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Mint, pretty cool medicine


Mother Nature has an amazingly helpful herb to keep us cool - meet Mint.

Mint is known as a cooling herb - we've all encountered mint in toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum - and there’s a really good reason for this; mint is a solid, predictable, gentle medicine that’s been cooling and stimulating us for centuries.

Mint’s main affinity is for the stomach, where it cools overheated conditions like indigestion, nausea, bloating or gas. And this is exactly how mint works best energetically – when something needs cooling. Science also tells us that mint is antibacterial and antimicrobial, so this makes it even more useful.

In western herbalism, mint is described as carminative (helps quell gas), mildly diuretic and mildly vasodilating, so apart from its digestive assistance, mint’s cooling properties also encourages circulation, as well as helping to cool and open the respiratory system, helping to release and drain the stuffiness from sinuses and open up the bronchial passages. This is why we use it in our pollen blends.

Ayurvedic medicine also loves mint on a daily basis – it considers it a pungent herb with a cold temperature, and you just have to look at all the lassis and chutneys that have it in for its cooling properties. Ayurvedic medicine also uses it to balance circulation while cooling overheated conditions, as well as helping the digestive system release excessive energy without sedating the digestive process.

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses Field Mint or Bo He (Mentha haplocalyx brit. or Asian Field Mint) for similar properties. Like Bo He, mint’s ability to cool while gently draining connects it to the lung, liver, bladder, and heart meridians, so cooling overheated emotional states.

Mint is used in so many other ways - topically for fungal, parasitic, and bacterial conditions, and in aromatherapy - offer a bottle of peppermint essential oil below your horse's nostrils before a schooling workout, and it's said to focus the mind.

It’s so versatile, and better still, most horses love it.

So, here’s a top tip to help our horses while we’re experiencing this extraordinary, and very unusual, hot weather – make them up a cooling mint tea, cooled down, and slosh it into their feedbowl to help cool their bodies down.

Infuse 33g chopped mint herb with 1-litre boiling water to make a tea – remember to always cover herbal tea infusions as we want the essential oils in the tea, not evaporating into the atmosphere. Leave until cool, then slosh the lot, soaked herbs and all, into the feedbowl.

Stir and serve with a knowing smile ;-)