Mint has been a valued plant since the ancient world. In mythology, a nymph named Mentha caught Pluto’s eye, leading to his wife, Persephone, turning her into the mint plant. Of the many types of mint, only peppermint and spearmint really have a place in the spice rack. For cooking purposes, peppermint is used to flavor sweets, candies and various liquors in the form of its essential oil or extract. Many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes use fresh or dried peppermint leaves in salads and sauces. Dried peppermint leaves can be steeped in water for tea, which traditional medicine uses as a remedy for cramps, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, colds and "whatever ails you."