Long-leaved mint belongs to the Lamiaceae family, which includes various herbs and plants. The leaves of the culture have a delicate aroma and versatility. They are used in cooking to flavor food and drinks. Long leaf mint contains a high percentage of ascorbic acid.
Long leaf mint description
Long-leaved mint is a perennial herb that forms strong, upright, branched stems. They are pubescent, tetrahedral with sharp edges. The plant reaches a height of 120 cm. The creeping rhizome is located horizontally close to the soil surface.
The leaves are thickened, gray-green, large, oblong. In length, leaf plates grow from 5 to 15 cm, in width - up to 3 cm. The top of the leaf is pointed, the edges are unevenly serrate, the petiole is short. From the photo and description of long-leaved mint, you can see that the leafiness of the stems, subject to agricultural technology, is good.
Flowers are small, numerous, collected in spike-shaped inflorescences, pubescent, pale purple hue. Flowering begins in mid-summer earlier than other species. Long-leaved mint is a good honey plant.
The use of long-leaved mint in cooking
Long-leaved mint is used as a seasoning for flavoring meat and fish dishes. Fruit and vegetable salads are prepared with fragrant leaves. In some cuisines of the world, it is added to the manufacture of brine cheese. Fruit drinks, compotes, bread kvass are flavored with spicy grass. Also added when salting, pickling and pickling vegetables.
What is the aroma of long-leaved mint
Long-leaved mint has a pleasant menthol scent, which, in contrast to peppermint, is more delicate and subtle. The aroma is created by the essential oils contained in the plant. The leaves are most fragrant before flowering.
Where to add long leaf mint
Tea is brewed with fresh and dried mint leaves, including using them in a mixture with other herbs. Also soft drinks and alcoholic drinks are flavored. Mint is used in sauces, it goes well with cabbage, carrots and legumes. Spicy herbs are added to pastries, pastries, and fruit gravies.
Benefits of Long Leaf Mint
Long leaf mint has a calming effect and relieves fatigue. Mint tea has a beneficial effect on the digestive system, eliminates bloating, destroys pathogenic microflora, and promotes weight loss.
Advice! Mint is added to make face masks and clays at home.
Ice cubes with fragrant grass are used to rub the areas of inflammation on the skin of the face. Such use, among other things, has a tonic effect, tightens pores.
In addition to medicinal properties, long-leaved mint has contraindications, for example, it is not recommended for children, pregnant and lactating women. Also, the use of mint in large quantities adversely affects men's health. The substances that make up mint can cause allergic reactions.
The use of long-leaved mint in traditional medicine
Long-leaved mint contains fewer active ingredients in comparison with other species, but it is also used in folk medicine as a medicinal plant. The content of vitamin C in the composition allows it to be used as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent.
Outwardly, gruel from mint leaves is applied to the skin for the treatment of fungal diseases, and also taken with herbal phytovan.
Important! The use of long-leaved mint reduces blood pressure.
Mint infusion rinses the mouth when abscesses or ulcers appear, and also relieve inflammation in the throat. Leaves neutralize bad breath. Spicy tea reduces cramping, relieves nausea and reduces appetite. It has a choleretic effect.
The place for growing mint is chosen sunny, but rather humid. The soil should be fertile and loose. Heavy clay soils are not suitable for growing crops. On strongly calcareous soil, the plants become less aromatic. With a lack of moisture and light, partial leaf fall occurs.
The culture tolerates growing in low-lying areas with little flooding. Mint is decorative during its long flowering, therefore it is planted in flower beds and near water bodies.
Long-leaved mint is planted in early spring or late summer. The place is prepared in advance: the site is dug deeply, weeds are removed. Thanks to the branched rhizome, the plant spreads quickly, so the growing site is limited by borders or cuts of iron and plastic are dug in along the perimeter of the ridge.
Advice! To control overgrowth, mint is grown in containers.
