Mints are known for their crisp clean flavors and are used in cooking, culinary fare and herbal medicines. Mint is the herb that most obviously and extensively gets used in both sweet and savory dishes. It is a classic garnish for desserts, but adds wonderful bursts of flavor when added to salads or used with fish. Add it fresh to flavor drinks, make a Mint Chutney to flavor veggies, fish, chicken, or lamb.
Mint has been used as a flavoring since antiquity. The Romans introduced spearmint and mint sauces to Britain. English cooking uses the herb as its main flavoring herb with new potatoes and green peas, as well as in mint sauce for lamb or mutton. In Spain and Italy it is common enough although there are so many other herbs to choose. From a culinary standpoint it does not combine well with garlic. In all the countries of the Middle East, Mint is a common flavoring, as it also is in India. Mint, for instance is ground with Coconut and forms the basis of chutneys, which will also contain onion, green chili, green mango and other substances.
In the 1700s mint became the herb of choice for medicinal use, given its stronger action to calm the stomach. Today's herbalist finds many uses of spearmints and peppermints. These herbs are a common flavoring used in chewing gum and mouthwashes. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which has an antiseptic action and causes the sensation of coldness some medicinal preparation.