But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.—Luke 11:42

The ancient Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans used mint far more often than we do, both in their cooking and as a medicine (chiefly as a digestive aid). In Hebrew synagogues, fragrant mint stems and leaves were scattered across the floors, yielding their scent as they were stepped on. The species most common in Syria is the Mentha sylvestris, the wild mint, which grows much larger than our common garden mint (M. sativa).