A mint farm in Madinah
Dried mint leaves are sold in packets, available at super markets like Bin Dawood
Read an article about mint in Madinah published in Saudigazette
Zain Al-Abdeen Khaled
Mint leaves of Madinah — known for its refreshing smell and taste –– are very popular among the Kingdom’s residents; and on their way back from the holy city residents usually stop at the little shacks on the side of the road to buy their bundles of aromatic, sparkling green beauties.
Muhammad Al-Hazmi, a mint vendor in Madinah, said the people of Madinah and visitors like the taste of the mint leaves grown there and that is why they buy it. He said people usually mix the leaves in their tea for aroma and flavor. A bundle of mint leaves is sold for SR15 and the price is fixed, Al-Hazmi stated.
Saleh Muhammad said mint leaves of Madinah is popular worldwide, and a few people in Riyadh and Jeddah specialize in growing and selling mint leaves. During the summer season the demand for mint leaves rises tremendously and Muhammad’s daily income ranges between SR2500 – SR3000.
The nature of soil and the sweet water of Madinah are ideal conditions of growing mint. The shape of the mint leaves from Madinah are different from the mint leaves found around the world –– and so is their taste and smell. No wonder it attracts people from all walks of life, who also buy them in bulk to give away as token of love to family and friends.
Hashem Abdul Rahman said the mint leaves need plenty of sunlight and water, and they grow in every season. If they are kept in a shade they will never grow properly, Abdul Rahman said.
Abar Ali farms were known for producing the best type of mint leaves, however, due to the urban expansion the farms are now being turned into residential plots. Hence, mint-growers went to Abbyar Al-Mashi as it has plenty of sweet water, Abdul Rahman said.
The Madina Mayoralty has set up a special site for selling the mint leaves on the prime Al-Hajra road as it connects to Makkah, Jeddah and Yanbu, and from there onwards to other towns and cities.
Due to its popular demand the Madinah Mayoralty oversees the 2,300 square meter market to make sure that the vendors apply the storage hygiene rules while storing the mint leaves.
The market is rented by an investor who further rents them out the shacks to more than 37 vendors, selling mint leaves, in addition to three shops that sell dates.
Mint is one of the oldest herbs grown around the world and is known for numerous health benefits, such as treating a stomach disorder, skin irritation, eliminating toxins from body, relaxing the nervous system among many others. It is also widely used in cooking for enhancing the flavors of the dishes.
In some parts of the world, mint leaves are used as an appetizer, especially in salads while others use it as stuffing in their main course meals.