Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Deities: Oya, Obatala, Nana Buruku, Ellegua, St. Jude
Element: Peppermint (fire), Spearmint (water)
Mint reminds us not to lose hope; we can thrive and prosper, no matter what our current growing conditions may be.
Mint is one of the most popular culinary and medicinal herbs in the US. Who hasn’t had a cup of mint tea to soothe a troubled stomach? Mints come from the genus Mentha which is comprised of somewhere between 13 and 18 species. The number varies because, as any gardener can tell you, mints hybridize naturally and the distinction between them may be difficult to discern. Many cultivated varieties exist and can be found growing all over the world.
Generally, mints are highly aromatic, perennial herbaceous plants that tend to grow well in wet soils. If allowed, mints may take over an area and therefore are popular container garden plants. Two of the best known mints are peppermint, Mentha piperita, and spearmint, Mentha spicata. While there are other, non-Mentha species that carry the mint common name, only members of the Mentha genus will be considered in this article.
Mint is an excellent remedy for all sorts of digestive distress, soothing the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. It is also of great assistance during cold and flu season. Besides being antibacterial and antiviral, mint is known to dry up excessive congestion in the head and lungs and help break a fever. Some have also have reported using mint successfully to ease menstrual cramp pain.
Used externally, mint is both analgesic and anesthetic for a variety of ailments including headache, joint ailments and bug bites. Don’t let mint fool you…just because it is gentle enough for kids, doesn’t mean mint isn’t a powerful healer.
Mint is invigorating, restoring our ability to hope. It opens up the breath and heart chakra and revives the mind. Mint gets us moving. Get up and get busy with the business of life. If you are feeling depressed or lazy, get some mint into your life immediately. Mint doesn’t allow poor growing conditions to hold it back and you should do the same. Mint commands us to thrive.
Mint helps dry up excess emotions and is beneficial for use during the grieving process. In ancient Greece, mint was used in funerary rites. Mint is also strongly connected to prosperity. St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes, has an affinity to mint. Greek mythology connects mint with a water spirit named Minthe, who was transformed into the mint plant by either Persephone or Hades, depending on who is telling the story.
Mint energy can be helpful during karmic clearing ceremonies. In one case, a client was dealing with an emotionally overwhelming death of a family member. the client drank mint tea as the clearing was being performed. Mint opened the client’s heart chakra and allowed them to release the pain.
Imagine mint’s symbol on a flag, similar to a Tibetan prayer flag, blowing in the wind. Often, just walking past a thriving plant will allow you to receive a dose of mint medicine. Mint gets added to many of my tea blends and this symbol can be used to energize the mixtures with a touch of hope.