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Mint

From Academic Kids

This article the herb. See Mint (disambiguation) for other meanings.
Mint
Missing image
MintPlant.jpg
Mint


Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Lamiales
Family:Lamiaceae
Genus:Mentha
Species

Mentha aquatica
Mentha arvensis
Mentha citrata
Mentha longifolia
Mentha x piperita
Mentha pulegium
Mentha requienii
Mentha spicata
Mentha suaveolens

The true Mints are perennial herbs in the family Lamiaceae. They are used to flavor food, candy, teas, breath fresheners, antiseptic mouth rinses, and toothpaste. All of them are included in the genus Mentha (In common usage, just about any plant with fragrant leaves may be erroneously called a mint).

The underlying minty scent is due to menthol. Mints are generally vigorous, spreading plants that tolerate a wide range of conditions. There are hundreds of varieties but only fifteen are common. Seven of these varieties are from Australia, the others are Eurasian.

Peppermint (large leaves) and Corsican mint plants.
Enlarge
Peppermint (large leaves) and Corsican mint plants.

Some common species and varieties:

The variety sold as "pineapple mint" is particularly mild and popular.

Japanese Peppermint is a major commercial source of menthol.

Pennyroyal is a member of the genus, and resembles other mints, but has a much stronger odor and flavor. It also has potentially harmful medicinal effects. Its characteristic scent is from pulegiol.

Corsican mint is unusual in being a low, mossy groundcover (it smells like pennyroyal).

Vietnamese mint, commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine, is not a member of the mint family.

Mint was originally used as a medicinal herb that was viewed as a cure for stomach and chest pains. Mint was brought to North America by early settlers and became commonly used as a flavoring.

See also

External links

de:Minzen fr:Menthe ja:ミント pl:mięta fi:Minttu sv:Mynta

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