Enjoy these 10 practical ways to use fresh mint from your garden! Mint is easy to grow and helps cool, relieve pain, indigestion, headache & sore muscles.
While peppermint (Mentha piperita) and spearmint (Mentha spicata) are most commonly used, if you have other types of mint such as orange, pineapple or chocolate mint, feel free to try them in the ideas below instead.
1.) Mint Ice Cubes
These are super easy to make and look so pretty in summertime beverages!
To make, pour a small amount of water in each section of an ice tray and place a mint leaf in each one. Freeze until almost solid to hold the leaf in place, then pour more water in until the tray is filled.
Freeze again until solid then remove the cubes and add as a decorative accent to drinks.
Store in freezer bags until ready to use.
2.) Mint Sugar
Mint sugar can be used to sprinkle on cookies, muffins or sweet breads. You can use it to sweeten tea or roll grapes and other fruit in it, for an extra sweet snack. My favorite way though, is as a topping for buttery toast, instead of cinnamon and sugar. It’s so yummy!
To make mint sugar you’ll need:
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- about 8 fresh mint leaves
Blend the sugar and mint together in a mini-food processor.
Use right away, or for longer storage, spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and let air dry overnight. Store in a small jar out of sunlight.
3.) Mint Iced Tea
This is so refreshing on a hot summer day! You can use any type of mint that you have on hand, but my favorite is spearmint.
To make mint iced tea:
- Fill a jar with fresh mint leaves.
- Pour simmering hot water over them, cover with a saucer and let steep until cool enough to handle.
- Place the unstrained tea in the refrigerator and let it steep further for several hours or overnight. (This gives a really strong infusion.)
- Strain, sweeten to taste and pour over ice cubes.
- Best enjoyed in a hammock in the shade with a good book!
4.) Mint Tincture
Mint tincture can be used for upset stomach, motion sickness and is said to be an excellent cure for the hiccups!
To make: fill a mason jar with fresh mint leaves (jar size depends on how many leaves you’ve gathered up), then cover with an 80 proof or higher alcohol like vodka or brandy.
If you don’t have fresh mint, use dried instead – keeping a roughly 1 part dried herb to 5 parts alcohol ratio in mind. (My favorite place to buy dried herbs is Mountain Rose Herbs.)
If the lid is metallic, place a layer of plastic wrap between the jar and the lid, to prevent corrosion.
Cap and store in a cool, dark place for 2 to 3 weeks before straining, shaking every day or two, as you remember.
Start with a dose of a few drops, increasing a bit, if needed. To treat my family, I mix with a spoonful of raw honey.
HERBAL SALVES & BALMS
Subscribe to Things to Make Thursdays and receive:
- Build Your Own Salve eGuide
- 18 Herbs & Flowers for Salves Chart
- Salve Building Printable Worksheet
- A Weekly Email with Natural Project Ideas
5.) Mint Lip Balms & Salve
Learn how to turn your mint leaves into two kinds of lip balm and a salve.
6.) Cucumber Mint Bath Soak
Fresh cucumbers and mint leaves combine with Epsom salt to create this lightly scented and refreshing bath soak made from locally sourced ingredients.
The salt helps to rapidly dry the fresh ingredients, capturing and preserving the natural green color for months.
No fake colorants, food coloring, or preservatives needed!
Here’s a video of me making Cucumber Mint Bath Soak! (Sometimes an ad plays first, but the recipe will start right after!)
7.) Mint Clay Shampoo Treatment
This deep cleaning treatment only needs to be done once a month and is most ideal for hair on the oily side.
Peppermint is reported to stimulate your scalp, encouraging new hair growth.
To make and use mint clay shampoo treatment:
- Mix 1 teaspoon of your favorite shampoo together with 1 teaspoon mint tea and 1/2 teaspoon green French clay (or other cosmetic clay.)
- Add a drop or two of peppermint essential oil for an even more invigorating experience.
- Massage a small amount into your scalp.
- Leave on for about two or three minutes then rinse thoroughly.
- Follow with a rinse of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water.
- This hair treatment is perishable and should be used within a few hours of mixing together.
8.) Mint Vinegar
Mint vinegar is super easy to make and comes in quite handy!
For windows & counters: Mix one part vinegar with one part water and a pinch of cornstarch (optional). Shake well before using.
You can also add mint vinegar to your mop water.
For a frugal fabric softener, use 1/4 to 1/2 cup per load of laundry.
Dilute with water to make a soothing rinse for an itchy dog.
To make mint vinegar:
Fill a jar with fresh mint leaves and cover with vinegar. If you’re just making for household use, you can use regular vinegar. If you have culinary plans for it, try white wine vinegar instead. You can also use apple cider vinegar, which is especially nice for a hair rinse.
Cover the jar with a layer of plastic wrap then cap. This will keep the vinegar from corroding the metal and ruining your mixture. Set aside for 3 to 4 weeks, shaking occasionally as you remember to. It should smell nice and minty by then, if not, steep a week or two longer. You can also remove the old leaves and add more fresh, for a stronger scent.
9.) Garden Mint Soap
This mint soap recipe is another personal favorite! The French green clay helps soothe skin irritations, while the peppermint essential oil energizes and refreshes the senses.
I use fresh mint from my garden to make this, but you can also use dried. Any type of mint that you have on hand will work in this recipe: peppermint, spearmint, pineapple mint, apple mint, orange mint and so forth.
When including herbal teas in soap, make sure that you don’t steep for too long as a strong tea can discolor soap.
(Looking for more natural soapmaking ideas? Check out my Handmade Natural Soaps ebook collection!)
10.) Doggie Breath Freshener Treats
This recipe features:
- Peppermint – which helps with intestinal gas, colic and motion sickness, plus it’s a great breath freshener.
- Parsley leaves – which are full of protein, vitamins and other nutrients. It’s also an excellent digestive aid, is antimicrobial and helps reduce arthritic inflammation.