruit salads.
- Apple Mint can be used in preparing jams, jellies, sauces and desserts.
- They can be added to cottage cheese and cream cheese.
- It may also be used to add flavor to syrup and ice cream.
- They are a tacky addition to Mediterranean cuisines, vinaigrettes and sauces.
- They are also used in making chewing gums, candies and mint chocolates.
- Certain alcoholic drinks carry a pinch of Apple Mint.
Other Uses of Apple Mint:
- An essential oil is obtained from the whole plant.
- Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint.
- Plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.
- In early times, the Greeks used Apple Mint to clean their banqueting tables and also added it to their baths to rejuvenate their bodies.
- This flower was used as a floral spectacle was in full bloom in the Olympic Games 2012.
- When mixed with Camper, can be used to produce mosquito repellant
- Mint oil is also used as an environmentally-friendly insecticide for its ability to kill some common pests like wasps, hornets, ants and cockroaches.
- The herb was strewn across floors to cover the smell of the hard-packed soil.
- Commercial utilization involves usage in breath fresheners and toothpaste.