Peppermint (Mentha piperita, Mentha balsamea Willd)
Main Facts about Peppermint
Related to spearmint, which is also edible, cultivated in eastern and northern Europe and the United States of America, and is found in Africa. Pale violet blossoms with purple stem in late spring or early summer(Spearmint has green stem).
Using PeppermintThe major constituent of the leaves is the essential oil, which contains menthol and menthone. Peppermint leaves are used for treatment of dyspepsia, flatulence and intestinal colic, indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, and just about every digestive complaint known. The oil in the leaves soothe the bowel muscles and calm the entire digestive tract. A relaxing anti-spasmotic that calms nerves, tension, provides relief from stress and mental exhaustion. It is used for dental care as it is a powerful antiseptic. In Ancient Greece, the entire body was perfumed with mint, and it was highly revered as an aphrodisiac, tooth whitener and overall breath freshener. It is also a good immunity-booster, blood circulator and cooling hair-tonic for dandruff and lice.
Caution!Patients with gallstones should not use unless under medical supervision.
Cooking with PeppermintPeppermint is often used in tea and for flavouring ice cream, confectionery, chewing gum, and toothpaste. Peppermint can also be found in some shampoos, soaps and skin care products. Peppermint oil is usually the most potent way to gain the active ingredients and benefits, however lower levels, such as those ingested through tea, are still very effective.
How to grow PeppermintPeppermint does best in rich, drained soil that is high in loa,in full or partial sun. Young shoots are taken from old stocks and dibbled into the ground about 1. 5 feet apart. They grow quickly and cover the ground with runners if it is permanently moist. Grows well in most zones, excluding extreme conditions, is very invasive and known to take over gardens, so plant with caution.
Peppermint Toxic Look-alikesnone