The culture is propagated by rhizome cuttings. In summer, the planting material is separated from young plants and pre-rooted in the sand, then transferred to a permanent growing site. From old bushes, the plant is cut and transplanted in early spring or autumn.
Cuttings are planted in pre-prepared grooves about 10 cm deep and covered with earth. When planting, plants are placed every 30 cm, about 50 cm are left between the rows.
Features of growing and care
Mint is hygrophilous; when growing it, the soil should not be allowed to dry out. In the summer, in the absence of natural precipitation, daily watering is required. With sufficient soil moisture, the amount of leaf mass increases by 2-3 times.
During the growing season, several loosening is carried out. Mint bushes do not resist weeds well, so they need to be weeded regularly. The culture is demanding on soil fertility. Plants are fed in early spring with complex fertilizer, as well as manure or compost.
Long-leaved mint is resistant to cold, but to protect against severe frost, the planting is covered with a layer of soil, manure or dry leaves.
Pests and diseases
Long-leaved mint has many specific pests. Depending on weather conditions, some insects can cause serious damage to plants up to their complete destruction.
Long-leaved mint pests:
- mint flea;
- mint leaf beetle;
- mint mite;
- green shield beetle;
- meadow moth;
- slobbering penny;
Insecticides are used to control pests. The preparations are used a month before the collection of raw materials and the use of fresh leaves for food. To prevent the appearance of soil pests, the soil is deeply dug before planting. Only healthy planting material is used for cultivation.
Long-leaved mint is most often exposed to various fungal diseases, for example:
- powdery mildew;
- leaf spots.
When fungal diseases appear, fungicides are used. Affected plants are removed and burned.
In order to prevent the appearance of diseases and pests, long-leaved mint is grown in a crop rotation. It is recommended to leave the plants in one place for no more than 2-3 years. The best predecessors for crops: legumes, root crops. Plant resistance is increased by feeding.
When and how to harvest long-leaved mint
Long-leaved mint is harvested in dry weather before or at the beginning of its flowering, this period falls in the middle and second half of summer. At this time, the concentration of essential oils and other useful substances in the plant is highest. Raw materials from long-leaved mint are obtained from the first year of cultivation. With careful cutting, the bushes grow well, which allows you to get a second harvest.
For the preparation of raw materials, the tops of the youngest stems without signs of diseases are cut off. The branches are cut to 1/3 of the total length.
How to dry long leaf mint properly
Mint dries quickly and well. After cutting, the plants are washed and tied into bunches of the size of the stems. Then they are hung in a shady place on the street for one day to drain the water. In the future, the raw materials are kept for 5-7 days in a dry and ventilated place, for example, in attics or under a canopy.
The dried leaves are separated from the stems, crushed to the required fraction. Store raw materials until the next season in glass jars under a lid or linen bags.
Long-leaved mint is a spicy herb with a cooling menthol flavor. The tall, branched stems form many fragrant leaves that are ready to cut from the end of June. Fresh and dried long-leaved mint is used as a seasoning and for brewing healthy tea.
Elena Belova, 51 years old, Solnechnogorsk
Long-leaved mint was offered by a neighbor in the country, dug up several pieces, they took root well. I grow it in a tire so that it doesn't grow, this amount is enough for me. I like to drink mint tea especially in the evening, relieves fatigue, relaxes. In the summer I brew it with fresh leaves, and for the winter I harvest it. Drying is not difficult at all, the leaves are lightly chopped, they retain the smell until the next harvest. Although the aroma of long-leaved mint is more moderate than that of medicinal.
Galina Volkova, 46 years old, Pskov
I grow long-leaved mint along with peppermint and lemon balm. I like to brew them both in a mixture and separately with Ivan tea or black tea. We make lemonades in the summer. We put both in baking and barbecue. It grows unpretentious, but it is necessary to maintain soil moisture. Forms a lot of leaves, the stem is high, grows quickly after cutting, which is good for harvesting for the winter. We save by drying under a canopy and freezing in bags and ice cube trays.