Herbs & Plants

Mentha rotundifolia

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Botanical Name : Mentha rotundifolia
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribes: Mentheae
Subtribes: Menthinae
Genus: Mentha
Species: Mentha x rotundifolia
Kingdom     Plantae
Class: Angiospermae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Egyptian Mint,

Common Names:Round-leaved Mint,False Apple-mint, Wollige mint

Mentha ◊rotundifolia (L.) Huds. (pro sp.) [longifolia ◊ suaveolens]

Habitat :Mentha rotundifolia is native to southern & western Europe.

Mentha rotundifolia is a perennial plant.The stem is sturdy  having the habit of M. sylvestris, but is more branched. The leaves are very broad, somewhat resembling those of Sage, dull green in colour and much wrinkled above, often densely woolly and whitish beneath. The flowers are pink or white, in tapering, terminal spikes. Flowering time is August to September.
This species has somewhat the flavour of Spearmint, but is stronger. It is frequently found on the ruins of monasteries, the monks having used it for the languor following epileptic fits, as it was considered refreshing to the brain. It is sometimes found cultivated in cottage gardens under the name of Egyptian Mint.

Cultivation & propagation:
Seeds are swon in spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. A strong spearmint flavour, they are used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods, this is also the main species that is used to make mint sauce. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves.

In addition to being tasty, & having a smorgasbord of medicinal uses, the fuzzy leaves & rounded 2’ x 2’ form make a soothing textural mass that gently compliments its neighbors. Grow in a pot if you’re unwilling to mind the runners, as even a well behaved mint is still a mint, after all.

Medicinal Uses:
Mentha rotundifolia  like many other members of this genus, is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.

Other Uses:
An essential oil is obtained from the whole plant. The plant repels insects and was formerly used as a strewing herb. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.

Known hazards: Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider