Water Mint.

Botanical name: 

Plate 34. Mintha aquatica.

Also see: Spear Mint - Water mint - Peppermint - Long Leaved Wild Mint - Penny-royal

A common wild plant of the mint kind, not so much regarded as it deserves. It is frequent by ditch sides. It is a foot and half high. The stalks are square, upright, firm, and strong, and generally of a brown colour; the leaves are broad and short; they stand two at a joint, and are of a brownish or deep green colour, somewhat hairy, and serrated about the edges. The flowers are larger than those of common mint, and are of a pale red colour; they stand in round thick clusters at the tops of the stalks, and round the upper joints. The whole plant has a strong smell, not disagreeable, but of a mixed kind between that of mint, and penny royal: and the taste is strong and acrid, but it is not to be called disagreeable.

A distilled water of this plant is excellent against colics, pains in the stomach and bowels, and it will bring down the menses. A single dose of it often cures the colic. The use of peppermint has excluded this kind from the present practice, but all three ought to be used. Where a simple weakness of the stomach is the complaint, the common mint should be used; when colicy pains alone, the peppermint; and where suppressions of the menses are in the case, this wild water mint: they may all be given in the way of tea, but a simple water distilled from them, and made sufficiently strong, is by much the most efficacious.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.