Water Mint

Water Mint

Water Mint - Mentha aquatica

Plant with reddish ascendant stem reaching up to 20-50 cm in height. Leaves with long stalk, opposite, oval, slightly toothed and hairy.

Flowers arranged in inflorescences like flower heads at the tip of the stem and in evident whorls at the leaf axes below. Pink or violet corolla.

It flowers from June to September. Mentha aquatica grows in shallow waters, on the banks of ponds, streams and ditches but also in marshes and wet meadows. It is common and frequent all over Italy.

Because of its strong and pleasant aroma, Water Mint has been employed since ancient times for culinary purposes, and its essential oils have been much used in herbal medicine especially for treating stomach ailments.

By crossing the species with other mints of the same genus, several hybrids have been obtained, many of which only exist today as cultivars.

The most famous is Peppermint, Menta piperita, which appeared spontaneously and has only been known since 1750.

The varieties obtained from hybridisation and cultivated today are widely used for making perfumes, syrups and liquors, and to flavour toothpaste, medicines, sweets and chewing gum.