Mint or Lamiaceae are a family of flowering plants commonly known as the mint or nettle Family. Many of the plants are aromatic and include widely used culinary herbs, such as basil, mint, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, thyme and lavender. Mint was used not only for its aromatic qualities, but also its ease of cultivation, since it is grown in a wide range of soils, are resistant to disease and drought, and readily propagated by stem cuttings.
Native to Eurasia, North America, southern Africa, and Australia, mints are widely distributed throughout the temperate areas of the world and have naturalized in many places.
In ancient Greece mint was an essential element in the fermented barley drink called the Kykeon. Mentioned in the Iliad and the Odyssey the Kykeon was both treasured by the Greek peasants and used to break the sacred fast of the Eleusinian Mysteries which offered hope in the afterlife for initiates.
Mint gets its name from the river nymph of Greek Mythology, Minthe, who was transformed into plant by jealous Persephone when she found out that her husband Hades had fallen in love with her.
The aromatic herb was used by the Greeks and Romans as a stimulant in their bathes, to aid digestion, and as a mouth freshener. Prized for its culinary and rejuvenating properties throughout Medieval times and into the present day, many members of the family are widely cultivated. Peppermint oil is a carminative and digestive, and helps to relieve minor digestive issues flatulence and nausea.
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