If you're starting a garden this summer, don't forget to include mint as one of your herbs. It's super easy to grow, and one small seedling can quickly turn into large sprawling plant. Good thing there's a ton of ways to use this versatile herb. Read on for some of Mother Earth Living's tips.

Mother Earth Living has a great list of uses for mint. Just be sure to plant the herb in a separate container, away from other herbs, as it can quickly take over your garden. Here's what they have to say:

  1. Growing mint will keep your yard and garden buzzing with beneficial insects. Mint is rich in nectar and pollen, and its small flower clusters keep these sweet treats easily accessible for helpful bugs such as honeybees and hoverflies. 
  2. While it attracts 'good bugs,' mint also deters 'bad bugs.' Repel ants and flies by growing pennyroyal mint right outside your door, or spray diluted peppermint essential oil (ten parts water to one part oil) around doorways and windows. Keep pets free of bothersome fleas with this homemade repellent: Bundle two parts fresh spearmint, one part fresh thyme and one part fresh wormwood, and tuck it inside a small pillow. Place the pillow near your pet’s bed or another favorite resting place.
  3. Peppermint tea is an excellent way to ease an upset stomach. Peppermint helps calm the digestive tract and alleviate indigestion, intestinal gas and abdominal cramping.
  4. Menthol cools and refreshes the skin, making mint a handy herb to keep around in the summer. Use it to ease sunburn pain by making a strong peppermint tea and refrigerating the mixture for several hours. To use, gently apply to the burned area with cotton pads. 
  5. Keep your home smelling fresh by adding a few drops of mint essential oil to your favorite homemade or unscented store-bought cleaner. Try this simple floor cleaning solution, good for wood, concrete or tile floors: Dilute a cup of white vinegar in a gallon of water and add 3 to 5 drops of mint essential oil.