Peppermint Herb

By | May 29, 2014

The Peppermint Herb is a well-known herb with many healing properties. Peppermint is best known for it’s minty scent and ability to help with digestive ailments. The leaves of the herb can be used fresh or dried in culinary dishes, chewed raw, infused into a tea, made into lozenges and, as an essential oil, inhaled or used as a topical agent.

About Peppermint

Peppermint, from the mint family Lamiaceae, genus Mentha xpiperita, is a natural hybrid of Spearmint and Watermint. The Peppermint herb is a perennial plant, fairly durable and easy to grow; gardeners should thin the plant periodically, as it has the potential to overtake a garden. Peppermint is in season from late spring to late fall.

Properties

Peppermint herb has a wide-array of healing applications internally, topically and as an essential oil. It contains a variety of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, B2 and C, Potassium, Calcium, Copper, Iron and Manganese. The properties of Peppermint make it an effective:

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  • Anesthetic
  • Antiseptic
  • Antibacterial
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antispasmodic
  • Astringent
  • Decongestant/Expectorant

Peppermint has a cool, warming effect that improves circulation. The heat attracts blood to the surface; massaged into the skin, it can decrease pain associated with rheumatoid conditions and neuralgia; taken internally, its diaphoretic effects ease chills and fever associated with colds and flu.

Peppermint can be used to treat upper respiratory tract infections, sinusitis and bronchitis.

*For a full selection of Peppermint essential oil and dried herb, we recommend Mountain Rose Herbs.

An excellent digestive aid, the antispasmodic properties of the Peppermint Herb allows it to relax smooth muscles and reduce inflammation. Peppermint helps the following gastrointestinal disorders/symptoms:

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  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea
  • Gallbladder and bile ducts
  • Dyspepsia
  • Flatulence
  • Gastritis
  • Enteritis
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach cramps
  • Ulcers
  • Spastic colon
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

In addition, tannins found in Peppermint shield the lining of the stomach from irritation and infection associated with diarrhea, constipation, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Peppermint is a stimulant and, as general tonic, can increase energy and decrease malaise and lethargy.

As an antiseptic and astringent, Peppermint helps minor cuts, abrasions and burns.

Peppermint herb contains analgesic properties that decrease pain. The numbing and heating qualities of Menthol make it a common ingredient in many muscle and joint rubs; tea and lozenges can also soothe sore throats and ease coughs. Essential oil of Peppermint is a common ingredient in many lotions, creams and salves. It soothes skin irritations including rashes, itching and burning, reduces redness and can also be used in the treatment of acne, dandruff and head lice.

As an aromatherapy agent, Peppermint oil can relieve stress, anxiety, and emotional balance; subsequently, inhaling peppermint is effective in treating nausea and stress-related headaches/migraines.

Precautions

Peppermint is a relatively safe in all forms, with few contradictions.

  • It is not recommended for use in infants or women who are breast-feeding; pregnant women can use the herb in small amounts, but should consult her physician beforehand.
  • Avoid Peppermint if you are taking cyclosporine and other immuno-suppressants used to prevent transplant rejection.
  • Use Peppermint with caution if you have hypoglycemia or hypotension, as long-term regular use can result in low blood sugar and low blood pressure.
  • Undiluted Peppermint oil can be a skin irritant. Discontinue use if redness, burning or irritation still exists after diluting in extra virgin olive oil.

Peppermint herb is a medicinal herb and, as such, you should obtain the treatment advice of a qualified professional.

Summary

The Peppermint herb is an easy to grow, versatile remedy for many common disorders. A popular digestive aid, Peppermint is used to treat a variety of stomach ailments including nausea and vomiting. Peppermint leaves can be chewed raw, infused into a tea, added to dishes or made into lozenges; as an essential oil, Peppermint can be used as a topical agent or inhaled.