Mountain Mint

Both Natives and pioneers used Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum spp.) to make a flavorful aromatic tea and as a medicinal. There are several varieties in our area and I’ve seen plenty of it around. The mint can be found along roadsides and woodland edges
Like all mints, Mountain Mint can be identified by its square stem and aromatic leaves. The leaves are arranged along the stem in pairs. The plant stands 1-3 feet tall and has flat–topped, branching clusters of roundish flower heads on which a few flowers bloom at a time. The flowers, which bloom from July to September, are small, whitish or purplish, and lipped (the lower petal protrudes out). The upper leaves appear whitish as though they have been dusted.
The leaves and flower ends have been used either fresh or dried to make an herbal tea that is flavorful and said to have some medicinal values. If you try it use only a small amount the first time in case of food allergies. And there is a warning that Mountain Mint should not be used by pregnant women because it can lead to miscarriages if used frequently or in high doses. Besides flavoring a beverage, the mint has been used to flavor meat while cooking. Medicinally, it has been used to treat a cough and clear a stuffy nose, and has been used to relieves gas, lessen the tendency to vomit, as a refrigerant (gives sensation of coolness to the body), and has to treat colic. Native Americans used the leaves to treat wounds and placed crushed leaves on a toothache as a pain reliever. A mint poultice was placed on the forehead to relieve a headache.

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