Aquaponics systems commonly involve raising freshwater fish because they can tolerate diverse water temperatures and pH…
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Known to be a favorite tasty treat of grandmothers, the herb Peppermint is now widely grown all over the world for its practical use in many dishes and for its medicinal properties. While you could simply buy the herb from a local farmers market, growing Peppermint in Aquaponics gardens will surely provide you with so much more.
In this article, we will explore how to grow the herb Peppermint in aquaponics, plus the health and culinary benefits it can bring to your family.
Why Grow Peppermint in your Aquaponics Garden?
Peppermint is a cross of two other herbs, spearmint, and watermint. You will find the potent herb a member of the Mint or Lamiaceae family. This famous family includes other herbs such as Sage, Rosemary, Marjoram, and Thyme. Peppermint is a native of Europe and Asia. And similar to its close relatives, Peppermint has been demonstrating beneficial uses that have been known for thousands of years.
Ancient Egyptians were known to grow the herb to relieve indigestion. This was also consistent with Greek and Roman practices to ease their stomach concerns. The 18th century Western Europe, on the one hand, found the plant useful in soothing menstrual problems and stomach upsets. At present, some of the largest commercial producers of the herb include Morocco, Argentina, and the United States.
Cooking with the Peppermint From Your Garden
The first thing to remember with Peppermint is that it delivers the strongest flavor amongst the whole Mint family. The reason for this is because it contains Menthol that gives it a more intense flavor. Its fresh leaves can be a bit strong for cooking purposes; that is why people ordinarily use its dried version in the kitchen. For instance, Mediterranean cuisines leverage the herb as a spice rub to lambs and meats.
Others likewise blend its dry leaves to give flavor to desserts such as cakes, meringues, and cookies. You will also see it added with beans, yogurts, and cheese. But of course, it’s most popular as a favorite ingredient in cocktails and aromatic teas that you can savor either hot or cold.
Health Benefits of Peppermint
For centuries, ancient peoples have reaped the benefits of the medicinal qualities of Peppermint. Here are just a few of the health rewards that the herb can bring you.
- Research shows that Peppermint acts as an antispasmodic when dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It also shows that the herb aids in relieving IBS symptoms such as bloating, pain, and diarrhea.
- Since the herb works as a muscle relaxant, a study suggests it may ease menstrual cramps.
- Other research has found that Peppermint in oil form can eliminate and minimize the growth of prevalent food-borne bacteria such as Listeria, E.coli, and Salmonella in juices like Mango and Pineapple.
Possible Health Complications
While Peppermint is highly beneficial, remember that the herb can possibly set-off allergies or harmful side effects to sensitive individuals. If you are on medication, consult your physician before consuming Peppermint. Furthermore, you should not apply it on your face because it can result in extreme breathing difficulties.
Besides the concerns above, take note that Peppermint can have an adverse reaction with a few of these drugs:
- Pepcid or Zantac which are drugs that relieve stomach acid
- Medication for diabetes which reduces blood sugar
- Hypertension or high blood pressure medications
Cultivating Peppermint in your Aquaponics Garden
Growing Peppermint in Aquaponics gardens is not that tricky. Remember that the herb loves water, and it can’t stand dry weather. Peppermint should also be in a spot where it will not overlap with other plants since it has the inclination to spread. Here are easy parameters to follow so you can cultivate the aromatic Peppermint in your system.
The potent green herb prefers a pH range between 6.0 to 7.0.
Peppermint requires roughly 5 to 6 hours of sunlight every day. Placing the herb in full sun will boost the strength of its medicinal and oil qualities. Still, opt for partial shade to ensure a healthy yield.
The herb is a perennial that can survive light frosts. It prefers growing temperatures between 55°F to 70°F. The best time to cultivate the herb is following the last frost in fall or spring.
Basically, the herb ordinarily grows approximately 12 to 18 inches. It is likewise an assertive grower, so when planting see to it you provide space between 18 to 24 inches apart.
Coco peat or any gentle peat-based media plus 20% perlite is suitable as a growing medium for the herb. Other options you can consider are Vermiculite and Oasis cubes.
The ornamental goldfish is an ideal candidate when growing Peppermint in Aquaponics gardens. Take note that it has two types: single and twin tail goldfish. It thrives in water temperature between 78°F to 82°F. These types of fish are simple to manage, and in most cases is a resilient species that can withstand high rates of water pollution, making it optimal for aquaponics.