Mint, or as our cousins in New Zealand would say, munt (I have a thing for NZ accents) is a common cooking herb that is used therapeutically in China over to Australia’s left side. Yeah, that’s right, common herbs are very healing.
TCM uses mint (technically its spearmint) to cool and soothe the Liver which has a tendency to heat up. Might be due to all those toxins it has to filter. Mint also has an interesting function to which there’s no direct translation in Western thinking. That is, it opens up pores. Huh? Well TCM views pores as a kind of ventilation – transfering moisture and air in and out, also the elements we consider pathogens like cold, heat, wind, damp, dryness.
How would you apply that medicinally? It’s a main ingredient in herbal formulas to stop a summer cold progressing. You know that stuffy head, itchy throat, sniffly and sneezing just prior to getting a full blown cold? Make sure there are hot signs, the herb is very cooling. One key indictor of this would be a dislike of heat. And after taking Mint – even in tea form – make sure you keep covered. Opening pores not only expels trapped pathogens it will also let more in. Sounds weird but a very simple way to help your body’s defenses.
Mint is a common addition to cocktails. Its aromatic spiciness is refreshing, and I think is good to counter the hotness of alcohol. Here, vodka mules are in the making.