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Corn Mint

Mentha arvensis

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Lamiaceae (Dead-nettle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Ditches, fields, grassland, heathland, marshes, riverbanks, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

Purple, 4 petals
The flowers grow together in whorls of 6 or more around the leaf axils. Flowers are pale purple or pink. They are occasionally white. Pollinated by bees.
A 2-parted carpel. The seeds ripen from June to October.
Simple leaves which are arranged in opposite pairs along the stems. The short-stalked leaves are pointed oval and have short teeth around the edges. A hairy perennial.
Smells of mint. Least pleasantly fragrant of our mints (UK). Some say it smells sickly.
Other Names:
Field Mint, Wild Mint.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Mentha arvensis, also known as wild mint or corn mint, is a perennial herb in the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is native to Europe and Asia and is known for its minty scent and small, white or pink flowers. The plant typically grows in damp, shady places and along riverbanks, ditches and marshy areas. It's a strong-scented herb that can reach up to 1 meter tall. The leaves are opposite, toothed, and are usually ovate or lanceolate in shape. The flowers are small and white or pink, and they are arranged in terminal spikes or whorls. The plant is used in cooking, particularly in the form of its essential oil, which is used to flavor food and beverages. It is also used in traditional medicine and it has been used to treat digestive issues and respiratory problems.


Corn mint, scientifically known as Mentha arvensis, is a perennial herb that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. This plant is also known by various names such as field mint, wild mint, and Japanese mint. It is native to Asia and Europe but is now found all over the world. Corn mint is widely used for its medicinal and culinary properties.

Appearance and Growth Habits

Corn mint has a slender, square stem that grows up to 3 feet tall. The leaves are oval-shaped, pointed at the tip, and serrated around the edges. They are a dark green color and have a slightly fuzzy texture. The flowers are pale purple or pinkish-white and grow in spikes at the end of the stem. The plant has a strong, refreshing minty aroma.

Corn mint grows best in damp, marshy soil and is often found near water bodies. It is a hardy plant that can survive in most soil types and can tolerate both sun and shade. Corn mint is usually propagated by seeds or stem cuttings.

Culinary Uses

Corn mint is a popular herb in culinary dishes around the world. Its strong, minty flavor makes it a favorite in teas, salads, and meat dishes. In Japan, it is used to flavor mochi, a type of rice cake. In India, it is added to chutneys and sauces.

Corn mint is also used to flavor various food products such as candies, gums, and toothpaste. Its essential oil is added to flavoring agents in the food industry.

Medicinal Properties

Corn mint has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Its essential oil contains menthol, menthone, and menthyl acetate, which have analgesic, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Corn mint oil is used to relieve pain and inflammation associated with headaches, migraines, and rheumatism. It is also used to alleviate the symptoms of colds, coughs, and respiratory infections. The oil is added to creams, balms, and ointments to relieve sore muscles, joint pain, and skin irritation.

In traditional Chinese medicine, corn mint is used to relieve menstrual cramps, digestive disorders, and nausea. It is also believed to have a cooling effect on the body, making it useful for treating fevers and hot flashes.

Precautions and Side Effects

While corn mint is generally considered safe, it can cause allergic reactions in some people. The essential oil should be used with caution and should not be applied directly to the skin as it can cause irritation. Corn mint oil should not be used by pregnant or nursing women and should not be given to children under the age of six.

Corn mint, also known as Mentha arvensis, is a versatile herb with many culinary and medicinal uses. Its refreshing minty flavor and aroma make it a popular ingredient in teas, salads, and meat dishes. The plant's essential oil is used to relieve pain, inflammation, and respiratory ailments. While it is generally considered safe, corn mint oil should be used with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Facts about Corn Mint

Here are some additional interesting facts about corn mint:

  • Corn mint is a natural insect repellent. The plant's essential oil can be used as a natural alternative to chemical insect repellents. It is effective against mosquitoes, flies, and other pests.

  • Corn mint is also used in aromatherapy. The essential oil is added to diffusers and vaporizers to promote relaxation, relieve stress, and improve mental clarity.

  • The plant's leaves can be used to make a refreshing tea. To make corn mint tea, steep a handful of fresh leaves in hot water for a few minutes. The tea is said to have a calming effect on the digestive system and can relieve nausea and indigestion.

  • Corn mint is a great companion plant for gardeners. It repels pests such as ants, aphids, and flea beetles, and attracts beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. Planting corn mint near vegetables like tomatoes and peppers can help protect them from pests.

  • In traditional medicine, corn mint was used to treat snake bites. The plant was crushed and applied to the bite wound to relieve pain and swelling.

  • Corn mint is often confused with peppermint (Mentha x piperita), which is a hybrid of watermint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha spicata). While the two plants look similar, corn mint has a milder flavor and aroma compared to peppermint.

More Facts about Corn Mint

Here are some additional facts about corn mint:

  • Corn mint is widely used in the fragrance industry. Its essential oil is used in perfumes, soaps, shampoos, and other personal care products. The oil's refreshing and cooling properties make it a popular ingredient in aftershaves and foot creams.

  • Corn mint is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamins A and C, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The plant's leaves can be added to salads to increase their nutritional value.

  • Corn mint is an invasive species in some areas. Its ability to grow and spread rapidly has made it a problematic plant in some regions. In the United States, corn mint is considered an invasive weed in some states, including Indiana and Iowa.

  • Corn mint has a long history of use in traditional medicine. It has been used for thousands of years to treat various ailments, including headaches, digestive disorders, and respiratory infections. In ancient Greece and Rome, the plant was used to freshen breath and whiten teeth.

  • Corn mint is used in some cultures as a natural remedy for hair loss. The plant's essential oil is massaged into the scalp to improve circulation and promote hair growth. It is also used to treat dandruff and other scalp conditions.

  • Corn mint is a popular flavoring in tobacco products. The plant's essential oil is added to chewing tobacco and snuff to improve their flavor and aroma.

In conclusion, corn mint is a versatile plant with many culinary, medicinal, and commercial applications. Its refreshing minty flavor and aroma make it a popular ingredient in teas, salads, and meat dishes, while its essential oil is used to relieve pain, inflammation, and respiratory ailments. Whether you're a gardener, a chef, or a health enthusiast, corn mint is a plant worth exploring.


Corn Mint filmed at Worthington Lakes, Lancashire on the 12th July 2022.


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