A very important medicinal plant family is the Labiatae family, also known as the mint family. Plants in this family, are herbs or shrubs often with an aromatic smell. They are common in the Maltese Islands and other Mediterranean countries for the fact that some of them produce a high amount of essential oil that enables them to survive the hot summer season. Some examples from this family include mints, thyme, tulsi, spearmint and coleus. It is widely cultivated for medicinal, perfumery, culinary and ornamental purposes. Medicinal constituents include the strong aromatic essential oil, tannins, saponins and organic acids. The oil is obtained by steam distillation. In aromatherapy, the oil is used for its soothing effects. The plant has sedative, diuretic, tonic, antispasmodic and antiseptic properties.