Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Peppermint is a fragrant perennial herb found in Europe, Asia and North America (the majority grown in America). It grows quickly and will take over your garden if you fail to harvest often. It has greyish or purplish leaves and labiate flowers.

From adding a minty flavor to foods and drinks to treating flatulence to pest prevention, there seems to be no end to its many uses. A cup of peppermint tea (dry or fresh herb) will often soothe nausea, upset stomach and other digestive complaints. It has even been known to ease the spasm of irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint has also been used for menstrual problems and the common cold to calm cough symptoms. The oil has been used topically for muscle ache, itching and headache. Grab a leaf from a fresh sprig to freshen your breath. Peppermint is also an effective rodent deterrent.

Peppermint contains antioxidants, and trace amounts of iron and mineral. It comes available in fresh and dry leaves, capsules and oil form and is one of the most popular herbs in teas, candies and chewing gums.

Peppermint essential oil, is very concentrated and if not used properly can cause allergic reactions. Consult your doctor before using peppermint oil on children under 5 or pregnant or breastfeeding women, especially those with a history of miscarriage. Also, large quantities of peppermint oil could damage the kidneys.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Please consult your doctor before using herbal tinctures/extracts/teas and do not us in place of prescribed medicines without first consulting your physician.

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