The Wisconsin Mint Industry    

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Interesting Facts About Mint

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With its fresh scent hard to miss, mint was no doubt one of the earliest herbs discovered.  It has been found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 1000 BC and has been part of the Chinese pharmacopoeia even longer. 

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The early Romans believed eating mint would increase intelligence.  The scent of mint was supposed to stop a person from losing his temper and royal ambassadors carried mint sprigs in their pockets.  It was also used to sweeten the often rank smell of medieval halls. 

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Peppermint is one of the oldest and best tasting home remedies for indigestion.  Today mint is still used to alleviate flatulence and aid the digestion (yes, after dinner mints are good for you).  Studies show that peppermint lessens the amount of time food spends in the stomach by stimulating the gastric lining to produce enzymes which aid digestion. 

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One drum of oil (weighing about 400 pounds) can be used to flavor approximately 5 million sticks of chewing gum or 400,000 tubes of toothpaste.

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The United States produces more than 70% of the world’s supply of peppermint and spearmint. 

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Recent research conducted at the University of Cincinnati has shown that sniffing mint improves concentration; several Japanese companies now pipe small amounts through their air conditioning systems to invigorate workers and improve productivity.

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The genus Mentha is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean basin.  Mint or Mintha, is named after the Greek nymph Minthes, who was turned into a mint plant by Proserpine, the jealous wife of Pluto, for casting covetous eyes on the philandering god of the underworld.  Proserpine gained her revenge by turning Minthes into an herb where she would be forever trampled under people’s feet.  To keep people treading on her forever, Proserpine gave Minthes eternal freshness and fragrance.