Peppermint, or Mentha balsamea, is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint. Peppermint is an essential ingredient in candies, chewing gum, toothpaste, candles, extracts and compounds. Fresh leaves are preferable over dried. Harvesting of mint leaves can be done at any time. Fresh leaves should be used immediately or stored up to a few days in plastic bags in a refrigerator. Optionally, leaves can be frozen in ice cube trays. Dried mint leaves should be stored in an airtight container placed in a cool, dark, dry area.
Mint, or Mentha, is a genus of plants in the family Lamiaceae. Mints are aromatic plants, with leaf color that ranges from dark green and gray-green to purple, blue, and sometimes pale yellow. The most common mints for commercial cultivation are peppermint, native spearmint, scotch spearmint, apple mint and cornmint. Mint oil is also used as an environmentally-friendly insecticide.