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Ever wished that chocolate grew on trees? The next best thing would be to grow it in
your garden, among your culinary herbs. That is possible, thanks to the seemingly
endless diversity of the mint family.

As its name suggests, chocolate mint is a herb that tastes like an after dinner mint. It
shouldn’t exist, but maybe it does because Mother Nature thought – “Hey! Let’s try that!”
She’s female, after all. But the fact is that it tastes wonderful and is so easy to grow that
you use it any time you want (or just chew on the leaves while you are gardening).

It does have a look of chocolate with brown-tinged leaves, but not everyone agrees that
it deserves the name. There is a controversy about the chocolate taste – is it real or not?
The general consensus among lovers of this herb is that it is definitely different from
other mints, with an underlying richness that works with a variety of recipes. According
to the Canadian nursery Richters, the herb has a striking ‘peppermint patty’ scent that
convinced them to stock it.

Try your local nursery, which can probably order it for you, or you can get it online.
When you do get your hands on one, you can stick it virtually anywhere in the garden,
because it is so hardy. It prefers cooler zones and afternoon shade but potting this plant
is best because it is also enthusiastically rampant, like most mints, and virtually
impossible to kill. Even a mint that tastes like chocolate can become a nuisance when it
invades every part of your garden.

The temptation to plunder the leaves will be strong from the fragrance alone, but let it
get some growth on before you start ripping them off. As soon as there is some decent
growth, start by trying chocolate mint tea. Just strip a few leaves, bruise them gently to
release the vital oils and drop them in a tea pot. Pour over hot water and steep for five
minutes – done! To make it even more delicious, add it to coffee for a mocha treat or
strain and add hot milk and marshmallows. You can dry the leaves like any other herb
and crumble them for flavoring cookies, cake or ice cream.

If you love chocolate liqueur, you can make your own by cramming chocolate mint
leaves into a large bottle and pour over enough vodka to fill it up. Leave in a cool dry
place for a month or two (the longer you leave it the more delicious it gets) then strain
and enjoy a sip on February 19 – that’s National Chocolate Mint Day and a great excuse
to celebrate!

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Tips to Avoid Body Breakouts

Although some people never seem to have an issue with breakouts over a significant portion of their body, other individuals suffer from this problem on a regular basis. Even if you are prone to body breakouts, you can take charge of this issue and reduce their frequency and severity. Use as many of the following tips to help prevent body acne of all kinds.

Hygiene

Let’s face it, we do dirty work. And if pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads seem to pop out frequently, you might want to give your hygiene routine a new look. After all, a good hygiene routine should involve more than just washing your hands after going out to collect eggs, particularly if you are prone to body breakouts. In addition to cleaning your face daily, you should include a weekly exfoliating treatment to help remove the dead skin cells that can clog your pores. You might also want to use soaps, cleansers, and body washes explicitly designed for people with oily skin problems.

Sleep

Many medical professionals recommend getting sufficient sleep each day. You’ll know you are getting enough sleep if you wake up feeling rested. If you are still tired, you probably need more sleep. During sleep, your body works hard to rejuvenate itself, which is essential not only to your body’s health but also to the health of your skin.

Healthy Diet

Did you know that eating a healthy diet can help you avoid body breakouts as well as keeping you fit and trim? A healthy diet is full of vitamins and minerals that are good for your skin. Eating fresh produce and lean meats will help to prevent body breakouts, partly because it avoids the fats and sugars that so often lead to clogged pores. If you want to keep your skin clear, you should avoid eating most types of fast food, sugary treats, and fatty meats.

Proper Hydration

Proper hydration is just as important as proper nutrition when it comes to clear skin. The water you drink helps to remove harmful bacteria and toxins that can contribute to acne breakouts. Unless you drink enough water every day, these toxins build up and lead to health issues, including body breakouts.

If you want clear skin, you need to try and maintain it actively. To do so, you should eat a nutritious diet, drink plenty of water, get lots of sleep, and cleanse your skin thoroughly each day. If your body breakouts are severe, you might want to consult your family doctor.


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