We all know spearmint’s value as a flavoring and an aromatic herb. The name “Spearmint? comes from the shape of its leaves. As a flavoring, it is popularly used for gums, toothpastes, mojitos and candy. Many people enjoy fresh spearmint in their lemonade. It is used in the kitchen as a flavoring for meat, rice and desserts. Spearmint is popular in herbal blends too. Like peppermint, spearmint is a great additive to teas, or it can be used alone. It is high in antioxidants and may be used to reduce congestion in those suffering from colds. Spearmint is valued for its essential oil, which can be used in aromatherapy. But even the dried herb has strong aromatic properties. Add it to your dream pillows or even your bath water as people have been doing for centuries. Spearmint has calming properties and benefits the stomach. It reportedly stimulates digestion, reduces gas and is a common herbal remedy for nausea. Spearmint has been shown to have anti-fungal properties as well.
Growing Information: Spearmint prefers a fertile, organic soil with steady moisture. Sow your seeds on the surface of the soil and lightly press them in. Do not cover them with soil. Maintain a steady, even moisture. Because they start off so small, many growers recommend starting them indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost to get a head start on the season. An alternating temperature between cool and warm is said to have the best effect on germination. They should only be grown in pots because they will spread rampantly if the roots are not contained. Full or partial sun is fine. Leaves can be harvested in small amounts as needed throughout the growing season. Large amounts can be taken a few times a year by cutting the plants back. This will also encourage root growth so the plant becomes more established.
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