Mint has been known since the 17th century as a green-mint hybrid first cultivated in England. It is a hardy, slightly hairy plant with mauve-coloured flowers. The hairs contain a strong-smelling essence and have a spicy taste which inspired its Latin name. It was one of the most appreciated cultivated vegetable plants in ancient times. Bacchus' disciples even utilised it to weave circular head-dresses to avoid becoming inebriated. Mint is one of the oldest medicinal plants, and largely owes its continuing celebrity to its unmistakable odour. It plays an important role in phytotherapy due to its essential oil, which has soothing and antiseptic properties.