Corn mint – characteristics, cultivation and use

corn mint
corn mint - by Danny S

Corn mint is the wild sister of peppermint and all the other species of the mint family. It occurs in several subspecies almost worldwide. Like other mints you can use corn mint against indigestion and colds. Their essential oil is widely used as Japanese medicinal plant oil.

Profile of corn mint:

Scientific name: Mentha arvensis

Plant family: mint family (Lamiaceae)

Other names: field mint, wild mint

Sowing time / Planting time: April – June / Mai – Oktober

Flowering period: June – Oktober

Harvest time: May – August

Useful plant parts: leaves, flowers

Location: sunny to partialy shaded

Soil quality: moist-wet, nitrogen-containing, sandy-loamy or humus-clay soil

These information are for temperate climate!

Use as a medicinal herb: indigestion

Use as aromatic herb: tea

Plant characteristics and classification of corn mint

Origin and occurrence

The natural habitat of corn mint includes temperate areas of North America and Europe, the Middle East, Siberia, Central Asia, the northern Indian subcontinent, East Asia to the tropics of Asia with Malaysia.

The field mint inhabits humid, nutrient-rich locations such as ditches, wet spots on wasteland, swamp meadows, but it also grows in the highlands on wet fallow land and fields or in lowerings next to fields. It thrives best on moist, wet, nitrogenous, sandy-loamy or humus-clay soils.

Plant order of corn mint

Corn mint (Mentha arvensis) belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae), such as peppermint and lemon balm.

Characteristics of the corn mint

Plant

The field mint is a summer-green, perennial herbaceous plants with stature heights of usually 5 to 30 (2 to 12 in), rarely up to 60 centimeters (24 in). The plants can propagate by subterranean runner. The relatively thin stem is low-lying, ascending or upright and branched. Often the leaves as well as the upper part of the stem are soft hairy.

Leaves

The leaves are opposite arranged on the stem and clearly structured in petiole and leaf blade. The petiole is usually relatively short. The simple leaf blade is ovate to elliptic. The leaf margin has a few rough, forward facing teeth. The hairiness of the leaves can vary greatly.

Flowering

Among the Mentha species, the wild mint is characterized by the fact that the pseudowhorls, in which the flowers are arranged, stand apart from each other on the axils of fully formed leaves. Even at the top of the stems, the flower whorls are not crowded. So there are no pseudospiklets as in most other types of mint. The stems end more or less leafy.

The color of the flowers is pink to purple. The flowering period is from June to October.

corn mint with purple flower – by Hajotthu

Corn mint – cultivation and care

Location

Corn mint prefers sunny to partialy shaded spots.

Soil

Field mint grows best on moist, wet, nitrogenous, sandy-loamy or humus-clay soils.

Sowing

Sowing takes place between April and June in the field. Preculture is possible from March to May. As corn mint needs light to germ, press the seeds only slightly in the soil.

Cultivating the plantlet in the field should best made from End May to early October. A planting distance of about 30 cm (12 in) should be kept.

Watering

Corn mint prefers moist-wet soil, so it should be taken care that the plants do not dry out.

Wintering

Corn mint is hardy in Zone 4 – Zone 7, which is between −15 °C (5 °F) and −31.7 °C (−25 °F).

Use of the corn mint

In the kitchen

The herb is not used for food.

Corn mint as a medicinal herb

Corn mint tea, used internally

The herb can be used, as its more famous sister, the peppermint, mainly as a tea.

As a tea or as a component of tea blends, it can help against indigestion. Even with colds, it performs well. Due to it analgesic and anticonvulsant properties it also helps against headaches and migraines.

Envelopes

One can use corn mint tea against skin burns put on an envelope. For this soak a cloth or gauze in the tea and wrap it to the body parts.

Essential oil

The pure essential oil is generally hardly available, but the essential oil of the Japanese field mint is used for menthol production. The remaining constituents of this oil are marketed as Japanese mint oil. In this respect, the essential oil of field mint plays a major role.

It eases breathing and relieves headaches. Also, joint pain and muscle tension can be solved.

Corn mint can be used for these ailments and diseases

  • bloating
  • cold
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • gallen weakness
  • gallstones
  • gastritis
  • gout
  • headache
  • indigestion
  • insomnia
  • intestinal weakness
  • loss of appetite
  • memory impairment
  • menstrual cramps
  • migraine
  • nausea
  • rheumatism
  • sniff
  • stomach cramps

Medicinal properties

  • antibacterial
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antispasmodic
  • analgesic
  • reassuring

Side effects

In pregnancy, you should not use the corn mint, like all mint types, because it could possibly cause miscarriages.

In addition, some people do not tolerate the plant. You can get stomach ache. Such people should abstain from using it. In some cases, the milder water mint is better tolerated.

Disclaimer:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist. Visiting this page can not replace the visit to the doctor. For serious or unclear complaints, consult your doctor.

Buy corn mint – What to pay attention to?

The best way to purchase corn mint is either online or at a specialized garden center.

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