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What EXACTLY is Mint Leaf?

Mint Leaves

Mint leaves (known as Menta in Spanish) are in the family of aromatic herbs that are used to add specific aroma to dishes. They taste like very mild peppermint with a cool aftertaste.

On visual inspection, they look so much like our Scent leaves (Nchanwu, Efirin) in that the leaves are arranged in opposite pairs on the main stalk and the leaves from these 2 herbs look very much alike.

Mint Leaves

But the scents and tastes of Mint Leaves and Scent Leaves are not the same at all. I have tried it in a few Nigerian dishes: Ofe Akwu, Pepper Soup and as vegetable to spice up my Beef Stew and each of these meals tasted like I added … Drummer Boy Air Freshener to the meals. It was a very odd flavour for me and I did not enjoy the meals at all. Even my husband who says “yummy” to anything and everything 😀 says that it’s a thumbs down from him.

Scent Leaves

So can Mint Leaves be used as alternative to our Scent Leaves? It’s a big NO from me and my family. If you have never tried it and you are curious about the taste, do try it and see if you like it.

I must add that Mint Leaf is a great addition to some Mediterranean meals that I prepare in my home such as Meat Balls Sauce and they are great in detox water that is used for cleansing. But for these Nigerian meals mentioned above? Not a good idea if you have authentic Nigerian taste buds.

I know that some people swear by Mint Leaves as an alternative in these Nigerian meals so do you use Mint Leaves? What do you think about the taste in Nigerian meals? Is it a spot-on scent leaves alternative or are you just managing it? Click here to leave your reply. And watch the video below for a better look of the mint leaves.



  1. Good to know. I haved looked for it in Lagos to try but now I am not interested again.

    • Hehe abeg Tope try it and decide for yourself. I am known as the one with conc. Naija taste buds.

    • Affiong Ma says

      Na wa for you people are a true Nigerian cuz if you are you know you can not use it dish that do not it. Mint leave has call it in my dialet we call it Ntong can be use in pepper soup, yam and cocoyam porridge and some other delicacy not just any food.

    • Tina Tremain says

      Mint would not be a good substitute. It is better used for sweet dishes or making a refreshing tea.

  2. pls flo where in nigeria can i get mint leave,cinnamon & horseradish? thanks in advance

  3. It’s a no from me,scent leave is Basil leave not mint, but the resemblance is amazing with Mint.

    • The resemblance is so striking. Sometimes I think that’s Why those who have forgotten what scent leaves smell like believe that mint leaves are the same as scent leaves. But for me basil smells and tastes like our curry leaves.

      • Is basil different from curry leaf

      • But is basil d same as scent leaves since it’s called clove basil? Or there are other species of basil? And thanks for your tutorials on YouTube. You are Amazing

        • Barbara scent leaf does not smell like the common basil. I think basil is a generic name for all scented vegetables. For me, basil smells more like another scented vegetable that we call curry leaf in Nigeria.
          Thank you, you are awesome. <3

          • Samuel Tochukwu says

            Thanks so much madam for your help, please can you add me to your what’sapp so I can get to know more about the leaves and how to get them. this is my phone number:xxxxx. sorry for the inconveniences, thanks.

      • Basil leaf looks like our curry leaf.
        I used it for stew and its amazing. I thought its our curry leaf.
        To me , basil leaf is not nchanwu of efirin, as they describe it.

    • Hi scent leaves and basil are 2 different herbs.

  4. pls where can i get the mint leaf and apple cider vinegar ACV in Nigeria.

  5. Mint leave is majorly used as a weight loss supplement. it aids easy digestion of food and helps in controlling blood sugar levels.

    Commonly used in lemonade drink. (Cucumber, lemon,ginger and mint leave) you can blend and mix other ingredients to help control you weight.

  6. chinyere okafor says

    Please dear I need mint leaves I live in Awka. .. but it looks like scent leaves. .. Please dear what is lgbo name for mint leaves. Thanks

    • Chinyere there is no Igbo name for mint leaves, it is a western version of scent leaves. In Nigeria mint leaves are mostly available in big supermarkets like Shoprite or Spar.

