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Food

The Queen of All Mints: Calamintha

November 12, 2019

Calamintha nepeta or “calaminthi” is a lovely aromatic and medicinal plant with the aroma between mint and oregano. The name is from Greek “kalos” meaning good and it said that in ancient times snakes avoid being around it. Calamint is a plant like mint but it has a very strong a pungent aroma and medicinal properties than the rest of the mints. If you found it in the wild you could understand that is a mint with very strong aroma and very small leaves than the usual mints. The plant was known for its aromatic properties since the ancient times. It is stronger than mint in antioxidants, antiseptic and antibiotic properties. It is good for the liver and this is why you can drink a tea of calamint after a meal. Also, it helps in a range of digestion problems as a tea or as a herb in the food cooked or raw in salads. It helps in spasms, crapms or other pains in intestines and stomach.

Rubbing fresh leaves directly to the skin, can help in healing of small skin injuries. It is edible and you can enjoy the dried leaves in a tea or in many recipes replacing mint, oregano or thyme. Here is a recipe of “Greek pitakia”, savory crepes to enjoy all the aroma of Calamint: 250 g flour, 500 g water, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp dried Calamint, ½ teaspoon salt. We mix all the ingredients and make a thick porridge. We heat a small pan with some drops of olive oil. We pour a small amount to make a thin crepe. After a while, we twist the other side and we sprinkle with small pieces of mizithra or feta cheese. We roll it after 2-3 min. Enjoy with sprinkling Greek Thyme Honey on the top!

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* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.

Evropi-Sofia Dalampira

Agriculturist-MSc Botany-Biology and PhD Candidate in Agricultural-Environmental Education and Science Communication

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