USA. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), Cut and Sifted, Certified Organic
Common names: Brandy Mint, Hortela, Hierbabuena, Ji Su San, Vilayati Pudina
Peppermint is actually a naturally occurring hybrid cross of Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) and Spearmint (M. spicata). It’s a perennial flowering herb, propagating itself by its rhizomes, that originated in Europe and the Middle East and has become widespread around the world. It prefers damp locations but can grow almost anywhere. Currently the commercial cultivation of Peppermint is dominated by Morocco, producing over 90% of the world’s output. In the US, Washington and Oregon are the main sources.
Peppermint is rich in menthol, which causes its distinctive cooling sensation, and has analgesic, anesthetic, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. It also contains terpenes, flavonoids, and rosemarinic acid. Significant amounts of vitamins C and A are found in fresh leaves. Extracts of the herb are widely used to flavor foods and beverages, and to scent body care products.
Peppermint tea is great for many common complaints! It settles the stomach; relieves gas, colic, diarrhea, hangovers, and nausea; promotes sweating, thus reducing fever; alleviates headaches, teething, and other pains; and calms the nerves. It has a decongestant effect that makes it useful for cold symptoms, sinusitis, and hay fever.
Peppermint infused oil makes a great application for sore muscles, arthritic joints, neuralgia, itchiness, sunburn, scalds, blemishes, swellings, herpes eruptions, cracked nipples in breastfeeding mothers, and frostbite. It’s also a good way to make use of the herb’s insect repellent and antimicrobial actions. (A few people have an allergic sensitivity to Peppermint, so it’s wise to try testing a little bit on a small area first.) Rats and mice shun Peppermint, and infused oil can be a handy way to send that “Go away!” message to unwanted rodents.
Research backs up the traditional uses of Peppermint and brings out its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating actions, and its value for promoting hair growth, improving mental performance, and protecting against medication-induced kidney damage.
So familiar that it’s easy to overlook its many virtues. Tastes good, smells good, works wonders—lots of reasons to make friends (again) with Peppermint!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.