Wild Water Mint.

Botanical name: 

Water mint Mentha aquatica.

Natural Order—Labiatae. Linnean System, Class 14, Didynamia; Order 1st, Gymnospermia.

This plant grows from one to three feet high, in brooks, hedges or rivers, pits, ponds, ditches, canals, and swampy places, almost everywhere in England. The stalks are square, upright, very firm, and generally brown in colour. The leaves are broad and short, alternately opposite each other, and are brownish or deep green in colour, hairy, with nicely serrated edges. The flowers are pale purple in colour, and are larger than those of the common Mint. They stand in round, thick clusters at the top of the stalks and round the upper joints and branches. They are labiate; the stamens four in each flower, two long and two short. It is a perennial, and flowers in August and September.

Medicinal Properties: Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Antispasmodic.

In severe cold and influenza, or in any complaint where it is necessary to set up perspiration, and in all inflammatory complaints, internal or external, a tea made from this plant may be taken warm as freely as the patient pleases, one ounce to a pint of boiling water. It is a specific, also, for suppressed menstruation.

For an ordinary cold, try the following:—

Wild Water Mint ... 1 oz.
Composition Powder or Essence ... 1 teaspoonful

Infuse in one quart of boiling water, sweeten, and take a small teacupful, hot, every hour. Keep the bowels gently open with herbal pills. Whilst taking the medicine, put the feet for 30 minutes in a hot foot-bath made from Mugwort or Yarrow, about 2-oz. of the herb to two quarts of boiling water.

In bronchitis, pneumonia, pleurisy, &c., try the following:—

Wild Water Mint ... 1 oz.
Yarrow ... ½ oz.
Pleurisy Root, powdered ... 1 teaspoonful
Cayenne, powder ... a small pinch

Infuse in one quart of boiling water for 20 minutes, sweeten, keep warm, and take a wineglassful every half-hour. Another recipe is as follows:—

Wild Water Mint ... 1 oz.
Angelica Herb ... ½ oz.
Marshmallow Root, powder ... 1 teaspoonful
Composition Essence ... 1 teaspoonful

Prepare and take as the last. Use this latter especially for painful or suppressed menstruation.

(See Dr. England's lectures for articles on Composition Powder and Pleurisy Root in the "Standard Guide to Non-Poisonous Herbal Medicines.")

Health from British Wild Herbs was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, N.A.M.H., in 1918.