As the third most popular food flavoring in the world, mint has traveled through time without suffering a loss of popularity. Traceable in literature as far back as 1240 AD, mint's many forms - peppermint, spearmint, and others - are used in medicine, health and beauty products, and of course food and drink. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans revered mint as a sacred plant. Mint was frequently used in funeral rites as It was known to help dissipate the pungent smell of the dead. The Ancient Egyptians saw mint as a form of wealth and buried it in their tombs to ensure the deceased would have a prosperous afterlife. The Romans made wreaths out of it for the newly wedded to encourage a happy marriage, and the Ancient Hebrews would use mint leaves to cover the floors in their synagogues at special events. Native Americans believed a tea of mint could cast off witchcraft.
The Folklore of Mint
Thought to be named after a water nymph, Minthe was a spirit once loved by Hades, God of the underworld. His wife Persephone became enraged in jealousy. As punishment for her husband's attention, Persephone sought to destroy Minthe by turning her into a plant. Hades, unable to resurrect his loved nymph, gave her the beloved mint smell.
Growing and Enjoying Mint
Known for its ability to cover ground quickly and mercilessly, it might be argued that Minthe's prominence long outlasted that of Persophone. Seasoned gardeners know this territorial herb must be planted or carefully contained, lest it runs riot over a yard or garden. In fact, mint can be aggressive even with itself: plant several varieties in the same container and eventually, they will cross-breed into a unified, single plant.
Like basil, mint takes well to rooting endeavors. If you can get ahold of a sprig with a reasonably intact stem, simply trim the stem end at a clean 45-degree angle and place the stem in a clean container of water, with all leaves resting above the water. Keep it immersed and at room temperature, and you'll likely see roots in only a few days. From there, plant in loose soil and add rooting vitamins, if desired.
Well-known for its virtual domination of the toothpaste and gum industries, mint has also been used as a digestive aid throughout history, as is evidenced by the after-dinner candy that bears its name. Mint remains one of the most popular herbal teas available and has also become an indelible part of cocktails like the mojito and the Kentucky derby-favorite mint julep.
Mint in Magic
Ruled by the planet venus, mint is associated with the element of Air. Thus, it can make a very effective plant for stimulating communication and giving power to your own voice. Mint can also be used to attract wealth, luck, or love, and it's revered for its ability to cleanse a space and counteract negative energy or attacks. For this reason, we add it to our Uncrossing Oil and Uncrossing Candle.
- Mint & Prosperity
The prolific nature of mint has long been associated with wealth; its name appears on the official money-creating institution of the United States. In a related vein, when someone makes a great deal of money, they are said to be making a mint - and that's no coincidence. When casting a money or prosperity spell, add some mint essential oil or dried mint to the mix: scatter on an altar, dress a candle with mint oil, and so on.
Consider adding mint with basil. Take fresh leaves and simmer them in 3 cups of water. After the water cools, add it to your bath or use some as a wash for your floors and front door.
To protect your money, add some dried mint leaves, nutmeg powder, ginger, and cinnamon to a small bag and keep it in your wallet, place of business, or near important documents such as bank statements.
- Mint & Purification
Just as this powerful herb is refreshing in teas and sweets, it can also "refresh" the energy in your home. Steep fresh mint in hot water when mopping your floors to help cleanse negative energy (or unwanted visitors!) out of your mental, emotional, and physical space. Slip a mint leaf in the sole of your shoe, or crumble a little bit of dried mint over it, before traveling for the day to keep from tracking in bad vibes.
Try burning dried mint leaves with some sage. Burn them in each corner of your home stating your intention to cleanse away negativity.
For an uncrossing blend, mix mint with rosemary and hyssop. Add them to a cup of kosher or Epsom salt. Add this to a bath for spiritual cleansing and take a few tablespoons to sweep the outside of your front door to push the negativity "out and away" from you.
- Mint & Protection
And finally, planting mint near your front door or under a bedroom window will help ward against bad intentions others may have for you. Consider mixing mint with parsley or eucalyptus. Burn this mixture over a charcoal disc every Saturday. Try mixing the above recipe with some kosher salt and place it directly under the bed where you sleep, or simply place a pinch in every corner of your home.
As an added bonus, mint is also thought to work as natural pest control, with spearmint attracting bees but waving off mosquitos, and pennyroyal guarding against flea incursion for furry friends. Always be sure, however, to secure your mint plants where little hands or curious paws can't reach them: while mint is safe in small quantities, larger amounts may not sit well with children or pets.