Peppermint is good for what ails
In the tummies of girls and males
If something’s feeling funny
Infuse and add honey
I promise it never fails!
What would summer be without a little Peppermint? Minted ice tea is a popular refreshing drink that many enjoy.
Peppermint is also a popular flavor for many foods, oral hygiene, and digestive aids. How many can you think of? Peppermint breath mints, toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, antidiarrheal medicine, antacid medicine, anti-nausea medicine, candy canes, Peppermint patties…the list goes on and on!
When you are learning about herbs, a great way to discover their traditional use is to look at over the counter medications and see what flavors they are. That can give an indication of their original use before modern day pharmaceuticals took over.
Peppermint’s flavor is well-known and liked. Peppermint has a pleasant peppery minty flavor that pairs well with fruit salads, potato salads, and garden salads. The leaves can be added fresh to give a hint of minty flavor. Leaves are often added to iced tea to add a minty taste or they can be infused in water to make Peppermint tea which is a delicious, cooling summertime drink.
A leaf can be chewed on to keep your breath fresh and help with digestion, making it a great after dinner “mint”.
As a member of the Mint family, Lamiaceae, Peppermint is very healing for the digestive system. Peppermint is carminative and antispasmodic which can be helpful for chronic intestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis.
Peppermint is a refrigerant meaning he cools your body from the inside out. This can be helpful during the summer when you are outside playing, or if you are sick and running a fever. For influenza and other viral infections, Peppermint is often combined with other viral herbs such as Yarrow, Boneset and Elderflower to help ease the aches and pains and fevers of the viruses.
Peppermint’s cooling feature from his menthol combined with his antispasmodic actions can help to cool down and ease muscle spasms, coughs, intestinal and menstrual cramping and more.
This plant also contains pain relief for toothaches, cavities and other mouth issues as Peppermint is an analgesic and antiseptic which means he can ease pain and kill off bacteria that cause infections in the mouth which in turn create the cavities and aches.
As an analgesic, Peppermint also is helpful for relieving tension headaches, rheumatism, and neuralgia pain.
Peppermint soothes nausea and upset stomaches. Peppermint is often combined with chamomile, ginger, and fennel to create “gripe water” for babies with colic.
There are many ways to utilize Peppermint’s medicinal actions. The dried leaves can be made into a tea or an infusion, or they can be tinctured. The fresh leaves can be candied to add as a decoration to cakes.
Peppermint essential oil is often added to flavorings for icing, cakes, and cookies, as well as used internally through special capsules for irritable bowel syndrome and leaky gut. It is also rubbed on the temples to relieve headaches or on gums and in the mouth for toothaches.
Want to learn to make a Peppermint Sun Tea with your kids? Check out my new Monday Making series. This week’s episode is on making Peppermint Sun Tea!https://youtu.be/T2Sp-WVbz_E
Want to listen to “Agnes Discovers Peppermint”? This story is from the Peppermint issue of Herbal Roots zine and it can be found on YouTube here:https://youtu.be/WQthNgRvKUk
Minted Potato Salad
This is a recipe I found years ago in a cook book. I have long since lost the original recipe but have made it my own over the years and it’s always a hit when I serve it! The mint compliments nicely with the tang of the yogurt, giving the potato salad a fresh, cool twist.
6 red skinned potatoes
2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
4 scallions chopped up
1 bunch fresh mint chopped up
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Begin by chopping and boiling the potatoes until they are soft.
Drain the water and gently mash them to break them up a bit. Add olive oil, sea salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
Allow to cool.
Stir in the yogurt, scallions, and mint.
Serve chilled or room temperature.
Peppermint is a great “beginner” herb for kids to learn about and is part of my “The Next Step” year long course for kids. This is the second of my two beginner courses, but you don’t need to take the first course before taking this one.
To learn more about my courses and to enroll, head to: https://herbalrootszine.teachable.com/