Peppermint is one of the most used essential oils and a favorite home garden herb, valued for its refreshing and uplifting aroma and topical cooling abilities. It is often chosen for respiratory issues and digestive upset as well as to improve alertness and congestion. In addition, it is very useful for headaches and muscle tension. Many cough lozenges and medicines as well as muscle rubs are on the market containing the menthol constituent found in peppermint. In the food and beverage industry, peppermint is a common flavoring agent (heavily diluted).
Peppermint is the number 1 selling flavor among non-chocolate, hard candies.
Over 150 research articles have been catalogued on peppermint. Many studies have reviewed the antimicrobial actions of the herb and its extract/oil in vitro. It has also been studied as a digestive aid to treat irritable bowels, nausea, and other digestive complaints. Research has demonstrated its analgesic, antispasmodic, and anti-itch activities. Peppermint has been studied to help improve cognition, and may also have neuroprotectivie capabilities. Studies show it could also reduce respiratory complaints, repell insects, act as an antioxidant, and more. Click the button below for a detailed review of research.
Latin Name: Mentha piperita
Peppermint is a perennial herb reaching two feet tall with green oval leaves and small white/pink flowers.
Leaves are prepared fresh or dried. For making a tea, steep 1 Tbsp of dried herb, or 2 Tbsp of fresh herb in 2 cups of boiled water for five minutes. Strain and drink.
Oil is steam distilled from the leaves, flowers, and stems. It is thin and clear colored or pale yellow/green. Oil is minty, strong, cool and fresh.