Marsh mint (flea, ombalo, flea): photo and description, useful properties and contraindications

Marsh mint (flea, ombalo, flea): photo and description, useful properties and contraindications

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Marshmint or ombalo is a perennial aromatic herb used by chefs around the world. The plant contains a strong essential oil, which contains the pulegon toxin, therefore, it is not recommended to consume the herb in large quantities. But because of the beautiful glossy foliage and delicate menthol aroma, many summer residents grow it on their backyard as a flower crop.

Flea mint description

Mint ombalo belongs to the perennial plants of the Yasnotkov family. The variety is small, reaches a height of 30 cm. Glossy rounded leaves are arranged in pairs on small legs. The plates are wide, wrinkled and curly, covered with a small pile on both sides. From June until the first frost, ringed spherical inflorescences, pink-purple in color, appear from the shiny dark olive foliage. Due to its strong fruity lavender aroma, the plant is considered a good honey plant. After flowering, brown fruits appear on it, in the form of nuts. The variety has a high rooting ability, which is why gardeners often grow ombalo mint in flower beds as a ground cover plant.


Ombalo Marshmint is American and European. American mint is an annual plant with small, oblong glossy leaves that are widely spaced apart. The aromatic herb reaches a height of up to 30 cm. Flowering begins in July and lasts until October. Due to its strong smell, ombalo mint is used to kill mosquitoes, fleas and other blood-sucking insects.

European mint is a perennial plant that grows in a humid place, along water bodies and rivers. The plant is a groundcover, with miniature oval leaves and tiny tubular flowers. Blooms from June until the first frost. To be able to distinguish between varieties of mint mint, you need to know the description and view the photo.

The most popular are:

Sonya is a perennial spicy herb that forms a spreading bush, up to 50-60 cm high. The plant is covered with dark green serrated leaves and globular, lilac-pink inflorescences. It prefers to grow in a well-lit area with fertile, moist soil. The culture fell in love with gardeners for its medicinal properties and delicate menthol aroma. Dormouse mint is used for cooking meat and fish dishes, added to vegetable stews and desserts. In one place, it can grow up to 5 years.

Penniroyal is a groundcover, perennial plant, with creeping long shoots and miniature glossy leaves. In July, small blue-purple flowers with a pronounced aroma appear on it. The spice is used to prepare meat and fish dishes and as an addition to tea. Since Penniroyal mint looks very decorative, it is often grown in pots, flowerpots, balcony boxes and as a creeping plant in flower beds.

Important! The creeping form of ombalo mint forms a dense green carpet to the detriment of long flowering, and erect, thanks to its long stems, is easy to collect in a bunch and dry for the winter.

Where does ombalo grow

Mint ombalo is an unpretentious plant that grows in warm climates. In nature, it can often be found along the banks of reservoirs and rivers. Differences of ombalo from other varieties are noticeable even from the photo.



Important! When growing ombalo mint in a personal plot, the planting site should be moistened and located in the open sun.

The use of swamp mint in cooking

Due to its high content of essential oils and pleasant menthol smell, ombalo mint is used in cooking as a spicy spice. For the preparation of the seasoning, the whole plant is not used, but only the upper leaves and fragrant inflorescences. Many chefs around the world use ombalo mint to prepare national dishes:

  1. In Armenia, mint is used in the manufacture of cheeses.
  2. In Georgia, it is part of the khmeli-suneli seasoning.
  3. Turkmen chefs add flea mint to mutton dishes.
  4. In England, ombalo mint is considered the most popular spice, it is present in all sauces and fillings.

What is the flavor of ombalo mint

Ombalo mint has a delicate fruity lavender aroma and a light menthol flavor. Since mint contains the toxin pulegon, it should not be consumed in large quantities. Due to the destructive effect on the liver, the spice can turn from a medicinal plant into a poisonous one.

Important! In order not to cause irreparable harm to the body, ombalo mint must be used in moderation.

Where to add ombalo flea mint

This spice is ideal for cooking meat dishes. Dried mint ombalo is often added to sauces, soups, bean and vegetable dishes, lobio and risotto. Pastry chefs use the seasoning to make chocolates, baked goods, and desserts.

Ombalo mint is indispensable in winemaking. It is perfect for flavoring liqueurs, liqueurs, wines and carbonated soft drinks. Ombalo mint is used in teas and herbal preparations.

Important! Georgian chefs add spice to the famous tkemali sauce, as without the mint flavor it will not be so aromatic.

