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Mentha aquatica - L.

Common Name Water Mint
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.
Habitats Swamps, fen, marshes, near rivers, streams and ponds, in wet woods[9].
Range Europe, including Britain, south and east to N. Africa and southwest Asia Also in S. Africa, Madeira
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Water Plants Semi-shade Full sun
Mentha aquatica Water Mint


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Mentha aquatica Water Mint
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Mentha aquatica is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to October, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

Synonyms

M. hirsuta.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

Leaves - raw or cooked. A strong distinctive peppermint-like fragrance[183]. Used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods[5]. The leaves are too pungent for most people to use as a flavouring[244]. A herb tea is made from the leaves[21, 183].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anodyne;  Antidiarrhoeal;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Astringent;  Carminative;  Cholagogue;  Diaphoretic;  
Emetic;  Refrigerant;  Stimulant;  Stomachic;  Tonic;  Vasodilator.

The leaves are anodyne, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, emetic, refrigerant, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vasodilator[4, 9, 21]. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments[222]. It is also used as a mouth-wash and a gargle for treating sore throats, ulcers, bad breath etc[9]. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use[238]. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses[222].

Other Uses

Repellent;  Strewing.

The plant repels flies, mice and rats[14, 20, 244]. It has a pleasant, fresh scent and was formerly used as a strewing herb and has been strewn in granaries to keep mice and rats off the grain[14, 244]. The plant, harvested before flowering, yields about 0.8% essential oil[240]. The fresh or dried plant is very good when used in herbal baths and can also be used in herb pillows[244].

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry[1, 16, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but it also succeeds in partial shade. Plants can grow in water up to 15cm deep[24]. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil[K]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The whole plant, especially when bruised, has a pungent aroma of bergamot[245]. The flowers are especially attractive to bees and butterflies[24]. A good companion for brassicas[14]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division[K]. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Mentha arvensisCorn Mint, Wild mint32
Mentha arvensis piperascensJapanese Mint32
Mentha arvensis villosaAmerican Wild Mint32
Mentha asiaticaAsian Mint32
Mentha australis 02
Mentha cervinaHart's Pennyroyal32
Mentha cunninghamia 02
Mentha diemenica 22
Mentha longifoliaHorsemint22
Mentha pulegiumPennyroyal33
Mentha requieniiCorsican Mint, Mint32
Mentha satureioidesNative Pennyroyal22
Mentha species 22
Mentha spicataSpearmint43
Mentha suaveolensRound-Leaved Mint, Apple mint, Pineapple Mint22
Mentha x gracilisGinger Mint32
Mentha x piperita citrataEau De Cologne Mint, Eau de Cologne Mint, Peppermint22
Mentha x piperita officinalisWhite Peppermint35
Mentha x piperita vulgarisBlack Peppermint45
Mentha x smithianaRed Raripila Mint32
Mentha x villosa alopecuroidesApple Mint42

 

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Botanical References

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Subject : Mentha aquatica  
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