View Full Version : what could i possibly use mint for?

08-08-2010, 11:17 PM
so i was cutting the grass in my back yard and i notticed a huge patch of the yard that wasnt grass at all. im pretty sure its mint of some kind cause when i went over it with the lawn mower the smell was pretty powerfull. i really dislike the taste of mint so im not planning on eating any of it any time soon. but my question is, can the smell alone be a way to identify it, and is there any other uses for it than just food? i really know next to nothing about wild plants i tend to stay away from them because i dont know how to identify them. im color blind so i know i cant use the difference in color for identification of most plants. my main thoughts are that if i cant positively identify it, im not going to eat it.

08-08-2010, 11:49 PM
Mint Julep........:innocent:

08-09-2010, 12:31 AM
Many mints are useful and some are poisonous. It would be imperative to get a positive ID on it before using it. I know I sound like a broken record, but the book "Botany in a Day" teaches you to place them in families based on shapes and composition of the flower, rather than color, which is ambiguous with a lot of plants. The strong smell is a good indicator, but you'd want to get a little more specific than that.
You'll find that he higher-end books will be organized by family, rather than color. That would be a big help in your case, I would think.
If you post up pictures of it, maybe we can figure out what it is, then tell you what it's good (or bad) for.

08-09-2010, 10:56 AM
Mint is also a natural bug (skeeter) repellent. We have all kinds of mints on our property for that reason, but keep it close to where we sit so it can also be used in our foods and drinks.
I agree with YCC though...it's REALLY important that you positively identify it before you even think of popping a bit into your tea.

mountain mama
08-09-2010, 12:03 PM
SD is a man after my own heart!

As for the mint, it could very well be catnip. Could get the kitties high with it.

08-09-2010, 02:10 PM
A friend of mine used to scatter mint in his RV in the fall. Said it kept mice out. He put it on the floor and in the cupboards.

08-09-2010, 07:51 PM
Was it low growing creepy stuff or standing tall?
There's a common lawn weed called Creeping Charlie that smells strong when run over with the mower.

Mint does keep mice away. Not far enough sometimes.

Was just eying the spearmint tonight. Its big enough to get a bunch to do a batch of green mint jelly this weekend.

08-09-2010, 07:55 PM
SD is a man after my own heart!

As for the mint, it could very well be catnip. Could get the kitties high with it.

lol that might be, cause there is a family of stray cats that is always wondering around my neighborhood. i hate cats though.

i would go out and take a pic right now of the stuff if i could but its raining pretty bad right now some time in the next few days ill post a few pics.

08-10-2010, 12:17 AM
When the berries here are ripe, so is the mint. I did not know some mint was poisonous.

I just mix them with the berries and eat.

08-10-2010, 09:15 AM
Its not that some mint is poisonous. The point is that if you didn't plant it and just found it in your travels, how do you know its not a different plant with similar characteristics. If you don't know the answer to the question, it would be safer to positively identify the plant species. Besides its good practice identifying the specific identifying plant parts and doing the investigation.

Here is a link to Perilla mint which is local to me. It is my understanding as the link implies, livestock can become quite ill from grazing on the Perilla Mint. A few leaves may not be of any danger however in large enough quantity the ketones will make you sick. I have not tasted this plant and have no plans. I have enough mint at home.

Perilla frutescens


08-10-2010, 01:28 PM
Perilla fructescens was the one on my mind. I have a tall stand of it growing out under our shade tree. pretty little blooms on it. My "Weeds" book says: "Plants contain toxins that cause respiratory and liver damage in livestock"
while a little bit of it might not hurt you, until I find some information indicating it can be used, I'm not eating ANY!