Peppermint Benefits & Information

Latin Name

Mentha piperita - Peppermint, Mentha Arvensis - Mint

Also Known As

Brady mint, balm mint, curled mint, lamb mint

Origin

Mentha Piperita indiginous to the Meditteranean. Mentha Arvensis indiginous to India Both now grown globally

Parts Used

Aerial parts

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Peppermint's unique signature note is really all about the digestive system and its action as a mild anesthetic to the stomach wall. It is indicated in conditions such I.B.S (irritable bowel syndrome), flatulence, intestinal colic, nausea and vomiting. It is a carminative herb, which means it settles the digestive system, as an anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic herb it also relieves painful cramps and swelling in the digestive tract.

Peppermint is excellent for gastric intestinal infections, it can be used to reduce the frequency of vomiting. It also supports the fighting of gastric-intestinal infection as it is an anti-microbial agent.

Peppermint is well known for its use to treat nausea in pregnancy (morning sickness of the 1st trimester) and to treat travel sickness.

Peppermint is also indicated for use in relieving symptoms of the common cold and flu. It is particularly effective in nasal congestion, as an inhalant it can relieve nasal catarrh. Peppermint's other action is for the relief of painful periods, as a nervine it is known for easing anxiety and tension associated with pre-menstrual syndrome.

PREPARATIONS:
Hot Peppermint tea is used for colds, flu, a clogged head, nasal congestion, sinusitis and chest congestion. These are all relieved by the menthol content of Peppermint. Peppermint tea can also treat intestinal conditions, and be drank throughout pregnancy.

Peppermint essential oil can be used in the bath for relieving respiratory symptoms and treating menstrual cramps and PMT. It can be used topically over the stomach area to treat intestinal conditions, or menstrual cramps in a carrier oil or cream. It can be vapourised in an oil burner to create an uplifting and cleansing atmosphere. A steam inhalation can be used to treat nasal congestion and a blocked head cold. See How to use Essential Oils

Menthol crystals are an organic compound that have been synthetically extracted from Peppermint or mint oil.
Menthol has an extremely penetrating smell, and can act as an expectorant and anti-irritant. It is useful to inhale the vapor of Menthol crystals during a bad cough or cold. It is soothing to a sore throat and chest, and clearing to blocked nasal passageways and uplifting to a heavy head.

Menthol crystals also have a local anesthetic property, by cooling and numbing the skin's surface. Menthol crystals are used in many preparations such as tigers balm, and cough cold expectorant balms for the chest. They are produced synthetically to answer the market demand, however it is only the natural Menthol crystals that have beneficially properties.

ESSENTIAL OIL NOTE
Top note

BLENDS WELL WITH
Essential oils:
Mint, Citrus oils, Benzoin, Rosemary, tea tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Basil, Marjoram, Juniper, Thyme, Cypress.

Cur herbs for tea:
Peppermint, Rosemary & Lemonbalm for headaches and nervous exhaustion
Peppermint, Catnip & fennel for intestinal conditions.

AROMA
Cooling, pungent, green and Menthyl aroma.

Typical Use

Infusion of Peppermint leaves: pour a cup of boiling water onto a heaped teaspoonful of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. This may be drunk as often as desired.

Menthol crystals can be burnt as an incense and the aroma is uplifting, minty, clearing and camphor like. They can also be added to balms and creams, and have a penetrative analgesic action on muscles and joints. The crystals can also be added to water and used as a mouth wash, or sprayed finely into the air as a room spray. A few crystals can be added to the bath water for a penetrative muscle relaxing soak.

Peppermint essential oil: can be used in the bath, or vapourised in an oil burner. It can be added to a massage oil or cream. Use 6-8 drops per bath and 10 -18 drops per 30ml of carrier oil. See Essential Oil Dosage Chart

Folklore and History

Peppermint was probably used as a medicine in ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome. The genus name, Mentha, is derived from the Greek mythological nymph Mintha who is said to have transformed into the plant. The leaves were used for digestive and gall bladder problems. Inhaled peppermint was used to treat conditions that affected the chest and throat.

Peppermint
Constituents

Essential oil, up to l.5%, containing menthol, menthone and menthyl acetate as the major components, with isomenthone, menthofuran, isomenthol, neomenthol, piperitone, a- & b- pinene, limonene, cineole, pulegone, viridiflorol, ledol etc.
Flavonoids; menthoside, rutin and others
Miscellaneous; rosmarinic acid, azulenes, choline, carotenes etc.