Raise your hand if you love peppermint!
I know I do. This refreshing, cooling herb has more uses than I can list, and is irreplaceable in many products and foods we all love. Think you know all there is to know about peppermint? Read on!
Mentha x piperita
Of the 30 strains of the mint plant, peppermint is undoubtedly the most popular. Though it is ubiquitous today, peppermint (or its latin name, Mentha x piperita ) is actually a cross between water mint and spearmint – and some think it was first cultivated on accident! It is easily one of the most versatile herbs one can have on hand, with records of both its medicinal and culinary uses stretching back to the 1700s! (It also grows anywhere, so amateur gardeners take note!)
What peppermint is used for
It’d be easier to talk about what peppermint isn’t used for! Obviously, peppermint is a popular flavoring in foods as well as in body care products, with both the leaves and the oils of the plants being used in both.
Peppermint also has many interesting medicinal uses. Peppermint oil (or tea) is a fantastic remedy for treating nausea and other gastrointestinal issues (like gas and bloating) by calming the muscles of the stomach. There is even research that enteric coated peppermint capsules might be helpful to people who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
When you got a cold as a kid, I’m sure lots of you remember being given peppermint tea or having your chest rubbed with a peppermint salve. It turns out your Mom was really onto something – menthol, one of the main components of peppermint, is an effective decongestant and expectorant (meaning it thins mucus). Peppermint is soothing for sore throats and dry coughs, as well.
That’s not all it can help with in your respiratory system – peppermint has been shown to inhibit the growth of various kinds of bacteria and fungi, and can be an effective remedy for asthma and allergies. It also helps with immunity, so when you feel a cold coming on be sure to drink lots of peppermint tea to keep hydrated and to feel better!
Aside from being great on your insides, peppermint is great for your outside, too! Peppermint can help with itchy skin, and many people turn to peppermint balms to soothe cramped, sore muscles. Peppermint is also great for balancing oily skin, or simply cooling it off during the warm months.
What’s your favorite use for peppermint? I love it in my Rosemary Peppermint Body Wash – so refreshing first thing in the morning!
“Teaching People About Beauty From the Inside Out”
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