Monday, May 5, 2014

The mint patch

If someone ever tells you, 
"Don't plant mint in your garden, it becomes invasive!"
Just listen to them.
I did not listen, and now my herb garden 
has turned into the mint patch.

After I pulled up as much as I could find, I covered the bare ground with cardboard and four inches of mulch.  The mint didn't care, it just burst right through the cardboard, around the edges of the garden box, and even into the grass 
(it smells awesome when we mow!).

I had to find something to do with all this mint!
So now you get to have a tutorial on making mint oil.
Start by picking a bunch of mint, only the best leaves, and give it a good wash and air dry.

Once the leaves are dry, really pack them tightly into a jar and crush with the end of a wooden spoon.  
This was my favorite part, it smells SO good!

Pour oil over the mint, stir again with the end of the wooden spoon to make sure the oil gets into all the crevices, and pour on more oil if needed.  I used a food grade grapeseed oil, but olive or sunflower oils would work just as well.

Put the tightly sealed jar in the sun for about two days then strain out the mint leaves through cheesecloth.  Give those leaves a good squeeze to extract all the "minty-ness" from them.  Now you can use the oil immediately, but because I have so much mint growing in the garden, I'm going to repeat the process with the same oil and fresh leaves.  Kind of a double strength oil!

Some uses for mint oil: 

sinus and respiratory infections 
inflammation of the throat and mouth
bacterial and viral infections 
muscle pain 
Mosquito repellent
and it's a wonderful scalp treatment for dandruff 

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