December 2009
The Herb Farm

Mountain Mint

 

Hoary mountainmint (Pycnan-themum incanum)

I just finished my fall seed collections a few days ago and there’s still a bunch of plants out there for you to harvest seeds from, if you haven’t done it yet.

There were lots of wild Asteraceae in various genres, Lobelia, Carolina buckthorn, beautyberry and, one of my all-time favorites, mountain mint (Pycnanthemum).

Mountain mint grows wild in many conditions from moist, flood areas to poor, dry clayey soil. The area where I harvest mountain mint is a rocky roadside on a hill of Alabama red clay. It seems to like the conditions best there because the shrubs grow taller and fatter. That area gets sun nearly all day long. Though this mint will grow in part shade, it thrives in full sun.

Mountain mint species like narrowleaf mountainmint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium)
grows from Quebec, Canada, to Florida and beyond. Other species like the coastal plain mountainmint (Pycnanthemum nudum) and Appalachian mountainmint (Pycnanthemum flexuosum) are distributed within the warmer Southeastern United States.

Medicinal uses: Like many mints, mountain mint is used to treat gastric disorders like gas, colic, indigestion, etc. A tea made from the leaves and sweetened has a pleasant menthol flavor. When combined with chamomile and Stevia, the mountain mint tea is naturally sweet and is sipped for relaxation. Mountain mint tea is also used as a carminative. Native Americans made poultices to use as a remedy for headaches or genital inflammation in men.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are 11 species of mountain mint growing in Alabama and surrounding states. Five of the species are considered to be threatened or endangered. Be sure you know which ones you are harvesting and use the wildcrafting code of ethics when doing so.

Thanks for reading!

Be sure to find me on Facebook at "Herb Farmer-The Herb Farm."

If you have any questions about other uses for mountainming, e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I’ll tell you all I know. As always, check with an expert, like your doctor, before using this or any other herbal remedy.