Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Boost of Peppermint

Photo: Shutterstock
Peppermint is a member of the Lamiaceae family. A hybrid mint, it's a cross between watermint and spearmint. It has been used in a myriad of ways for centuries.

My mom made me drink peppermint (also chamomile) tea whenever I stayed home from school with the flu. She said, "I bet you don't know I'm a doctor, do you? Listen to me!" When I felt sooo very baddd, she had the advantage, so I drank up.

As it turns out, peppermint tea does have proprieties that give it a few medical benefits: It seems to soothe an upset stomach, nausea, irritable bowel and bloating. Some studies (lead by Dr. Mark Moss, Robert Jones and Lucy Moss from Northumbria University in the U.K.) also suggest drinking peppermint tea boosts alertness and long term memory.*

Peppermint oil kills bacteria and fungus and can be mixed with a carrier oil (like grapeseed, almond, olive or avocado for skin); or diluted with water to kill germs on household surfaces.
Peppermint's high menthol, menthone and menthyl acetate chemical constituents are responsible for its cooling and anti-flammatory powers. Externally, peppermint oil has been used to relieve muscle and nerve pain. Apply it (diluted) to your temples and forehead to treat a tension headache.

Peppermint is also popular as a flavor in toothpaste, mouthwash and chewing gum. Peppermint oil is often an ingredient in shampoo, soap and skin products. It makes your scalp and skin tingle. A few drops in your shampoo can be used to treat dandruff. 

Not only is peppermint a refreshing tea, it is the oldest known flavor of candy: peppermints. Furthermore, it is a popular ice cream favor; can be added to hot chocolate and mixed drinks; and the fresh leaves can be tossed into green or fruit salads to kick up the flavor.

Peppermint is easy to grow indoors in pots, but like any mint, it will take over a garden, so even outdoors, you may want to pot it. Reportedly, insects are repelled by pots of peppermint. They don't like the scent.

Growing peppermint in a windowsill is very doable! You will have a room with pretty green leaves that smell fresh and clean to humans!
*(source) The Epoch Times, September 23-29, 2016

You may also enjoy:
Time To Tidy Up
The Health Benefits of Tea 
Do You Repurpose Your Things?
Healthy Spices In A Well-Stocked Kitchen


  1. How interesting, Debra. Mme Mère went straight for the hard stuff when we were sick with a cold -- whisky in a shot glass, w/lemon and glycerin and sugar cube. Learned that from her mother, who was British. Anyway, I love peppermint, spearmint, wintermint, all the mints. Keep a tin of them by my desk. I think they do help me think more clearly. Now I know why.

    Cheers, M-T

    1. I think Mme Mère guided you right. For colds we drank something similar: a shot of bourbon, mixed with hot water, lemon and sugar. We called it a Hot Toddy. Consumed before bed for a good night's sleep.

  2. I like peppermint in some forms, but can never abide peppermint tea, for some reason. However, camomile I will have most days, and any time it is available! The peppermint oil sounds interesting; I might give it a try for a few aches and pains.

    1. I hope you get relief fo your aches and pains!

      I will have to do a blog on camomile also. I attended a function recently where camomille tea was served after dinner. It was delicious and soothing. My mom used camomille to wash wounds occasionally.