Thursday, December 30, 2010

what to do with fresh mint leaves

RE: Making Mint Tea From Fresh Mint
By Arlene (Guest Post)
I put a bunch of leaves--maybe a cup full into a large stainless steel pot (3 or 4 qt. size) and add water about half full. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 15 minutes and strain. Add sugar as desired. If you like a stronger tea, let sit longer or add more leaves when boiling. Leaves are best if picked early in the morning before the sun dries the dew off the plants. Good served hot or chilled.

RE: Making Mint Tea From Fresh Mint
By Wynn (Guest Post)
I prefer my mint tea made by steeping fresh leaves and stems. I have dried the leaves and stems for winter use but they tend to be stronger the longer they dry so fewer are needed to make tea. Dried leaves still taste minty but somehow different. I suggest you try both ways.

Mint is well known for its ability to sooth the digestive tract and reduce the severity and length of stomach aches. In addition, mint teas and other herbal preparations have shown great promise at easing the discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome, and even at slowing the growth of many of the most harmful bacteria and fungi. The well-documented antifungal properties of mint are thought to play a role in the treatment of asthma and many allergy conditions as well.

It is even thought that mint may have benefits as an anticancer food. Mint is known to contain a phytonutrient called perillyl alcohol, which has been shown in studies on animals to prevent the formation of colon, skin and lung cancer. Further study is needed to see if this important benefit extends to the human world.

Mint is used in a variety of ways, but the most common is through the brewing of mint tea. There are many excellent mint teas on the market, and fresh mint tea can be made by pouring hot, but not boiling, water over fresh leaves of mint. When preparing mint tea, it is important that the preparation be covered while it is steeping to prevent the valuable volatile oils from evaporating.

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