I planted some spearmint about two years ago. It's growing strong. And if it can grow under my thumb, it's safe to say you will be just fine buying a small containter and expecting a good crop. Mint of any sorts is the sort fo thing everyone tells you not to grow because it will "take over". I'm sure it will, if you let it.
Just plant it in a container or a confined area. I have mine in a tiny little space, unconfined except for by the bed border, which is a fence on one side and rocks on teh other. And bam, I have as much spearmint and regular mint as I can use. It does not get full sun, actually not even half sun.
So what to do with this mint?
Make tea! Boil some water and throw in a handful (cut up) for about two cups of tea. Brew for 3-7 minutes. Drain and serve. It doesn't darken the water much, but it's delish!
Make flavored water. Put a few leaves (all cut up again) into a glass of water. Let sit for 30 minutes. AMAZING! I added a lemon wedge and thougth I might be at a high end establishment instead of my kitchen. Even my man commented on the surprising zing the cool water had.
Eat it plain. Yup, I eat a few leaves just for fun. It tastes great and has many beneficial properties whether you brew tea, infuse water, or chew straight from the leaf.
My mint is in full swing now, it's May 24th. It will last for months. I hope you enjoy yours. Give it a go. You won't be sorry.
Here's a list from "organic facts" website on the benefits of mint:
Antibacterial Capacity: The most common association of spearmint is with fresh breath, but its role in mouthwashes and toothpastes are not solely to keep your breath smelling good. The natural antibacterial and antimicrobial nature of menthol and other organic compounds in spearmint can help to protect your mouth and throat from infections, including those that can damage dental and gum health. Furthermore, bad breath, which is caused by bacteria below the gums, so spearmint keeps you healthy and smelling great!
Respiratory Health: Spearmint tea has a significant impact on the health of your respiratory system due to its naturally soothing and anti-inflammatory qualities. It can help to relieve sore throats and tightness in the chest, alleviating congestion and irritation. Spearmint’s powerful aroma can also help to clear up sinuses and even increase mental clarity.
Digestion: Spearmint has a number of roles to play in the digestive system, particularly as a gentle tonic to ease upset stomachs. It is popular during pregnancy to prevent nausea and vomiting, but can also be used by others suffering from such gastrointestinal issues as excess gas, cramping, or bloating. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) seems to be increasing in recent years, and spearmint tea or chewing directly on spearmint leaves is often recommended to treat or manage that condition more effectively.
Hormonal Balance: The powerful organic compounds in spearmint can inhibit and stimulate the endocrine system in different ways, helping to optimize your hormonal balance and preventing the complicated metabolic side effects, including hirsutism, by reducing excessive testosterone levels in females.
Circulation: The iron in a single serving of spearmint is more than 100% of the daily recommended amount, which can stimulate the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin. This not only prevents anemia, but also increases circulation to the body’s extremities, boosting energy levels and wound healing.
Heart Health: The high potassium levels found in spearmint are crucial to maintaining healthy blood pressure; potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it relieves the stress on blood vessels and arteries, therefore helping to prevent strokes, and heart attacks.
Stress Relief: Menthol, one of the most powerful active ingredients in spearmint, has a soothing, almost sedative effect on the body, which has been known to produce arelaxed state. If you suffer from chronic stress, a cup of spearmint tea can help to ease your mind and eliminate the negative effects of stress hormones on your body’s systems.
A Word of Warning: Some individuals are highly sensitive to mint and may experience allergic reactions when touching or consuming the herb. While these reactions are usually mild (rash, throat irritation, headache, or dizziness) it is still best to avoid this herb if you do suffer from the allergy and find other natural remedies for your various health concerns.
Debbie Krejci E-RYT
become a yoga teacher