Medicinal uses for mint

My herb garden has a tendency to take over the rest of my garden! I blame myself of course. It seems like I plant a lot of herbs that sort of run wild and spread, especially the catnip, lemon balm and Valerian! The one herb that I managed to plant correctly though is mint. That's actually a rather unfortunate situation though because while my mint has remained perfectly contained in it's planter, I would actually love for it to spread a bit!

10 medicinal uses for mint herb/tea

I have been growing mint for about 8 years now. I've had the same plant the whole time. It's been so long that I can't actually remember what variety of mint I planted, but it does work very well in both foods and medicine. 

Mint is a perennial and will last for many years with very little care. It also has a tendency to spread and take over the garden as I discussed in 9 Herbs that want to take over your garden.

Though mint is mostly known for its use in candy and dental care products, it's oldest reference has to do with it being used like currency because of it's high value. In ancient Athens mint was used to perfume the arms.

Mentha (also known as mint, from Greek míntha, is a genus of plants in the family Lamiaceae (mint family). It is estimated that 13 to 18 species exist, and the exact distinction between species is still unclear. Basil, catnip and lemon balm are also members of the mint family and all are pretty well known for their medicinal qualities. 

Mint is a natural anti-inflammatory, has antimicrobial properties and is very high in antioxidants. It can be used to soothe the stomach, ease the pain of a headache, reduce oil production on skin or take the pinch out of a bug bite. 

See how much more it does then just taste good when added to gum? The best part is, mint needs so little care that we can grow it just by tossing it in the garden and waiting for rain. We're growing our own medicine without even trying. How convenient is that? 

Medicinal uses for mint

Mint can be used to soothe several different ailments. The most common way to use the mint herb is in a tea.  Add 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped mint to boiling water and steep for about 5 minutes then strain.

1) Although peppermint is the most potent member of the mint family all varieties of mint can help settle an upset stomach. Sip slowly to help with digestive issues. Mints antispasmodic properties can also help prevent nausea. 

2) Improve oral health. Mint is naturally anti-microbial and is added to dental products like toothpaste and mouthwash to take advantage of this effect. Chew on a few mint leaves or make your own homemade peppermint toothpaste like this one from Wellness Mama

medicinal mint tea

3) Allergy relief. Naturally antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe mild allergies.

4) Mint is a natural decongestant which can help when you're congested from a common cold. The menthol in mint acts as a natural relaxant to open up the airways. Drinking warm mint tea can also soothe the throat. 

5) Peppermint oil can relieve the pain from tension headaches. I use it in my headache relief oil. Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with a carrier oil (I like coconut oil) and massage gently into temples and across the back of neck. 

6) Itch relief. Mints anti inflammatory properties can help relive the pain an itch of a bug bite. Crush a fresh mint leaf and rub on the affected area for relief.

7) Muscle relaxant. The menthol in mint acts as a natural muscle relaxant for sore or stiff muscles. To use toss a handful or two of fresh mint into the bathtub as the tub fills. Soak for 20 minutes.

8) The scent and taste of peppermint can help curb your appetite. To get this effect you simply have to smell the scent of mint, though many people find chewing mint gum helps appetite control even more!

mint growing in container

9) Aromatherapy: Mint is an energizing scent and can help to increase alertness. It also helps concentration and improves mood.

10) Clear up oily skin/blackheads. Mints antibacterial and astringent qualities can actually help clear up your skin! Mint also contains salicylic acid which is often used in skin care products to prevent breakouts. 

To help eliminate blackheads and reduce skin surface oil, crush fresh mint leaves and mix with water. Apply to face as a mask and allow to set for 10 minutes. Rinse off.

Mint can be used in many ways for your skin. Check out these 5 homemade face masks with mint.

As you can see mint can really come in handy as a medicinal herb on the homestead. WebMD even has a full profile on it! As I mentioned earlier though, mint can be terribly invasive so it's best to grow mint in a container...unless you're ok with a garden full of mint! 

Don't have a garden? That's can still be grown indoors along with many other medicinal herbs!


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I am not a doctor or other health care professional nor do I claim to be. I am not trained in any medical field. I am simply passing on information that has worked for me. This information is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any medical condition. see a Dr if you are ill. Click for my full disclaimer.


  1. I love mint and grow several. Most of them are in containers, but I really wanted more Chocolate Mint so I built a small raised bed just for the mint. I also have Lemon Balm in it. So, if you can, build yourself a little raised bed just for your mints so you can have more.

  2. Thank you so very much! I planted one little peppermint plant in 2014, and it now owns the shady areas of the backyard. Which is great when the pups play in it because they come inside smelling wonderful!

    Thanks to you, I now see how I can use it, as well. Thank you!

    1. Awesome! I just moved my mint to an area it can take over. My dog plays in the lemon balm and he comes in smelling good too....I hope he starts doing with the mint because that's my favorite.