15 Uses for Mint

Discover 15 handy household uses for mint, an easy-to-grow herb.


| March/April 2013



15 uses for mint


A true botanical wonder, mint is a breeze to care for, and its pleasing aroma makes it a welcome addition to the garden. The best part about this easy-to-grow herb is its usefulness. Mint makes a delicious addition to meals, a healthful tea, a fragrant potpourri and an insect-deterring spray. This sweet-smelling plant also has soothing and anesthetic properties that make it a great fit for homemade body-care products. To grow mint, get a cutting from a friend or purchase a starter plant at a nursery. (Mint doesn’t reproduce true from seed.) Mint can actually be too easy to grow—it sometimes takes over the garden—so give this attractive ground cover plenty of room to spread, or plant it in a container.

1. All aBuzz: Growing mint will keep your yard and garden buzzing with beneficial insects. Mint is rich in nectar and pollen, and its small flower clusters keep these sweet treats easily accessible for helpful bugs such as honeybees and hoverflies.

2. Bug Off: While it attracts “good bugs,” mint also deters “bad bugs.” Repel ants and flies by growing pennyroyal mint right outside your door, or spray diluted peppermint essential oil (10 parts water to one part oil) around doorways and windows.

3. Flea Free: Keep pets free of bothersome fleas with this homemade repellent: Bundle 2 parts fresh spearmint, 1 part fresh thyme and 1 part fresh wormwood, and tuck it inside a small pillow. Place the pillow near your pet’s bed or another favorite resting place.

4. Room Refresher: Keep your home smelling fresh by adding a few drops of mint essential oil to your favorite homemade or unscented store-bought cleaner. Try this simple floor cleaning solution, good for wood, concrete or tile floors: Dilute a cup of white vinegar in a gallon of water and add 3 to 5 drops of mint essential oil.

5. Beverage Booster: Mint is refreshing in iced beverages. Add sprigs of fresh mint to a pitcher of water or plain iced tea, let it sit for 30 minutes or more, and serve it over ice. If you enjoy cocktails, mix fresh mint into homemade juleps or mojitos.





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