Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Mint

Gender: Masculine
Planet: Mercury
Element: Air
Powers: Exorcism, Healing, Lust, Money, Prosperity, Protection, Travel
Magical Uses and History: Mint is a general term used to refer to several different plants within the same family. However, for this article, I am referring to those which belong to the genus Mentha which includes spearmint, peppermint, and watermint. While each holds slightly different magical properties, as a whole they share many common traits.

The genus Mentha gets its name from the Greek Mintha or Minthe, the nymph who attempted to seduce Hades. According to Oppian, "Mint (Mintha), men say, was once a maid beneath the earth, a Nymphe of Kokytos (Cocytus), and she lay in the bed of Aidoneus [Hades]; but when he kidnapped the maid Persephone from the Aitnaian hill [Mount Etna in Sicily], then she complained loudly with overweening words and raved foolishly for jealousy, and Demeter in anger trampled upon her with her feet and destroyed her. For she had said that she was nobler of form and more excellent in beauty than dark-eyed Persephone and she boasted that Aidoneus would return to her and banish the other from his halls: such infatuation leapt upon her tongue. And from the earth spray the weak herb that bears her name." Because of this, mint became strongly associated with Hades and was used in funerary rites, partly to cover up the smell of a body and partly to connect with the Underworld as an ingredient of an entheogenic drink made from mint and fermented barley. This, however, also associated mint with love and lust as Mintha(e) lusted after Hades. When Hades was unable to reverse the spell cast by Persephone, Hades made her smell sweet and fresh so that any time a man tread upon her, the air would be filled with her sweet aroma. As such, mint is often used in love spells. In Greece, soldiers were warned not to wear crowns of mint lest it increase lust while those not serving often wore it as a good luck charm for their relationship. Culpepper even noted mint's potent ability to increase "bodily lust."

In Rome, however, Pliny argued that mint was "contrary to procreation" and therefore should not be used by those seeking children. However, Pliny suggested that mint, with its strong aroma, was perfect for enhancing one's memory and refreshing the body. Crowns of mint were used to increase memory, soothe headaches, whitten teeth, and in baths to wash away impurities. Across Europe and the Middle East, mint was used to remove negative energies, keep away pests and pestilence, and mixed with marjoram and rosemary to asperge sacred space. Keep mint on your altar to invite helpful spirits and drive away negative ones, rub on your body to protect your person, keep in your shoes to protect you during travel, or use in floor washes to cleanse your home.

Due to its prolific nature, mint is also strongly associated with abundance. Its bright green leaves resemble money and can be placed in a wallet, purse, or cash register to bring abundance to one's life or used in prosperity sachets and spells to invite money.

Mint can be used in a number of spells including:
    Protection Spells
    Healing Magic
    Prosperity Magic
    Love Spells
    Travel Spells

Medicinal Uses: Apart from its magical properties, mint has long been used in healing rituals and for medicinal purposes throughout history. Peppermint specifically is one of the most carminative agents on the market, that is it is able to reduce gas and bloating and even cure colic in infants. It relaxes the digestive muscles, stimulates bile and stomach acid production, and has antiflatulent properties, allowing it to treat gas and other intestinal problems, including an upset stomach, by significantly reducing stomach and intestinal pain and aiding in digestion. Due to its diaphoretic properties, mint is able to reduce fevers caused by colds or the flu through sweating. Furthermore, it is able to temporarily treat nasal congestion, headaches/migraines, anxiety, and tension due to it's being nervine.

Preparation and Dosage: Mint is taken internally as an infusion or tincture. Pour one cup of boiling water over a heap of dried herbs and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink as often as desired. As a tincture, take 1-2 milliliters up to three times a day. Externally, peppermint oil, once diluted in a carrier oil, can be applied to the temples to relieve headaches and migraines or rubbed on rashes to treat itchy skin. An infusion can be turned into a poultice to relieve skin rashes as well. Fresh or dried herbs or peppermint oil can be inhaled to relieve congestion and aid in memory and alertness or to settle one's stomach. 

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mint, witchcraft, magic, folklore, herb, herbal remedy, herb magic

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  1. Aside from being one of my favourite herbs to both cook and work with spiritually, mint will forever have a truly special place in my heart because it was one of the first plants that I ever felt a direct, almost immediate healing effect from after my health took a massive nosedive at the age of 18. It has remained a vital tool in my natural medicine arsonal ever since and I still delight in finding new ways to eat, heal, and work with this hearty, powerful herb.

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

    1. I use mint a lot for herbal remedies, especially digestive issues. Me and ginger aren't friends, but mint...we get along just fine!

  2. I did a project on the Lamiaceae (mint) family for my plant taxonomy class last semester, and it's wild to see just how many of our favorite herbs fall into that family. Mentha specifically is interesting from a taxonomist's standpoint, as the genus is hyper-aggressive and has a tendency to freely hybridize in the wild, making all sorts of interesting variants. (Never mind the numerous cultivars available on the market).

    Just this evening I made a tea from dried mint from my balcony garden, which was lovely. :)

    1. Omg, I know right?! The fact that mint likes to whore around with other species is so fascinating, and the mythology is there. Minthe was trying to steal a man that wasn't hers and bam! She is turned into mint, which now steals other species lovers. I love when folklore and science overlap so beautifully.

  3. Hey, I'm working on a project for collage and I was wondering if you's be willing to share where you got your info about Mint in ancient Rome from? It would be really helpful!

    1. I take it you are referring to Pliny's work? If so, Pliny the Elder wrote a book called The Natural History. Here is a link to the section on mint in particular.


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