Mint is an herb used in a variety of products and recipes. Many countries grow mint. Three of the largest producers of mint and mint related products—such as essential oils—are the United States, India and China. The U.S. and India produce the largest supplies of mint oil used in chewing gum, toothpaste, mouthwash and several other products.
Mint in the United States
The United States is a leader in peppermint oil production, according to ScienceDaily.com. Most peppermint production in the U.S. is concentrated in the Northwest, but recent corn production needs are pushing mint production to the southern U.S. Many fears about southern peppermint farming were recently laid to rest as growers discovered that mint planted with proper nitrogen sources grows exceptionally well in the Southeast.
Mint in India
India produces many essential oils, including mint oils. Traditionally, India held thirty percent of the U.S. export in mint oil, but the recent decline in U.S. mint production pushed India toward higher percentages, reports the Financial Express. India’s mint oil exports compete well on global markets as their price per kilogram is less than many other countries—$15 per kilogram compared to $25 per kilogram for American mint oil in 2003.
Mint in China
China is also a major producer of mint and mint derivatives. Mint is used for a variety of medicinal purposes in Chinese medicine. Traditionally, the Chinese used mint medicinally for treatment of the lung and liver meridians. “Taken orally, mint is used to treat diarrhea and painful menstruation, promote perspiration and dissipate body heat,” states the Naturopathy Digest. Mint is also used as a nervous system stimulant.