Water Mint

(Mentha aquatica) "the savor or smell ... rejoyceth the heart of man, for which cause they use to strew it in chambers ..." (Gerard). It was used in Lincolnshire to make a tea to be taken for heart complaints (Gutch & Peacock). Actually, this is quite a common popular belief, but usually it is said to be best in some alcoholic medium (Schauenberg & Paris). An infusion of the leaves gives a good carminative, like peppermint, but without the menthol. Africans powder the root bark, to be eaten for the relief of diarrhoea (Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk), and herbalists use it for this all over the world. It is ". good against the stinging of bees and wasps, if the place be rubbed therewith" (Gerard). For scrofula, in the Balkans, it is cooked in water, and the hot plant applied externally, and the liquid drunk (Kemp).

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