Japanese peppermint

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by kesoaps, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2004
    Washington State
    Does anyone grow this variety? I'd not heard of it until the mastitis thread in the cattle forum, and now after a bit of research I've just got to have some!
  2. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2002
    I hope we're talking about the same plant - I grow Japanese Menthol Mint, and have done for years. It has a truly astonishing menthol smell and taste - far stronger than peppermint or even pennyroyal - and is brilliant if you have a cold and the sniffles for 'clearing the passages'. It's quite a 'knock-your-socks-off' smell, very powerful, and is the mint I prefer to use for all kinds of shock. Just smelling it helps people get back their breath, and calms them down. It has a strong taste, too, and it's good for a sore throat - I prefer to just gargle it. It's very good when used as a steam inhalant. I'd never use it for cooking - too strong for my taste - but as a medicinal herb, it's a very good one to have.

    I live in the subtropics where the sun is fierce, so as with all mints, I find it grows best in partial shade. It's like all its other relatives, and has a yen to take over the world, so I keep mine firmly contained in a pot - and strongly recommend that you do the same! I repot it about twice a year, as it gets potbound quite quickly. Soil needs to be kept moist (not soggy) at all times, and it benefits from a bit of iron from time to time (stick a couple of rusty nails into the soil nearby).

    I don't know if seeds are available - I started mine as a small plant purchased from a specialist herb nursery. It's worth hunting for.

    Edited to deal with typos.