Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Mint

My life in appalachia mint

Excerpt from Barbara Taylor Woodall’s book It’s Not My Mountain Anymore:

From the creek bank, she picked fragrant peppermint plants, stuffing them in a knee-length checkered apron. City folks used it to season drinks. She used it for stomach medicine and a teaching tool. Faint, sweet fragrance filled the air as she pulled mint leaves from her pockets, saying, “Let’s make it mad.” Then she rubbed the leaves briskly between her hands to produce a strong powerful fragrance. “In this life, sometimes we are crushed t’ pieces and rubbed raw, but stay the course. Crushing will make you stronger. You will smell better, too.”

I have mint growing in my yard. I always grab a few leaves as I walk by-rubbing them in my hands to smell the clean sweet fragrance they release. And after reading Barbara’s book, I always think of Granny Lou’s wise words and feel better about the hard times that often come our way in this old world.


p.s. Want to know more about Barbara’s book-go here.

Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    October 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    We have mint and lavender in our garden which we like a lot, but our favorite herb has to be parsley which I pick in great quantities and cook up in a bit of chicken broth. When tender, I remove it from the broth, add butter, and salt and pepper to taste. To me, it’s one of the yummiest greens there is, and cheap too because it’s basically a weed.
    Have you ever cooked up a mess of parsley to eat like that? Yum!!!
    God bless.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Growing up in Oak Ridge, we had mint outside our back door. Such a lovely fragrance and whenever I
    smell that scent I am back in Tennessee.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    October 1, 2013 at 10:10 pm


  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 1, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I have several mints growing about. The one that took over was Lemon Balm. Never, ever plant but one plant. I spreads like wildfire. It is beautiful green in the spring and early summer.
    Sometimes I like just rolling thru the yard and pinching the mints. The savory herbs will starve you to death like Rosemary and Basil. The mints make you want a drink of flavored water!
    My catmint or catnip tried to take over so we had to cut it back. I know people will think I am crazy but one of my favorite invaders is Creeping Charlie, early in the spring when you walk on it the fragrance is intoxicating. It pulls up easily but don’t throw the parts where you don’t want them to grow or next year you will have a heap!
    Thanks Tipper,
    I read Barbaras book and loved it!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I bought Barbara’s book. I really enjoyed reading it. I bought yours too. I enjoyed it even more!
    I mint every word!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I love wild mint and there are all sorts of mints out there…or so it seems. Square stems, that is how you know!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    October 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I like the way Barbara Woodall
    expresses herself in the excerpt
    above. And if I may borrow a line
    from our buddie, Jim Casada “only
    a seasoned Scribe can hope can
    only envy.”
    There are peppermint plants just off my yard and I love the fresh smell it creates. Got to get me
    some peppermint oil and cotton
    balls for my shop…Ken

  • Reply
    October 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Never did that with peppermint leaves. I must try it. I enjoyed today’s writings; it made me dwell and think about easier solutions to overwhelming difficulties. Thanks!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Good lesson! I love the garden and woods, lessons abound.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    October 1, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I have rosemary in abundance and often break off a sprig and put it on the windowsill — gives a nice scent, too.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    October 1, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I keep a small pot of mint growing just outside the front door. Just for the purpose of rubbing a couple of leaves each time I pass. Also great in iced tea!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I read that if you put a drop of peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them around the house, mice will not come near. My brother was willing to try it when he was remodeling an empty house with a huge mouse population. He said it worked. A drop of peppermint oil makes a wonderful, natural air freshner for those of us who can’t use aerosol. I find it in the candy making section at the store.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    October 1, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Tipper: You ‘hit the nail on the head’ this morning – AGAIN – as always! I can’t wait to learn more about “It’s Not My Mountain Anymore.
    When will you be at the Folk School Festival this weekend? We’ll probably ease through Saturday afternoon on our way back to Tennessee.
    Regards, Eva Nell

  • Reply
    October 1, 2013 at 9:04 am

    like it — like it.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Granny Lou’s wisdom is so true. This is something to think about. If a person lives a charmed life with little or no trouble, then they will be lacking valuable learning experiences to help them cope when trouble does come. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 1, 2013 at 8:18 am

    The oil in mint has some wonderful healing properties. The deer Hunter and I both use the oil in an inhaler for sinus issues. It clears the passages quickly. It is a German made oil that is not as sharp as the peppermint oil made here in the US.
    I also use peppermint oil topically for topical treatment on muscle and joint pain.
    My mother used to make mints that required oil of peppermint. We had to buy it from a pharmacy. They were the only ones who sold it back then. I wonder if they still sell peppermint oil in the pharmacies. I know all the health food stores sell peppermint essential oil.
    Yep, Tip, it smells good and has lots of wonderful properties.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 1, 2013 at 7:25 am

    My mother used many ‘natural’ healing methods. When we were kids, poultices with onion and mustard, sips of this and that. We always felt better, I think the love she put into each was the secret ingredient.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2013 at 6:46 am

    So very many things in nature are pleasant. Wise words always calm and soothe the spirit. They seem to help you put the troubles and worries in perspective. “this too shall pass”–always one of my favorites.

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