Mint has a variety of uses. The plant is usually steam-distilled for its oil which is located in glands on the undersides of the leaves. The oil is used to flavor a variety of foods such as gum or candy and is also used in perfumes, cosmetics and health care products. The leaves are also harvested and either dried or used fresh - for teas, flavoring and/or decorating food.
Approximately forty-five percent of the mint oil produced in the USA is used for flavoring chewing gum with another Forty-five percent used to flavor dentifrices (tooth paste, mouth wash, etc). The remaining ten percent is used for flavor in the confectionery, pharmaceutical, liqueur, and aroma therapy industries.