Are Mint And Peppermint The Same? Know The Difference
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Although they belong to the same botanical family, mint and peppermint are two distinct herbs. These flavouring herbs belong to the Lamiaceae family of flowering plants, which also contains other herbs like sage and deadnettle. Like most other fresh herbs, mint and peppermint are used in a wide range of edible and medicinal applications. In Indian cuisine, mint or spearmint as it is also known, sees itself featuring in pretty much all kinds of recipes – from chutneys, tea, pulaos and even chopped up to strew over a salad; whereas peppermint is mostly associated as being the herb that is used to make infusions or oils. That said, although they are similar in most characteristics, both herbs have their own unique aspects that make them different from one another.


Mint or mentha spicata, as it is known scientifically, has a sweet, mild flavour with a hint of cooling sensation when eaten and has a refreshing, slightly fruity flavour. Spearmint has a low menthol content in comparison to peppermint and has spear-shaped, pointy leaves that are bright green in colour. Although both, mint and peppermint are widely used in medicine as well as herbal remedies, common mint is known particularly to be a good digestive aid as well as relieve bloating and nausea, in a mild capacity. Spearmint or mint is also used more commonly in beverages, desserts and cocktails compared to peppermint, due to its ability to complement the other flavours present in a dish. Mint, unlike peppermint, is also used in a variety of savoury applications like pesto and pair with lamb.

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Peppermint, or mentha piperita has a stronger, intense menthol flavour which has a cooling sensation on being consumed. Typically used as a flavouring agent in chewing gums, mouth fresheners, tea and even chocolates, peppermint has a distinct minty and a slightly spicy flavour. Peppermint can also be identified in appearance with its broader leaves and serrated edges, as well as its reddish-purple veins on dark green leaves. Like mint, peppermint is also used for its medicinal properties and high menthol content – which helps in soothing digestive issues like bloating, indigestion and nausea. Peppermint, in oil form, is also used to relieve headaches and clear sinuses. Peppermint is also used in most candies, ice cream and drinks like mint juleps and mojitos.