Mint Teas

The large Mint family is identified by the horizontally opposite leaves on a square stem. Many of them are very aromatic, and many make a fine hot or iced drink. Cat Nip may also alter the disposition of your favorite Feline.

Some Mints are considered Medicinal Herbs and contain elements which may effect your health negatively or positively, or may not be  compatible with other medication. It is always best to consult your Physician before ingesting these compounds.

These 9 Mint sprigs are all different and have different fragrances.
3 or 4 sprigs simmered in a cup of water produce a popular tea.

"Blue Balsam" Mint with a 38-inch root.
Mints are generally found in damp and shady places. But their underground meandering roots will search out a home of their preference, sending up new plants along the way. Because of this habit, you may want to plant them in Raised Beds where their roots will probably stay within the raised border.

The plants will become more dense if you harvest the top half early in the spring when they are about 8" high. After this initial harvest, the Mints may benefit from topping them with a lawn mower set to three inches. This should produce twice as many new shoots, and allow a second, larger harvesting.

Place the harvest in a dehydrator or oven set on the lowest heat. Keep the door ajar to allow moisture to escape. Remove the Mint when its leaves crumble under finger pressure. It can then be kept in a sealed mason jar or plastic container. You may prefer to freeze the fresh harvest in plastic bags.

Spittle Bugs tend to choose Mints for a home, so you may want to harvest only the tip plus one pair of mature leaves (as shown above). These will have grown since the adult Leaf Hopper laid its egg where the bubbly mass is now created by the larvae to protect itself from predators.

These bubbly masses may be removed with the stream of water from a garden hose. Little damage is done by the Spittle Bug, except to put tiny punctures in the plant where it extracts the copious juices.