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by Susun Weed

Peppermint, and all its sisters help bring health to the digestive tract, including the stomach, liver, gall bladder, and intestines. Mint tea is a popular after-meal drink around the world. It helps prevent heartburn and counters the formation of gas.

Herbalists say mint is pain-killing (anodyne), relieving of spasms and cramps (antispasmotic) especially in the abdominal area, able to expel intestinal gas (carminative), helpful in digesting fats and increasing the output of bile (cholagogue), cooling, useful to counter nausea, and tonifying. Mint is one the world's most cherished headache remedies. It is also known as a mild aphrodisiac.

Gardeners will be pleased to learn that mints are perennial; once established they will grow for years. Most will spread lustily, too, so be forewarned. There are dozens of varieties of mint to choose from: orange mint, after-dinner mint, curly mint, spearmint, and many more. Mints grow well in pots, though they tend to die out after a few years. Mint seeds are tiny and difficult to work with, so ask a friend for a cutting of any mint, soak it in water until roots form, then plant it.

Mints need more water than other members of their family, which are acclimated to dry soils. In the wild, look for mint in drainage ditches and wet meadows. Mints like full sun; unless you are in the bazaar in old Jerusalem. Then you must look for it in the shade.

Do look. You will find some sort of wild mint growing around you, for, as we know, green blessings abound.

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