What can replace ombalo flea mint

All mint varieties have a pronounced mint aroma. Therefore, if ombalo is absent during cooking, it can be easily replaced with other varieties of mint that are at hand.

Benefits of Marshmint

Marsh mint ombalo belongs to medicinal plants. It contains flavonoids, tannins, saponins, carotene, vitamin C and essential oils. Since flea mint can not only enrich the body with useful trace elements, but also be harmful, before using it, you should consult a specialist.

The use of ombalo in traditional medicine

The aerial part of the plant has antibacterial, antiviral and disinfectant properties. Therefore, ombalo mint has found wide application in folk medicine.

Thanks to the spicy grass, you can get rid of:

  • bronchial asthma;
  • pulmonary diseases;
  • flatulence;
  • gastrointestinal diseases.

What does swamp mint help with?

Ombalo mint has an antispasmodic effect: relieves spasms, improves intestinal secretion. A decoction from the plant normalizes the metabolic process, strengthens the cardiovascular system, relieves nervous tension.

Ombalo peppermint oil has warming properties. Therefore, it is often used by massage therapists in the treatment of muscle and joint inflammation. Since peppermint oil is able to excrete uric acid, it is used to relieve pain in rheumatism and arthritis.

Marshmint tea

Due to its high menthol content, mint tea has an expectorant effect. When used in moderation, it makes breathing easier, clears phlegm, and relieves flu and cold symptoms.

Due to its mild, relaxing properties, ombalo mint tea is often used to relieve muscle and nervous tension, relieve stress and insomnia. In order for the drink to have a positive effect on health, it is necessary to brew it correctly and take it strictly according to the instructions. 1-2 tsp dried mint is added to a liter of boiling water, covered with a lid and removed for 10 minutes to infuse. For medicinal purposes, no more than 3 cups are consumed per day. To prepare a tonic drink, add a few fresh mint leaves to the freshly brewed tea. This tea will turn out to be fragrant and very useful.

Important! Doctors do not recommend using ombalo mint tea for children under 7 years old.

The use of ombalo herb in everyday life

Ombalo mint has established itself not only in cooking and traditional medicine, but also in cosmetology. It is used as a component in the manufacture of professional cosmetics and home skin care products. Ombalo mint can be found in masks, shampoos and rinses. Thanks to the toning, nourishing and moisturizing properties, the hair acquires a beautiful shiny appearance, becomes thick and silky. With regular use, you can permanently get rid of seborrhea and strengthen hair follicles.

In everyday life, ombalo mint is used to kill insects. To prepare a solution, fresh crushed or dry leaves are poured with water and left to infuse. The working solution is poured into a spray bottle and the places where insects accumulate are treated. Since essential oils are toxic, the elimination process is quick and effective.

Since ombalo mint exudes a pleasant fruity lavender aroma, the infusion can be used to refresh your hands after eating and wash floors. The leaves are used for rubbing furniture, after cleaning the apartment is filled with a soft, pleasant mint aroma.

Limitations and contraindications

Like any plant, ombalo mint has not only beneficial properties, but has contraindications and can cause side effects. Ombalo mint is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women, children, people with individual intolerance, uterine bleeding and with chronic liver and kidney diseases.

Before consuming ombalo mint, you must remember that the plant is poisonous. When consumed in large quantities, the spice can cause irreparable harm to the body, up to and including death.

When the following first signs of poisoning appear, you must immediately call an ambulance:

  • nausea, vomiting;
  • severe pain in the epigastric region;
  • increased body temperature;
  • excitation;
  • headache;
  • visual hallucinations;
  • hearing loss;
  • uterine bleeding;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • shortness of breath, shortness of breath.

Important! When 10 ml of peppermint oil is consumed, a moderate and high degree of toxicity appears, after consuming 15 ml, death occurs within 1-3 hours.

Features of flea breeding

Mint ombalo is an unpretentious plant. It can be propagated by seeds and vegetatively:

  1. Seeds. Sowing is done in mid-April. Mint seeds are mixed with sand and sown in moistened soil, to a depth of 2-3 cm. Sprinkle with sand or nutritious soil on top. After the emergence of seedlings, thinning is carried out, leaving an interval between seedlings of at least 15-20 cm.If ombalo mint is grown by seedlings, the plant is transferred to a permanent place in the phase of 2-3 true leaves.
  2. Cuttings. Cuttings are carried out in spring and August. Cuttings 10 cm long are cut from a healthy plant. The prepared material is buried in wet sand at an acute angle and covered with a protective film. After the roots appear, the cuttings are ready for transplantation to a permanent place. The plant is planted to a depth of 5 cm, with an interval of 10-15 cm.

