Benefits of Mint Family Plants

Sage leaves with text: Benefits of Mint Family Plants

The mint family, known scientifically as Lamiaceae, includes some of the most popular herbs in the world. You know many of them, whether you realize they are mint family plants or not: peppermint, spearmint, and thyme, as well as plants like lavender, lemon balm, sage, and oregano. The benefits of mint family plants are numerous! These herbs are valued for their flavor and medicinal properties. Mint family plants have a long history of use to treat a range of ailments, including digestive issues, anxiety, and inflammation.

Mint plant

This group of fragrant and versatile herbs and plants are beloved around the world for their many uses and benefits. From adding flavor to your cooking to easing digestion, these herbs have long been a part of human life. What makes the mint family so special? For one, these plants are rich in essential oils that give them their signature scent and flavor. These oils also have many health benefits, such as soothing upset stomachs, reducing headaches, and even improving cognitive function.

How to Identify – Characteristics of Mint Family Plants

Since they are part of the same family, many of these plants have similar characteristics. What makes a mint a mint?

  • Mints have a square stem that sets them apart from other plants.
  • The plants have opposite leaves.
  • Mint family plants have light colored flowers in clusters at the end of the top stem, usually in purple, pink, white or blue.
  • Leaves are smallish and oval with a serrated edge (some more than others).
  • The leaves are highly aromatic when crushed and the scent will linger on skin.

Ways to Use Mint Family Plants

The mint family plants are versatile in the kitchen and for incorporating into everyday meals. From freshening your breath with a sprig of mint to adding some zing to your pasta sauce with oregano, there are countless ways to incorporate these herbs into your cooking. And with their many health benefits, they make a great addition to any diet.

Oregano plant

Mint family plants are beneficial, natural pest deterrents that protect people and crops. Lavender was once kept on window sills to deter scorpions. Mint and lemon balm deter ants, spiders and fleas. Rosemary and sage can deter mosquitoes, snails, moths and beetles.


  • The herb commonly known as mint can be either spearmint (Mentha spicata) or peppermint (Mentha x piperita). These are two distinct plants with their own unique mint family benefits.
  • Spearmint soothes nausea and indigestion while peppermint has invigorating properties good for improving breathing and headaches.
  • Spearmint is a common flavoring for toothpaste, chewing gum, and as a cocktail or cooking garnish.
  • Peppermint is often used in a culinary sense for sweet dishes like desserts and in candies.
  • There are so many other mints to explore! Catmint, pineapple mint, apple mint, orange mint, chocolate mint (chocolate scented only), and American wild mint which is native to the United States and Canada.
  • Try a spearmint glycerite for soothing digestive benefits!


  • Savor this plant as a cooking seasoning on root vegetables, for marinades, butter, and flavored salts.
  • Use rosemary water as a hair rinse to soothe dandruff and itchy scalps and skin.
  • Soak rosemary to make an infused olive oil or vinegar.
  • Use a muslin or cotton satchel filled with rosemary in the dryer in place of fabric drying sheets.
  • Essential or aromatherapy rosemary oil can provide relief from anxiety, indigestion, headache, joint pain, cold and flu, and poor circulation.
Rosemary plant


  • Lavender is the sleep herb, commonly used in lotions and bath products to help both children and adults relax for bedtime.
  • The lavender plant is entirely edible. The flowers create a delicate decorative and floral flavor accent to desserts and baked goods.
  • The leaves and flowers, when steeped in hot water, make a light and astringent tea. Although this is a nourishing tea, it can be quite strong on its own. Try pairing with other leaves such as mint or lemon balm for a smoother flavor.
  • Lavender as an aromatic herb can ease headache and reduce stress.
  • Soaking in a lavender and Epsom salt bath can soothe sore muscles and joints.
Lavender flowers in field


  • Used fresh or dry in cooking, as an addition to pasta, pizza, soups, and other savory dishes.
  • Oregano is high in vitamins E and K and helps repair skin when applied externally or taken internally.
  • Infuse oil olive with oregano for a tasty drizzle over fresh vegetables.
  • Oregano oil infusion can be used to rub over aching joints or muscles for pain relief. Taken internally, this oil can help improve respiratory function.
  • Oregano can be used to make a tea! This warming tea is wonderful for winter months and assists in boosting immunity and reducing inflammation.

Lemon Balm

  • Lemon balm leaves make a mood-lifting warm tea with a light citrus scent. Lemon balm helps people relax and feel sleepy.
  • When combined with magnesium and vitamin B, lemon balm can improve athletic recovery from sore muscles and fatigue.
  • Salves made from lemon balm can help soothe and heal irritated and inflamed skin.
  • Essential oil is used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-viral.
  • Lemon balm herbal spray with witch hazel can work as a pest repellant.
  • Try our beet lemon balm or lemon balm spinach tinctures!


  • Sage is well-know for use as a incense or air purifying herb.
  • Dried and ground sage is a culinary herb, often mixed with thyme, rosemary or marjoram.
  • Sage is high in anti-oxidants when ingested.
  • The scent of sage repels mosquitoes.
  • Sage has anti-inflammatory, decongestant and antiseptic properties.
  • Medival Europeans believed sage provided wisdom and knowledge.
Close view of sage leaves, a plant in the mint family


  • Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is used as a culinary herb in pesto and other dishes.
  • When applied to skin, basil assists in clearing acne and other skin irritations.
  • Basil is excellent at reducing inflammation and as an anti-bacterial topical application.
  • Like many other plants in the mint family, basil leaves can be steeped to make a healing and calming tea. This can assist and aid digestion.

If you’re interested in incorporating the mint family into your life, there are plenty of options. Try growing some of these herbs in your garden or using them fresh in your cooking. The amazing scents boost mood and are useful for aromatherapy. You can also look for teas, supplements, and essential oils that feature these amazing plants.

The mint family of plants is a diverse and beneficial group that brings joy and can find a place in every home. Whether you’re using them to add flavor to your cooking or to treat an ailment, these herbs are sure to delight you and enhance your life in countless ways.

Explore the world of mint today!

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