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What is the difference between mint and peppermint?

What is the difference between mint and peppermint?

Mint and spearmint are plants of the genus Mentha, but there are some differences between them; The highest concentrations of menthol are found in mint leaves

July 22nd
– 23:07

(updated 7/23/2023 at 8:47 am)

when the topic Freshness resulting from candy and chewing gumThere is a great deal of confusion between peppermint and spearmint. Although they are mistakenly used as synonyms, they are two different plants, even if they are biologically close. In Brazil species Peppermint piperita Known as mint, while Mint spicata It’s the traditional mint.

In general, mint and spearmint are low plants, from 15 cm to 1 meter in height, with bright green leaves growing in pairs, of the Lamiaceae family. Both also belong to the genus Mentha, which consists of more than 25 known species, including crossbreeds (a mixture of the two). The names of these “close relatives” can also be confusing, such as mint (Mentha Viridis) and mint (Crispy mint). Therefore, the scientific name is very important, overcoming regionalism.

Medicinal uses of peppermint and peppermint

Considering the plants of the mint genus, they have been used by humans for thousands of years, from ancient times with the Egyptians, through the Hebrews and the Greeks, to the present day for aromatic, flavoring (seasoning) and medicinal purposes. It is even mentioned in the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, from 1550 BC, to aid digestion and relieve flatulence – Curiously, hashish is mentioned in the same papyrus.

Photo: Eleanor Chen/Unsplash/Canaltech

Reflecting on the medicinal value, researchers from the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), in a scientific journal article Brazilian gardeningHe pointed out that these plants “are used for medicinal purposes such as analgesics, stomach and intestines, stimulation of heart functions, control of heartburn, gastritis, colic and gases.” In a less noble way, it also helps control halitosis (bad breath).

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What is mint?

Known by the common name mint, Mint spicata They can be identified by having smaller, rougher, more spherical green leaves in a lighter shade of green. The flowers are in a near shade of light pink. The stem has a kind of underside and grows mostly vertically. The flavor is sweeter, with lower concentrations of menthol.

Here, it is worth clarifying that menthol is a compound that has anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties, and It has also been studied for its potential help against Alzheimer’s disease. In foods and preparations, it is responsible for the feeling of refreshment.

What is mint?

mint or Peppermint piperita It can be recognized by its dark green leaves. As for the shape, it is elongated and slightly rounded. The flowers are purple. In contrast to closely related species, growth tends to be more sluggish.

In addition, it is one of the most commonly used species for the production of menthol, and has a flavor somewhat similar to the heat of pepper.

Differences between mint and spearmint

When considering using the plants as a spice, preparing dishes, or even drinks, one of the main differences between spearmint and spearmint is the concentration of menthol, according to researchers from UFPR. The amount of mint compound is really low.

Another point that facilitates identification is the matter of the leaves, where the differences are well marked. In general, if a plant has a round leaf, it is true mint. Now, if the leaf is more elongated, it’s mint. The problem is that there are some hybrids in the family, which can make it difficult to properly classify the “sister” species.

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source: Brazilian gardening

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