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Spearmint Herb Dry 2 oz. $4.95

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277
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Product Description

Spearmint Herb Dry 2 oz. $4.95

This common garden mint is not a native of these islands, though growing freely in every garden, but is originally a native of the Mediterranean region, and was introduced into Britain by the Romans, being largely cultivated not only by them, but also by the other Mediterranean nations. It was in great request by the Romans, and Pliny according to Gerard says of it: 'The smell of Mint does stir up the minde and the taste to a greedy desire of meate.' Ovid represents the hospitable Baucis and Philemon scouring their board with green mint before laying upon it the food intended for their divine guests. The Ancients believed that mint would prevent the coagulation of milk and its acid fermentation. Gerard, again quoting Pliny, says:
'It will not suffer milk to cruddle in the stomach, and therefore it is put in milk that is drunke, lest those that drinke thereof should be strangled.'

Many other references to it in old writings - among them, that of the payment by the Pharisees of tithes of Mint, Anise and Cumin - prove that the herb has been highly esteemed for many centuries. Mint is mentioned in all early mediaeval lists of plants; it was very early grown in English gardens, and was certainly cultivated in the Convent gardens of the ninth century. Chaucer refers to 'a little path of mintes full and fenill greene. '

Turner states in his Herball (1568) that the garden mint of his time was also called 'Spere Mynte.' Gerard, in further praise of the herb, tells us that:
'the smelle rejoiceth the heart of man, for which cause they used to strew it in chambers and places of recreation, pleasure and repose, where feasts and banquets are made.'

It has, in fact, been so universally esteemed, that it is to be found wild in nearly all the countries to which civilization has extended, and in America for 200 years it has been known as an escape from gardens, growing in moist soils and proving sometimes troublesome as a weed.

Parkinson, in his Garden of Pleasure, mentions 'divers sorts of mintes both of the garden and wilde, of the woods, mountain and standing pools or waters' and says:
'Mintes are sometimes used in Baths with Balm and other herbs as a help to comfort and strengthen the nerves and sinews. It is much used either outwardly applied or inwardly drunk to strengthen and comfort weak stomackes.'

The Ancients used mint to scent their bath water and as a restorative, as we use smelling salts to-day. In Athens where every part of the body was perfumed with a different scent mint was specially designated to the arms.

Gerard says of its medicinal properties:
'It is good against watering eies and all manner of breakings out on the head and sores. It is applied with salt to the bitings of mad dogs.... They lay it on the stinging of wasps and bees with good success.'

Culpepper gives nearly forty distinct maladies for which mint is 'singularly good.'

'Being smelled into,' he says, 'it is comfortable for the head and memory, and a decoction when used as a gargle, cures the mouth and gums, when sore.' Again, 'Garden Mint is most useful to wash children's heads when the latter are inclined to sores, and Wild Mint, mixed with vinegar is an excellent wash to get rid of scurf. Rose leaves and mint, heated and applied outwardly cause rest and sleep.'

In the fourteenth century, mint was used for whitening the teeth, and its distilled oil is still used to flavour tooth-pastes, etc., and in America, especially, to flavour confectionery, chewing gums, and also to perfume soap.

Mint ottos have more power than any other aromatic to overcome the smell of tobacco.

The application of a strong decoction of Spearmint is said to cure chapped hands.

Mice are so averse to the smell of mint, either fresh or dried, that they will leave untouched any food where it is scattered. As mice love Henbane and often prove very destructive to a crop, it has been suggested that their depredations might be checked if some mint were planted between the rows of Henbane.

It is probable that Spearmint was introduced by the Pilgrim Fathers when they landed in America, as it is mentioned among many other plants brought out from England, in a list given by John Josselyn. When in this country apparently found growing wild, it occurs in watery places, but is rather rare.

Professor Henslow (Origin and History of our Garden Vegetables) does not consider it truly native to any country. He says:
'The Garden Mint (Mentha viridis, Linn.) is a cultivated form of M. sylvestris (Linn.), the Horse Mint, which is recorded as cultivated at Aleppo. Either M. sylvestris, or some form approaching M. viridis, which is not known as a truly wild plant, was probably the mint of Scripture.'

Bentham also considers it not improbably a variety of M. sylvestris, perpetuated through its ready propagation by suckers, and though these two plants are sufficiently distinct as found in England, yet continental forms occur which bridge over their differences.

Its generic name, Mentha, is derived from the mythological origin ascribed to it, and was originally applied to the mint by Theophrastus. Menthe was a nymph, who because of the love Pluto bore her, was metamorphosed by Proserpine, from motives of jealousy, into the plant we now call mint.

Spearmint Herb Dry 2 oz. $4.95


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