Mint is one of the heartiest and widespread herbs in the world. Catnip is actually a type of mint, as are lemon balm, the ever controversial marijuana and ground ivy.
Regardless of politics, mint is also one of the few herbs recognized in the western world as having valid medical uses. The menthol in cough drops, with which I’ve been very familiar the past couple of days, is actually derived from mint. It clears the nasal passages and soothes coughing.
It’s often used as a remedy for upset stomachs, as well. That’s because it’s actually a mild antispasmodic, which means it relaxes muscles. Mint works on the muscles lining the stomach, intestinal tract and uterus.
Different mints have different uses, as well. Peppermint, for example, is ideal for upset stomachs, because of its oil content. Catnip, on the other hand, is great for cold/flu symptoms. Your cats will also love you even more if you give them some, too. The leaves from ground ivy can be brewed into a tea to help with respiratory problems, as well.
I’ve used it in crafts before, as well. I’m fond of the aesthetic, but dried leaves and flowers keep their aroma, which makes them wonderful for dream pillows and potpourri. I’ll probably collect some mint flowers when they bloom, press them, and see if I can somehow incorporate them into some sort of paper craft.
If you’re interested in the more alternative health uses of mint, and other herbs, you might find these articles of use: