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Lighthouse Mint

Lighthouse Mint - Lighthouse Lavender & crisp spearmint leaves. Unusual & Magnificent.

Our founder and Medical Herbalist, Cath Minter chats about Lighthouse Mint and the health benefits of this spearmint based herbal tea.

I had the good fortune to live at one of Australia’s most beautiful lighthouses, Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse, Seal Rocks from 1997-2005 with my family. It was a magical time with most days spent playing in the sand dunes, swimming or gardening in the afternoon golden light. After a couple of years living there I planted a row of English Lavender along a wall border and was so happy to see it thrive, sending out its elegant sage green stems onto the visitors' walking path. I don’t think I can ever recall seeing a single soul walking that path that did not feel the urge to touch or hold fast to the flower heads or brush their hands through the heady, spicy scented frames of the lush purple. The scent on a full summer's day was like nothing else, and so many visitors commented on the joy of experiencing this.

On one particular afternoon I was making spearmint tea and found myself picking lavender heads to add to the brew. I liked the colour combination of purple and green and I just wanted to start using the lavender in cooking and in tea blends, it was so prolific in growth. The resulting tea was striking, clear fresh spearmint notes with a spicy aromatic undertone of Lavender….yum. Lighthouse Mint was created!.

Spearmint, like all the plants in the mint family has a carminative action on digestion.

It has less menthol content in the essential oil then its close relative, peppermint, which gives it a sweeter, more fragrant flavour. It is a lovely tea to drink after dinner to settle digestion and the lavender addition adds to its calming and nourishing effect as the linalool content of lavender essential oil is a carminative.

Lavender is one of the most extensively used herbs to date and has a long history in herbal medicine as a relaxing tonic and nervine. There have been numerous scientific studies done on Lavender to ascertain the major chemicals at work in the plant with linalool (20-35%), linaly acetate ( 30-55%) found to be the most predominant. Both of these chemicals have been shown via in vitro and in vivo data to have sedative, spasmolytic, anti-fungal, carminative, anti-anxiety and mood enhancement actions.

In my practice I found this tea really helpful as a support for menopausal ladies with night sweats and hot flushes. The cooling quality of the spearmint combined with the anxiety reducing/ mood enhancement effects of the lavender is a perfect combination for women who are feeling tired and stressed from lack of sleep and hormonal instability. Try two cups throughout the day and one before bed.  Lavender extract often finds its way into the herbal mixes for menopausal women because of its soothing, anti-anxiety effects.

Lighthouse Mint is a calming and nourishing tea which can be consumed as an after-dinner digestive and sleep aid, or drunk all day long for the simple pleasure of it.  

Check with your health professional before taking herbal medicines.

If you would like a copy of the references for this article, please contact The Tea Lady.

© Cath Minter Medical Herbalist 2012

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