      • You actually said it’s “Efirin” in Yoruba Land

        • No. I wrote that scent leaf is efirin in Yoruba. Scent leaf looks like mint leaf but they are NOT the same. The tastes are so different.

          • Benitha Dehfer says

            How can I differentiate Scent leaves from Mint leaves and may I see some photos from you for both Scent and Mint Leaves. I earnestly need them and it’s very urgent!

            • Benitha, the third image shows scent leaves. Not very clear but that’s the best photo I have. Physically, there’s not much difference between scent leaves and mint leaves. The major differences lie in the taste and smell as I stated in the post.

    • I got my at eke awka. Those selling salad condiments at the gate. Thanks Flo u r doing a good job

  7. does mint leave planted in Nigeria or it germinate natura?

    • Kenny I do not know o. I have never seen a mint leaf plant in Nigeria. Only the leaves that are for sale in shops. 🙂

    • Khadijah says

      Mint leaf can be purchased from those who sell veggies in the north. It is known as Na’a Na’a in hausa and you can plant in your own backyard or a pot. I don’t know about planting fron seed though but you can grow from cuttings or buy from a nursery. I use to know of some nurserirs that sell them. If you come across it in someone’s garden ask for some, it takes root easily.

  8. what is it in Yoruba?

  9. Does anyone know where I can find mint leaf in Benin City?

  10. Queen Terwase says

    Pls where do I get it in kaduna state

  11. Can I get this in Akwa Ibom? And where?

  12. victoria Twaki says

    good after noon how is work i believe fine,please where can i get mint leave in Niger state.

  13. fatima gwarzo says

    mint leaves is every where in kano state

  14. chukwuemeka Nwankwo says

    Can’t it be grown in Nigeria. Where can I get the seed for planting in Lagos thanks

    • Chukwuemeka I am certain that it can grow in Nigeria because it is the same family as scent leaves (nchuanwu). I am not sure where one can get the seeds in Nigeria.

      • chukwuemeka Nwankwo says

        Thanks, I got mint from someone that came back from abroad and I am propergeting it. I about 20 bags in my nursery. If you need it please contact me on 08037259711 or come to my garden opposite number 10b MacGregor Street I koyi.

      • chukwuemeka Nwankwo says

        Mint is really medicinal not only test in food. I have sold quite a number of it. I still have few bags remaining. I am trying to propergate more. Mint is actually different from sent leave, it is a good medicine. 08037259711..

      • chukwuemeka Nwankwo says

        Mint is really medicinal not only test in food. I have sold quite a number of it. I still have few bags remaining. I am trying to propergate more. Mint is actually different from sent leave, it is a good medicine. 08037259711…

      • Hi Flo, please where can I find mint leaves in ILESA, Osun state?? There’s no shoprite in this villa.

  15. Pls’How did Calabar call mint leaves

  16. Can I use the scent leaf as a substitute for mint leaf for my weight loss program?

  17. Please what are the ingredients for these meals and how to prepare them,Coulifower stir Fry, steamed broccoli, mushroom veggies, baked beans sandwich. Please i urgently need the answers

  18. pls i stay at owerri and how can i get it here in owerri

  19. chinonye says

    this leaves look like the leaves we believe it scare
    s mosquitoes away when we are kids, the leaves look exactly like scent leaves and it is normally seen during raining season or close to stream during dry season. pls how do I know whether is mint leave or not.

    • Chinonye like written in the post, they look alike but two things differentiate them: taste and smell. If the smell and taste of the leaf is more like peppermint then it is mint leaves. I guess you already know what scent leaves smell like.

  20. Thanks Flo. Now I know d difference between the two .

  21. Benitha Dehfer says

    Please post pictures of Scent leaves to enable me get it fast cause I am really in need of it.

  22. Hmmm intersting stuff

  23. Please what can I use to prepare vegetable soup in the US?

  24. Please what’s the local name for mint leaf in Nigeria? I live too far to visit any shopping mall. I need to know the local same so as to try searching in local markets. Thanks

  25. Nkechi Aduloju says

    Where can get mint leave in Abuja?

