Mint-scented perennial growing to 2 ft (60 cm). Has hairy oval leaves, and purple flowers in late summer.
Habitat & Cultivation
Calamint grows wild in Europe and Asia from the British Isles eastward to Iran, especially in the Mediterranean region. It flourishes along roads and in dry places.
Calamint contains a volatile oil (about 0.35%) consisting mainly of pulegone.
History & Folklore
In classical legend, calamint had the power to drive away the Basilisk, a serpent credited with the ability to kill with its gaze or breath.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Calamint stimulates sweating, and hence helps lower fevers. It also settles gas and indigestion. It is expectorant, and is a good cough and cold remedy. This range of applications makes it a good medicinal herb for mild respiratory infections. It should preferably be mixed with other herbs such as yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris).
Do not take during pregnancy.