Mint is one of the easiest plants to grow. In fact, it is considered an invasive nuisance by many. If you don’t want to find mint all over your yard, plant it in containers. You can use mint to make teas, to flavor beverages, as an ingredient in your favorite recipes AND you can also make medicine with it. YES – medicine! You have likely had an upset stomach or a stuffy nose at some point in the past year …. or known someone who has, and mint can be an ally for you.
Making your own mint tincture is easy and inexpensive to do. Because I did not have peppermint in my mint garden, I used a combination of spearmint and sweet mint; however, peppermint would have a stronger menthol content. While peppermint would have been more potent, spearmint is a nice mild alternative that is considered safe for nearly everyone (unless you have a mint allergy). Next year, I will try a peppermint tincture applying this same process.
Uses and Benefits:
May help relieve flatulence, indigestion, colic, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, and heartburn, as well as stomach, abdominal and bowel pains, and menstrual cramps. Try a few droppers full before a heavy meal to aid in digestion.
Alcohol such as vodka (I used 100 proof)
Fresh mint leaves, wilted
Glass mason jar – sterilized
* Cut as many stalks of mint as you will need leaves to fill your mason jar. Harvest from the top of the plant, cutting right above a pair of leaves to encourage new growth. If possible, harvest during the heat of the day when the plant is most pungent.
* Leave the mint stalks or leaves out overnight to wilt the plant. This will ensure the bulk of the moisture evaporates and allow any bugs to leave. I placed my stalks on white parchment paper and let them sit outside a few hours before moving them indoors.
* Remove the leaves from the stems and rough chop them to increase the surface area for extraction and release constituents.
* Place the leaves in your mason jar – approximately 2/3 full – and then cover with alcohol. The leaves will expand a little, and you may need to add more alcohol over the next few hours or days. Basically, you will want to have alcohol to the top of the jar fully covering the leaves by at least an inch or two after the leaves settle. Screw the lid on tight and label your jar with the contents and the date.
* Keep the jar in a warm place out of direct sunlight, such as in a cabinet. Shake the jar once or twice a day for 4-8 weeks.
* Strain the mixture using a tea strainer, cheesecloth, milk nut bag, etc…. anything that is sterile and will remove all the plant material from the tincture.
* Bottle and label. Alcohol-based tinctures will keep almost indefinitely if stored properly in amber bottles in a cool dark place.
DOSAGE: Up to 2 droppers full 1-3 times per day when symptoms occur.
**Contraindications (when NOT to use mint tincture)*** Spearmint and sweet mint are generally regarded as safe (GRAS); however, if you use peppermint instead you may want to avoid use on children under 8 due to the higher menthol content.
Before trying something you read on the internet, it is a good idea to do your own research and consult your physician or pharmacist. 🙂
Peace and Love!