  26. wow i have seen that mint leaves here in owerri

  27. Hi FLO,
    i am a very good follower of all your videos, for the mint leaves its quite odd from the ones we have in Nigeria,but since i got to Qatar, i have found it very useful in some dishes .
    1.pepper soup(catfish and goat meat) and in very few leaves but not in Nsala ooooo..lol
    2. Nkwobi…also in small qty
    3. in vegetable soup…i put like 4 to 5 leaves, and i just get a little nice flavor to add to it.
    cheers Flo and keep up the good work.
    please i want to know the baking degrees as in, if u say bake for 25mins, at what degree please…sometimes you don’t mention it…byeeeee

    • Wow Vera! If you use mint leaves in all these meals then you are very lucky to have the type of taste buds you have. I tried mint leaves in pepper soup and the taste was so off for me, I could not eat it. The taste of mint leaves is so different from our scent leaves. I am happy you find it a great substitute, it means you are not missing the taste of these meals over there. 😉

      Seriously? There should always be temperature if baking is involved. If it is not there then it must be an omission. Please send me the link to the recipe where the temperature is not mentioned so I can update. Thanks. 🙂

      • hi again,
        well for me and family we are not missing the NIgerain taste as much, we get them so expensive here in Qatar from our fellow Nigerian women that are importing.they do not have african kitchen nor shop here and setting up one here, the cash will be enuf to build a house and furnish it..lol i do a little biz of NKWOBI AND PEPPER SOUP…From home, in addition to my job.i am following you on instagram as well Pamil_chops.

        i have forgotten which of the uploads, but its cool cos i can adjust my temperature range depending on what am baking. i love your work so much Flo….please give us more recipe and congrats on your milestone…may God continue to strengthen you. please hope am free to ask you questions when am confused…


        • Awww I love you, you hustling woman! Keep it up! It’s not easy.
          Well done for tapping into that opportunity over there.
          To be honest, give me a business I can do from home any day. I always wonder how some businesses make enough money to pay themselves, pay their staff and pay for the office/shop. It’s too expensive and tasking. Yes, one may be able to get more customers by staying in a public place but I strongly believe that with social media you can achieve the same level of awareness for what you do, even more. Not to talk of the money you will spend to rent/build a place.

          Ok, no problems. Whenever you come across the recipe again, please let me know.

          Thank you! I am glad you enjoy the information I am able to share with you here. 😉 That Instagram sef, I feel so claustrophobic on that platform. Maybe because it is so limiting and only via an app. I prefer a platform I can work on from my computer that’s why Facebook is where I’m always at. I post all new recipes there but often forget to post on Instagram. lol That media dey do me left-hand left-hand (Naija lingo). 😀

          Keep having fun dear!

        • And sure! Feel free to ask a question about anything you are not sure about. Anytime 😉

          • I am in Abuja, i want to know where i can get this mint leave please.

            • Hello Flo,
              Thank you for all ur recipe,am learning alot. Now a pro in coconut oil and fried rice. About mint leaf ,pepper mint and many more herbs, they are cultivated in jos,Plateau state. I got my cinnamon and coriander from a colleague at the office who sells spices and herbs, bt am based in Abuja.

  28. Godwin meshach says

    where can i get mint in Kagos state Nigeria

  29. chukwuemeka Nwankwo says

    My email. Chukwuemeka 587@gmail.com . for mint. Lagos

  30. pls am in kadunA I wnt to use it for my tummy I have gotten all others ingredients like fresh ginger,cucumber,lemon bt it remaining mint leaf,I even sent for scent leaf tinkin it was scent leaf,how do i get it in Kaduna, tnxs I rili need it..

