MINT (AS. minte, Icel. minta, 0110. »Ibiza, munza, Ger. Mini. iin:e, from Lat. menta, nientha, from GI:. ihivect, mintha, kdvOn, 9/1 in t he, mint), Mentha. A genus of plants of the natural order Labiate; with small, funnel-shaped, 4-fid corolla. and four straight stamens. The species are perennial herbs. varying considerably in appearance. but all with creeping rootstocks. The flowers are whorled. the whorls often grouped in spikes or heads. The species are widely dis tributed over the world ; some of them are very common. Water mint (lientliu aquatica) grows ill wet grounds and ditches. and corn mint (Ilentha arrensis), which abounds as a weed, in European fields and gardens. These and most of the other species have erect stems. All the species contain an aromatic essential oil, in vir tue of which they are more or less medicinal. The most important species are spearmint, pep permint. and pennyroyal; spearmint or green mint (11catha riridis or spieata), a native of almost, all the temperate parts of the globe, has erect, smooth stems, from one foot to two feet high, with the whorls of flowers in loose cylindrical or oblong spikes at the top; lanceolate, acute, smooth. serrated leaves, desti tute of stalk, or nearly so. it has a very agree able odor. Peppermint (11 cefha piperita), plant of equally wide distribution in the teniper ate parts of the world, is very similar to spear mint, but has stalked leaves and flowers ill short spikes. the lower whorls somewhat distant from the rest. It is very readily recognized by the pe euliar pungency of its odor and of its taste. Pen nyroyal (Mentha Pulrginni). also very eosmopol
itan, has ovate, stalked leaves, a nmeh-brauched prostrate stem. which sends down new roots as it extends in length. and the flowers in distant globose whorls. its smell resembles that of the• other mints. All these species. in a wild state. I grow in ditches or wet places. All are cultivated 1 in gardens. Mint sauce is generally made of spearmint. which is also used for flavoring soups, ? etc. A kind of mint with lemon-seented leaves, called bergamot mint ( .11ent ha citra . is found in some parts of Europe. and is cultivated in gardens. Varieties of peppermint and horse-mint (Mentha sglrestris), with crisped nr inflated ni Igose leaves. are nmeh cultivated in Germany under the name of ciirled mint (Krause-min7e): the (leaves are dried and used as a domestic medicine, and in poultices and baths. All kinds of mint are easily propagated by parting the roots or by cuttings. It is said that mice have a great aversion to mint, and that a few leaves of it will keep them at a distance.
Peppermint, pennyroyal. and spearmint are used in medicine. The pharmacopodas contain an aqua, spiritus, and (ileum of each of them, the officinal part being the leaves and stems,w hich should be collected when in flower. Peppermint is extensively used to flavor candy and mixtures to cover the taste of drugs. Nearly one-half of the oil of peppermint and spearmint now used in the world is produced and distilled in Michigan, the great seat of this industry being in Saint Joseph County.