1 October 2011,
After working outside on this raw, bone chilling day, I find myself sipping on peppermint tea to help ease into this soggy autumn and attempt to ward off what feels like an impending cold. Being that it is a Saturday night, I realize I could be imbibing on more interesting mint beverages such as Cuban mojitos, mint chocolate Irish creme coffee, or Jim Duke’s Creme de’mentia* (see recipe below), but on this wet, cold night, peppermint tea suits me fine.
The Green Farmacy Garden is teeming with many species in the mint family, Lamiaceae, and I have often felt if we could make a mint on the mints, all of our garden expense woes would be gone. The garden has a litany of mints for various indications, and they come in a panoply of styles, aromas and tastes.
(disclaimer – the below is not intended to treat – but rather to to educate about the traditional uses and/or research of medicinal herbs)
In our garden plots we have:
mints for memory – rosemary (Shakespeare’s herb of remembrance), sage, oregano, basil, sage, biblical mint and monarda;
mints to relax the GI digestive tract – peppermint, spearmint, catnip, anise hyssop and horehound;
mints to appease and sedate the nerves – skullcap, holy basil, lavender and lemon balm;
mints to deter insects and ticks – American and European pennyroyal, mountain mint, spearmint, peppermint and basil;
mints to deter microbes – peppermint, spearmint, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and garden sage;
mints to cool hot flashes – garden sage and motherwort;
a mint to improve venous stagnation, hemorrhoids, stones and congestive sore throats – stoneroot;
mints to stimulate bronchial mucous membranes expectorants – peppermint, spearmint, gill-over-the ground and horehound;
mints to heighten the spirits – diviner’s sage and wild dagga;
mints for omega 3’s – chia and perilla;
a mint to ease the flu and fevers as well as keep my feline friend content – catnip;
a mint studied and used for eczema, psoriasis, glaucoma, high blood pressure, weight loss, thyroid and allergies – coleus forskohlii;
a mint researched for anticancer, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and allergies – baical skullcap;
a mint for gout – perilla;
mints for headaches – wood betony and dittany (frost flower);
mints to “heal-all” and for hyperthyroid – prunella and lemon balm;
and mints used for culinary enhancements such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, basil, or perilla (chiso).
*Creme D’Mentia from Jim Duke :
“Here’s the rough formula for Creme D’Mentia. It is a mix of the aerial shoots of 13 aromatic members of the mint family, all of which species contain several acetyl‑choline preserving compound (remember that the most widely advertised alzheimer’s/dementia drug, Aricept, contains one acetyl‑choline paring compounds.
Gather 13 pleasingly aromatic mint species, 7 to 39 leaves each, more of the ones most pleasing to you, fewer of those less pleasing. Gather them at dawn following a night with a new moon. Force them manually (bruising them in the process) thru the neck of a half gallon glass jug of cheap tax‑paid vodka, from which one fourth of the vodka has been decanted. Add lemon juice and stevia leaves or juice to taste. Chill in refrigerator all day. At Happy Hour, bring out the jug and pour 1/4 oz of the concentrated tincture into a one oz cup. Depending on the taste of the consumer, fill with lemonade or tonic water, or if you really want the creme effect, milk or cram and chocolate syrup. This was served to a group of herbalist at my place on Sept. 17, and will be served to my garden volunteers Oct. 6. And [was served] to Tai students on 7/19/11”
Jim was highlighted in an AARP article Grow Herbs, Feel Better grow-herbs-feel-better.html which includes the following recipe for his Creme de’Mentia:
Recipe: Jim Duke’s Creme de’Mentia
- Mix 1/2 pint of 80-proof vodka with 1/2 pint water.
- Add 1/4 fresh lemon, 4 T. rosemary leaves, 6 T. lemon balm leaves, 4 T. peppermint leaves, and 2 T. sage leaves.
- Add sugar to taste.
- Steep for 3 days. Enjoy