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Wild mint will very likely be recognized by your nose before your eyes have found it. This beautiful plant is a very variable perennial plant that can grow up to two feet tall. Wild mint sill have many rather weak, four angled stems. Often you will find small hairs on the angles. The leaves are ovate with toothed edges and aromatically scented. The flowers of the wild mint are arranged in whorled clusters in the widely separated leaf axils of the upper leaves. The calyxes appear to be hairy and the flowers are tubular appearing in lavender or pale pink. The fruits of the wild mint are small brown nutlets, growing in fours in persistent calyxes. Wild mint is most often found in the moist ground and wet places throughout the United States and most of Canada. This plant is absent from the far north and rare in the southern United States.
There are several widespread mints, including peppermint, spearmint apple mint, and many others which can be recognized by their scents. These plants bear their flowers in dense spikes, not in widely separated whorls. Menthol, the main constituent of the volatile oil of mint plants, is used as an antibacterial and antiparasitic. Dissolved in alcohol, it has proved effective against ringworms. The mints have also demonstrated an antispasimodic effective for colic and flatulence. Because of the flavonoids mint contains, it is known to stimulate the liver and gall bladder, increasing the flow of bile. Azulene in the oil has anti-inflammatory and ulcer healing effects. Externally the menthol from mints is used in pain relieving balms, massage oils, and lineaments. Menthol is cooling and increases the blood flow to the area to which it is applied.