Now is the perfect time of year to present one of our favorite household herbs: mint! Cool fresh mint is amazing for summertime in our teas, cocktails, salads and savory dishes. Mint is also an important herb in the herbal formulas of Traditional Chinese Medicine. What are some of the qualities and indications of our fresh green friend? Here are a few sprigs of knowledge to grow our appreciation for this popular plant.
In Chinese Medicine Mint, known as Bo He, has an interesting category. It is considered aromatic, acrid and cool. In this case, “acrid” or “spicy” refers to its stimulating, dispersing quality. Both cool and warm natured herbs can be categorized as “acrid”. It takes a special kind of personality to be classed as “spicy-cool”. How cool is that?
The aromatic coolness of mint is beneficial for the lungs and the liver. It helps sooth hot, itchy eyes and throat. It can help relieve headaches and soothe cough. Mint helps expel stagnated wastes and promotes the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body.
Mint is a great herb to accompany summer fun. I recommend using mint fresh, or steeped in a light tea. Be mindful not to overcook this delicate plant, as its fragrant qualities are easily boiled away. if you wish to crush or muddle your mind, be gentle! Light muddling will release its sweet aromatic oils, but vigorous crushing will turn it bitter. Be nice to your mint and it will return the favor.
Cheers to your summer fun and smooth flowing Qi! May you stay active and invigorated. When you are ready to chill with an aromatic refreshment, be sure to keep mint in mind.