September is my birthday month and it marks the beginning of a new year for me.
I take the chance to reflect on my past and to look forward to my future. I’m turning 25 this month and celebrating a quarter of a century, even though I feel like I have been here much longer. I have a deep internal wisdom far beyond my years and each day I get the opportunity to teach my young body all of the things I have done in past lives, the most important being learning to care for my body with movement, food and herbs.
One of the first herbal teas I began drinking in my adolescence was mint.
I used mint because my anxiety often manifested as an upset stomach and my mother recommended this tea to me in the fall. I was also eating many foods that I now know don’t agree with my body. I began my herbal journey by mixing many tea bags into a hot thermos and would drink it down with honey all fall and winter to keep my immune system up. I’d use mint, echinacea and most often throat coat. I felt the healing properties of the warm water, teas and honey and I was hooked.
Mint is a great beginner herb to start your herbal journey.
It can easily be found in many supermarkets and gardens. Spring is the best time to plant and harvest fresh mint. One can harvest most of the mint plant in may and dry it out to store and use until the following spring. Mint is so resilient that you can cut back more than half of a bush of mint and it will come back just as strong, the following spring.
Fresh Mint can be used as a garnish for many dishes and will add a mediteranian taste.
It can also be eaten alone to freshen your breath after a meal. Dried Mint can be bought at the store in the form of tea bags, culinary spices and if you’re lucky enough to live in a town with an apothecary they will most definitely carry it. You can also buy many bulk herbs from an online resource.
The healing properties of mint have been used for centuries, for anything from indigestion to irritable bowel, mint can be used to ease the digestive tract. It aids by providing active enzymes into the digestive tract.
As research continues into the connection between your gut biome and your mental health many are realizing the importance of taking care of one’s gut health.
An herb like mint that relieves stomach upset with active enzymes will also provide mental clarity, especially if you are suffering from digestive headache.
One of the most important lessons I have learned in this lifetime is that food is medicine. You have to make sure you are taking in the right “medicine.” The first step in healing your physical ailments is plant medicine; feeding your body the right food and adding healing herbs into your diet.