SPEARMINT – 50 seeds
Spearmint is a medium growing evergreen, with an upright, spreading habit from 40-90cm high. The bright green foliage is highly aromatic and is supported on the typical square stems belonging to the mint family. The serrated leaves are spear-shaped with a pointed end, providing the origins of the name spearmint. The large leaves are also bumpy and quite textured with visible veins and a prominent midrib. Leaf size may reach 5-9cm long and 1.5-3cm wide.
Spearmint has a cooling effect on the palate. Spearmint works well with peas, vegetable and fruit salads, or meat, poultry and fish dishes. It does equally well with desserts, herbal tea and cold drinks. It is very easy to pick a few leaves and simply add to any type of lemonade or a cool drink for an exotic effect. The leaves should be used fresh or added to dishes at the last minute as the flavour diminishes quickly after harvesting and upon cooking.
Spearmint has a long history of medicinal use, although it contains less menthol than Peppermint and some other varieties. The main active constituent in Spearmint is carvone, which provides a distinctive aroma. Traditionally, Spearmint was considered antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, mildly analgesic, antispasmodic, carminative, effective for stomach complaints, used for regulating menstrual cycles, to treat headaches and insomnia, as an insecticide, and as a restorative and stimulant.
Today, Spearmint may be used as a herbal tea and is useful for repelling insects and easing the itch or pain from insect bites. It may also be used to treat minor skin irritations or wounds due to its antiseptic properties. Minor relief may be obtained for swelling due to bruises or arthritis. Most commonly, Spearmint is used as many other mints as a digestive aid, as a calming relaxant or to assist with insomnia and headaches.
Propagation notes will be supplied with a seed packet.
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