escarole (good raw in salad or very lightly cooked)
Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)
mint medicinal herb
Enjoy your harvest!
Plant Medicine: Mint
By Shawna Schenk, a farm school student and local, full time yoga teacher, Reiki Master, herbalist and aromatherapist. Learn more about Shawna at: www.yogawithshawna.com
Sweet and pungent smelling mint is familiar plant to many. It grows easily and rapidly, having one of the fastest spreading root systems of all herbs (Tip: When growing mint, grow it in a container to contain its roots; otherwise it will take over other plants’ root systems causing them to stress and not flourish).
Mint is more than a yummy addition in iced teas and a show-stopping ingredient in Mojitos. It has many medicinal properties that can bring healing to different common aliments. Mint will grow rapidly like a weed, so pick it, and use its abundance in many ways including: Allergies: Mint plants contain an antioxidant known as rosmarinic acid, which has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving seasonal allergy symptoms. Because of rosmarinic acid's anti-inflammatory properties, mint will help relieve sneezing, stuffiness, sore throats, and all other bothersome allergic reactions. Bad Breath:Mint counteracts malodorous odors. You can chew on the leaves directly for minty fresh breath; this is much healthier than chewing on a stick or gum! Also, try infusing the mint leaves in in water and sip on throughout keep your mouth fresh and clean. Cold/Flu/Fevers: Mint is rich in menthol a component with antidigestive and diaphoric qualities. Boiling dried or fresh mint leaves to create a tea will help break a fever by causing the body to heat up and sweat out all its toxins. Mint is also a decongestive so it will help break up mucus and phlegm. Insect bites or stings: The menthol in mint also helps stops itching, so make an infusion of the dried or fresh leaves in water, then dip a compress in the water/mint solution and press over the infected area. This is also effective for Eczma and other types of rashes. Fleas and Lice: Combine mint with vinegar and use it as a shampoo to fight fleas and or dog wash to provide effective flea medicine. Headaches, Back Pain, Neck Pain: Drink as a tea to relieve headaches, or warm the leaves up in an oven and press them firmly over your aches and pains.
Mint is a sedative so drink it or inhale its aroma for calming.
Beauty products are loosely regulated in the United States. Home-made beauty products are safe and easy. Try making your own mouth wash or shampoo with mint as its star ingredient.
Natural Mouth Wash Boil mint leaves in water. Let cool. Place in a glass container. Gargle each time you brush.
Natural Shampoo •1/4 cup coconut milk •1/3 cup Liquid Castille Soap (like Dr. Bronners) •5 tablespoons cooled mint tea (mint steeped in hot water) Mix the three ingredients. Keep in a glass container. Use as you would a regular shampoo.
Wild Willow Farm & Education Center is a project of San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project, a California 501(c)3 educational organization. Our mission is to educate, cultivate and empower sustainable food communities in San Diego. www.sandiegoroots.org