    • Janefrances Omachonu says

      Hello Esther, you can get mint leaf in dalema supermarkets in malali gra. You will see one malam that sales vegetables in the parking lot. That was where I bought mine the other day. Thanks

    • Please I live in sokoto how can I get it, can I find it from those igbos that sell leaves, I need it urgently pls help me and save my life

  31. Pls, mint leaf in yoruba language..been looking for it but can’t get it.

  32. where can i get the mint leave from in onitsha

  33. Wow…. Tanks dear I almost used scent leaves instead of the mint leaves. At least I now know the difference…. Kip it up swt

  34. where can I get mint leave in kaduna

  35. Good morning, pls where can I get mint leave in this Onitsha or Asaba….. Thanks

  36. What is the Yoruba name for mint leaf ?

  37. ave looked for mint leaf in calabar and can’t find it

  38. Precious Ojinmaduka says

    Please I am In awka where can I get mint leaves from please

  39. hi Flo,
    Am really enjoying ur writeups. pls keep it up.

  40. Please where can i get these mint leaves, i need it for a mixture that helps reduce weight

  41. What mixture of weight loss?

  42. please, is mint leaves the same with Parsley?

  43. Chinenye says

    Hi Flo what a good work U r doing.keep it up

  44. Amarachy says

    Flo, you dey try wella! Thumbs up. Please how do I locate you on facebook?

  45. BIG NO in NIGERIAN DISH !!!!!! ewww ! They are like coca cola without bubbles signas ! 😀 no no no , use the herbs for desserts on top of some sweet fruit as a sauce , dressing or if u like to add spicy with refreshing , take vanilla ice , take fruits and mix the leaves into a coulis ! put it between both flavours and yum 🙂 , got them here in the garden , use them together with lavender if u like they also grow in Spain ! the flowers are eatable xx

  46. Ekomobong sunday says

    pls where can i find it in uyo[mint leave]

  47. My mother teached me that Mint has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food. I often use it in cooking and with drinks, it is very useful for our health. You can always buy fresh mint leaves on marketplaces, i live in Nigeria and sometimes buy it online, also there are a lot of food delivery services where you can find mint. You can easily save it frozen whole year.

  48. Blessing Godsty says

    Where can l get the mint leave & l hope it’s not difficult to get l heard it helps to burn stomach fat

  49. Faith Enuoh says

    Pleaseeeee where can I find mint leaves in calabar….I’ve searched everywhere.. Need help urgently!

  50. Please where can I get mint leaves in Ilorin

  51. Please where can I get mint leaves in Ilorin

  52. interesting,, pls where can I get mint leaves in Jos Plateau state

  53. pls where can I get mint leave in kogi?

  54. Samuel Ali says

    Pls what is the yoruba name for mint leaf?

  55. Please is mint leaf the same leaf as lemon balm?

  56. Ugoprecious says

    Flo pls where can i get mint leaf? Am in Aba

    • Ugo I’m not sure about Aba, maybe ask in the salad section of the market where you normally buy food ingredients. I heard that some Hausa Mallams that sell salad ingredients in Lagos sell mint leaves. Good luck!

  57. please where can i get it in Ibadan and what is it called in yoruba?

  58. And where can I get this in Osogbo because I need it badly self

  59. please were can i get mint leave in dlta state

  60. Iboro William says

    Please where can I get mint leaf in Akwa Ibom?

    • obinna Agwuh says

      I guess it should be in the village section of the state… Have you gone to the village to find this?

  61. Stephen john says

    Am in abuja and need mint leaf for my project how can i get it pls

  62. obinna Agwuh says

    i always thought that mint leaves and scent leaves are the same…. Thanks for making this clear…

  63. can I find mint leave at enugu, nsukka to be precise. please I need it

  64. Chegede muhammedjamiu says

    Mint leave is very good supplement i use it as tea and add honey on it

  65. Thats true flo

  66. Please where can I get mint leafs from in warri Delta State

  67. Please, is this the leave called Efinrin in Yoruba Dialect??

  68. You can get mint leaves from the aboki who sells vegetables like carrots, cabbage, green peppers, green beans, etc.

  69. Please 😞 where can I find mint leave in Benin city

  70. Justina Nelson says

    I very well concur with you that scent leaves are not the same as mint leaves when it comes to authentic Nigerian dishes especially when your taste buds have mastered the authentic earthy taste of most Nigerian soups and dishes. However, I found an exception to the rule – Banga soup. Mint leaves could be supplemented for scent leaves when mixed with rosemary leaves. The combination did justice to my ofe akwu ( banga soup but not for nsala – hot watery soup).

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