Watermint (Mentha aquatica)

We found this little herb growing profusely along my local stream way. Like other members of the mint family is shares the distinctive aroma, square stems and whorls of little flowers. In common with other mints it loves to grow with its feet in the water and its head in the sun and, left to its own devices, spreads like mad!

Watermint, like all the mint family, is edible, has medicinal properties and is very high in antioxidants. It is such a simple herb to use, the leaves can be plucked straight from the plant and chewed to freshen breath and relieve sore throats and nasal congestion. Try adding them to salads or brewing a handful of the leaves in hot water and drinking as a tea. Don’t forget to cover the leaves if adding hot water though, as the volatile essential oils have a tendency to evaporate otherwise.

I use mint internally predominantly for digestive complaints. It is an excellent remedy for stomach ache and abdominal cramps as it has a relaxing effect on smooth muscle and increases bile production hence aiding digestion. I apply the essential oil topically in creams and massage oils when someone has muscular aches and pains associated with injury as it bring cooling relief and may increase pain threshold.