The family of plants generally referred to as mints boasts an impressive list of culinary and health-boosting superstars. As comfortable as a kitten and feeling right at home in your kitchen we often find the aromatic cousins basil, rosemary, lavender, thyme, oregano and savory. Mints often double as green medicines, with oil of lavender standing tall as one of the most consistent natural pain relievers, and oregano basking in the sunshine of over 200 scientific studies conclusively proving its worth as an antibiotic.
This minty family often surprises and delights, with the much-valued teak tree being a distant cousin known for its beautiful wood. Nepitella, also known as lesser calamint, is an essential ingredient for success within circles of chefs devoted to Italian cuisine.
What does it do?
Herbal teas concocted from nepitella’s leaves offer relief to sufferers of numerous complaints. Women experiencing painful periods have turned to this dependable botanical, as have insomniacs seeking a good night’s rest. Nepitella helps reduce fevers and stands ready to induce sweating when a diaphoretic is needed. A cup of this beverage is also provided to those who suffer from depression. With many pharmaceutical drugs posing health risks owing to side effects, non-toxic herbal therapy often provides safe and effective ways to handle life’s challenges to our state of well being.
About the herb
Nepitella is a hardy perennial that grows wild in Italy and is much used in the traditional cuisine of Tuscany. Releasing a potent flavor that brings to mind a blend of mint and oregano, nepitella can be planted as a useful herbal border in your garden. Its lavender pink flowers draw honeybees and butterflies adding to the enchantment. Easy to grow in pots, nepitella plants survive 3 or 4 years.
Address the discomfort of flatulence with a tasty cup of nepitella tea. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over an ounce of dried leaves—or 3 handfuls of fresh leaves—and steep for 20 minutes. Strain and enjoy! As a food enhancer, nepitella makes a marvelous companion in dishes that feature mushrooms. Avoid using this potent plant medicine during pregnancy.