Zen and the Scent of Mint Meditation

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We are more than the family we come from.
We are the alchemy of our ancestry.
We contain the same medicine, the blueprint of wholeness.
All one yet each unique.

Hello hello! Did you know that more than half of the kitchen herbs we know and love are in the mint family? These beloved aromatic plants are mostly used for aromatherapy, culinary, and medicinal purposes. They all have a beneficial action in calming the mind, soothing the central nervous system and aiding digestion. They are the exquisite and versatile members of the Lamiaceae family which has over 220 genera (genus) and around 7000 species.

Amongst the most commonly known and most used are mint, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, sage, lemon balm, lavender, oregano, and basil.

MINT-FAMILY-CHART

We are going to keep it simple and chat about the uplifting mentha variety. There are dozens of types from spearmint to chocolate mint to lavender mint and of course the well-loved peppermint. Menthol is found in peppermint but not in spearmint. The spearmint varieties are the ones we mostly cook with and the peppermints are used mostly in aromatherapy and for medicinal purposes because of the expansive and penetrating effects of the menthol.

MINTY REFRESHING STEAM

Come Spring I can usually be found in the mornings with my head over a steam bowl covered with a towel, inhaling the bright uplifting steam of peppermint and/or rosemary. This makes me go AHHHHHHHHHH, opening up my sinuses, clearing any mental fog, and giving me a sweet sense of happiness. Simple pleasures. Simple practices. You don’t have to feel sick to implement self-care. This is preventative medicine at it’s best. These powerful plant essences are antimicrobial and will keep colds and flu at bay.

Add 4 drops peppermint and 2 drops rosemary oil into a steaming bowl of water. Cover head with towel over bowl and inhaaaaaaaale. Be mindful not to add too many drops as the olfactory mucosa are sensitive and these oils are pungent. They clear excess kapha from the lungs and Pitta heat from the mind and are also gently soothing to the Vata nervous system. I usually hover over the steam bowl for 5 minutes or so and then I take a facecloth, dip it into the aromatic warm water, squeeze out and place over my face. Breathe in. Repeat. Mmmmmmmm so good.

In my creative work and writing area I drizzle a few drops of peppermint and lavender essential oil into my nebulizer (diffuser) and it clears the air leaving me feeling relaxed and awake. I love working with this clarifying, oh so refreshing mist all around me.

MEDITATION AND MINT

All mints are ethereal in nature and this makes them expansive, opening up the pranic pathways of body and mind. This Zen plant essence brings a feeling of happiness, relieving mental and emotional stress. Here is an easy meditation practice using the recall of smell and absorption of a calming visual impression. You can do this any time of day if feeling fatigued, stressed, irritated, or anxious.

zen-MEDITATION

FOCUS ON THIS ZEN IMAGE

If you have peppermint essential oil put a drop on the palm of your hands and rub them together. Place hands over nose and inhale deeply. Otherwise from memory engage the scent of peppermint. Once you have absorbed the visual and called up the mint smell, close your eyes. Take a deep inhalation and allow your lungs to expand with the mint. With closed eyes focus your gaze at the third eye. Hold and gently exhale. Open your eyes, gaze at the image and repeat practice 3-5X. Notice how relaxed you feel.

I always find it interesting that the flowers of the mint family are mostly purple. Purple is the colour of the crown chakra, the thousand petalled lotus of cosmic consciousness. These seemingly simple mints are really sacred medicine for helping us get out of our own egocentric minds. Using these herbs and essences we can open portals to higher pursuits by relaxing the nervous system and allowing the uplifting scent to drive out stagnation, fatigue, and resistance.

MINT1ADBP

The AromaDosha Blueprint™ forTridosha.

PEPPERMINT is listed as one of the primary essential oils for clearing the mind. Begin to build your intentional daily health-care routine by adding one herb, spice, essential oil, and food at a time from the AromaDosha Blueprint™, mindfully incorporating them into your personal daily practice as works best for you. How about incorporating MINT into your practice beginning with an uplifting morning steam inhalation!

KeepCalm

If you know someone who you think would benefit, please share this blog with them.

Spread happiness and peace with the Zen benefits of the mint family.

We would love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

With Fragrant Blessings,
Glynn and Mel Xox

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