Apple Mint

Apple mint is a herbaceous and perennial plant of genus Mentha. It has bright green leaves which are fuzzy, sessile, and oblong or ovate in shape. This herb exudes several medicinal and culinary uses. The leaves and stems of the plant are specified with delicate hairs, therefore it is also termed as wolly mint. The herb is characterized by the flower of light purple to pinkish color that blooms during mid to late summer. This mint is less flavored in comparison to other members of the family. The plant can grow up to a height of 40-100 cm, and its leaves are aromatic (sweet scent) along with a fruity flavor.

Distribution & History

This plant is endemic to Europe and cultivated as a popular garden herb. It was also used to control pests in castles, homes, markets, and monasteries. It also widely grows in the temperate areas and Mediterranean regions. The monks in the old monasteries had used it for treating epileptic fits as it was believed to be a refreshing agent for the brain. In ancient times, Greeks were using this mint to clean their banqueting tables as well as regularly add it to bathtub or bathing area to rejuvenate the body.

These plants demand moist soil and full to partial sun for their growing condition. These days it is being grown in most of the regions/nations of the world. This herb has a quality of spreading aggressively in the field or garden due to its underground rhizomes.

Scientific Name

Mentha suaveolens

Nutrition Content

Nutrients Value
Protein 3.75 g
Energy 70 Kcal
Cholesterol 0 mg
Carbohydrates 14.79 g
Dietary Fiber 8 g
Total Fat 0.94 g
Niacin 1.706 mg
Pyridoxine 0.129 mg
Thiamin 0.082 mg
Folates 114 µg
Pantothenic Acid 0.338 mg
Vitamin C 31.8 mg
Riboflavin 0.266 mg
Vitamin A 4248 IU
Potassium 569 mg
Iron 5.08 mg
Magnesium 80 mg
Calcium 243 mg
Zinc 1.11 mg
Copper 329 µg
Manganese 1.176 mg
Sodium 31 mg

Health Advantages

  • The powdered or crushed leaves of the plant are used to reduce the pain of bee sting, insect bites, and wasp stings
  • They are natural coolant
  • Helps in reducing stomach pain and other intestinal problems
  • Refreshes the mind
  • The tea prepared from its flower promotes digestion
  • Leaves aid in breaking down the process of fat and cholesterol which consequently enhances the rate of metabolism
  • The leaves contain various nutrients and minerals such as potassium, iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and calcium which are crucial components required by the body
  • Possesses anti-cancerous properties
  • Crushed leaves are utilized to nourish and whiten the teeth
  • The essential oil has pervasive use in aromatherapy to treat colic cramp, stress, shock, acne, asthma, flu, travel sickness and colds
  • Holds antiseptic features
  • Helps in improving digestion
  • Reduces fever and headaches

Harms and Side Effects

  • Causes allergies to people who have asthma or are sensitive to menthol
  • Excessive consumption may lead to cramps, tremors, diarrhea, muscle ache, and drowsiness
  • Overconsumption can cause several stomach disturbances

Uses

  • Used to extract essential oils
  • Used as an ornamental plant
  • Utilized for preparing mint tea and jelly
  • Added in salads and soups
  • Leaves are used in ice tea
  • Used as garnishing component

During Pregnancy

It is suggested by doctors to avoid the consumption of apple mint during pregnancy. This herbaceous plant can cause abortion or miscarriage. Therefore, one should take advice from a doctor before adding this to their diet. However, it has some benefits also if expecting mothers will consume in a moderate amount like it soothes the stomach, detoxifies the body as well as relieves depression and stress.

How to Prepare?

  • Choose fresh leaves, if you want to take soft stems as well then select them also
  • Rinse the leaves in cold water
  • Arrange in the symmetrical sequence of sprig or leaves for slicing
  • Cut or crush the leaves as per your requirement with the help of a knife or kitchen scissors
  • You can also use the leaves as it is without cutting
  • Add in the different cuisines
  • You can also prepare chutney from its leaves

Recipes

  • Apple mint limeade
  • Milkshake
  • Marshmallows
  • Ice tea
  • Lemon verbena
  • Salsa
  • Jelly
  • Smoothie
  • Punch
  • Jam
  • Sorbet
  • Apple mint couscous
  • Apple mint with quick oats
  • Pudding
  • Cake
  • Pie
  • Cookies
  • Chocolate
  • Cheesecake
  • Ice Cream

Interesting Facts

  • Rodents cannot tolerate the strong aroma of this plant
  • Due to its strong fragrance and flavor, it is widely used in manufacturing ice cream
  • The flower was used as a floral spectacle in the Olympic Games 2012

Storage

  • Wash the fresh leaves in cold water
  • Let them dry for a while
  • Arrange the branches into a loose, small bunch
  • Tie the base of the stem
  • Put those bunches in a paper sack having air circulation holes
  • Now, close the sack
  • Place that paper bag in a dry area which is ventilated
  • The leaves will be crispy and dry
  • Shake the bag to loosen the leaves from the stem
  • Put them into an airtight container
  • Keep the vessel/container in the cold, dry and dark room
  • The green leaves can also be preserved in the refrigerator by wrapping into the plastic bag

References

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