Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mint: Easy and Beneficial

Last year's mint
Mint is a wonderful plant. It is a perfect plant for a balcony container garden. It is so easy to grow that it is a great plant for folks who doubt their green thumbs. Not only is it a pretty and full plant, it is a beneficial plant. Mint is useful in the kitchen, makes refreshing drinks, and is reported to have a variety of health benefits.

Mint - An Easy and Vigorous Plant

The joke about me and plants is "How long until you kill it?" There are many, many plants that I cannot grow.  I am definitely not a green thumbed expert.  There are a few plants that have done well in my gardens over the years, but not many.

Mint is a great plant for beginners and people who aren't good with plants either due to lack of skill or lack of time.  It grows profusely. In fact, I think it is better suited to container gardening as mint is known to take over gardens if allowed.  I seem to only have photographs of my mint as young plants. I will have to remember to take photos of how large and bushy they become over the summer. In the second photo, you can see where I have pinched off the top few leaves for use in a smoothie.  It seems that the more I pinch, the better the plant grows.

My mint on my balcony is so hardy that when I've not watered my plants frequently enough, the other plants take some time to bounce back after I water them.  If they bounce back at all. But the mint will turn from droopy and water-deprived to lush and upright almost before my eyes.

This year's mint

Mint - the Tasty Thirst Quencher

In the heat of summer, I'm thirsty but nothing quite quenches my thirst.  Then I found that floating a few mint leaves in a glass of ice water not only tastes great, but takes care of that feeling of thirst. I moved from ice water with mint leaves to smoothies with mint leaves. Whether it is a green/fruit smoothing or a simple cucumber smoothie, they taste even better with mint added.

Reported Health Benefits of Mint

Mint reportedly soothes stomach aches. I have found this to be true.  Mint is also reportedly also soothes skin irritation via topical applications as well as providing health benefits such as antioxidants.  As I'm not a doctor, I don't know these things to be true. But I am very aware that when I am consuming smoothies, with mint, on a regular basis, I feel better physically.

Please do your own research about the health benefits of mint. Sites such as Medical News Today are easy to find and list those reported benefits with more detail.

Mint Smoothies are the Best!

I recently purchased a NutriBullet Pro, after my old blender completely wore out.  I love the NutriBullet and you can read my review here.  My favorite ingredient in smoothies is my mint. Depending on how much you use, the mint can give a subtle, refreshing bit of flavor or a BAM of strong minty freshness.

In fact. just talking about mint smoothies made me so thirsty for one that I paused while writing this in order to make one. Today's smoothie contains: a generous helping of mint, watermelon, a splash of orange juice, and a few spinach leaves.

Mint Resources

For more recipes, uses, and how-to-grow mint directions (which is a little silly since it basically grows itself once introduced to dirt), I recommend that you search for mint on Amazon. Looking at that list reminds me of how important mint is in our lives. Mint chocolate, mints, mint colored clothing, mint extract, and mint lotions, soaps, and beauty aids.

Top 50 Mint recipes

And because I am less talented in the kitchen than I am in the garden, I probably should keep a jar of mint chutney in the cupboard. If my little balcony garden ever produces enough ripe tomatoes at the same time, I plan on making some fresh tomato and mint salsa. How delicious does that sound?

Premium mint cilantro chutney


  1. I love having containers of mint around. Love catching the fragrance of mint when the breeze is just right. I've been told that mint repels ants and, while I can't swear it was the mint that did it, it seems we have fewer ants now that I keep a pot of it on the porch. As long as it is kept contained, there's absolutely nothing not to love about mint!

  2. Yes, I agree. I love the fragrance... both when I'm sitting outside and on my hands after I pick it. I do think it repels ants, but it is hard to know for sure on the third floor! :)

  3. Love the smell of mint. Your mint plants look great in your balcony garden.

  4. My husband absolutely loves mint! When we first married, he wanted to plant mint in my flower bed. Since I had never planted mint and knew nothing about it, I was perfectly fine with that. In a very short time, his mint had totally taken over the entire bed! It smelled delicious, but was impossible to eradicate from the bed. Therefore, he is now given a very large pot for his mint. I definitely enjoy it a lot more now myself!