    Important! Ombalo mint cuttings root well in water.

Landing rules

Ombalo mint is unpretentious in cultivation and care. But in order for the spice to feel comfortable, you need to create favorable conditions for it. Ombalo mint prefers a warm climate, therefore it is widespread in the south of Russia. When grown in regions with an unstable climate, the planting site is placed in the open sun. The soil should be fertile, as on depleted soil, the leaves become discolored, and the flowering becomes short and short-lived.

Important! Before planting swamp mint, you need to familiarize yourself with the rules of care and cultivation, useful properties and contraindications, view photos and videos.

The preparation of the site for planting is done in the fall. For this, the soil is dug up, weeds and rhizomes are removed. If the soil is poor, rotted compost or manure is added during digging.

Despite the fact that mint ombalo is a heat-loving plant, it can withstand temperatures as low as -23 ° C. But experienced gardeners advise, in order to keep young seedlings from frost, they are covered for the winter with agrofibre or mulch.

Growing features

To get a beautiful, healthy plant, it needs proper care. Watering ombalo mint is carried out after the top layer of the soil has dried. Irrigation should be frequent and moderate. When growing in waterlogged soil, mint will suffer from fungal and viral diseases. If there is a lack of water, ombalo mint will grow and develop poorly.

After each watering, loosening and weeding are carried out, since the grass greatly depletes the land, is a carrier of diseases and insect pests.

Pests and diseases

Spice, if the rules of care are not followed, can suffer from diseases and insect pests. In order to start treatment in a timely manner, you need to know what the ombalo mint is sick with, and view the photos of pests. The following ailments often appear on a spicy culture:

  1. Rust - the disease appears with frequent watering, high nitrogen content in the soil and in cold summers. The disease can be recognized by the appearance of red spots on the leaf plate. The fight consists in carrying out preventive measures: compliance with crop rotation, spring treatment with fungicides, every 5 years they change the place of growth.
  2. Mint flea - small, light brown insects appear in the first half of summer. Females lay eggs in the root zone, and the hatched larvae first eat the small roots, then crawl out to the surface and destroy the entire aerial part at a fast speed. The drug "Actellikt" will help to fight the pest. If the treatment is not carried out, then ombalo mint dies.
  3. Leaf beetle - an insect appears in the first warm days, when the night temperature is not lower than + 14 ° C. Beetles feed on foliage, eggs are laid in inflorescences. You can get rid of the pest with pepper infusion. To do this, 150 g of ground hot pepper are diluted in 10 liters of water.

When and how to collect a flea

Ombalo mint is harvested in mid-July. In order for the plant to retain its healing properties, you need to know the rules for collecting:

  1. A young plant is not cut, as it does not contain enough essential oils and does not have medicinal properties.
  2. Collecting ombalo mint is best done on a clear morning in the morning.
  3. The spicy grass is not broken off, but cut with a sharp knife by a third of the length, as this will allow you to re-harvest at the end of summer.
  4. Only healthy plants have healing properties. If the foliage is faded, white, with mechanical damage, the grass is not suitable for collection.

How to dry swamp mint properly

The collected ombalo mint is folded into small bunches. They are hung in a shady, well-ventilated area. If the task is to maintain freshness for a long time, the bundles are wrapped in a damp cloth and removed to a dark, cool place. When collecting leaves, they are sorted out before drying, washed and laid out in a thin layer on paper. To dry evenly, the leaves are stirred from time to time.

Important! You cannot speed up the drying process in the oven or in the open sun, since all the healing properties of ombalo mint evaporate along with the aroma.

Readiness for storage is determined by the crunch of the stem or leaf. So that the raw material does not take up much space, it is crushed, placed in containers and stored in a dark place. The shelf life of dried mint is no more than a year.

Leaves can also be frozen. They are washed, dried, wrapped in foil and placed in the freezer. In this form, it retains useful properties, taste and aroma. Shelf life is 1-2 years.


Ombalo mint is not only a healthy, aromatic spice, but also a beautifully flowering plant.It is used in cooking, folk medicine, cosmetology and landscape design. If mint is used as a spice for dishes, then it must be remembered that excessive use can lead to irreparable consequences.

Watch the video: Flea infestations of your pet and home (January 2023).

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