Peppermint has such a wonderful fragrance that many people plant it in their gardens to enjoy on hot summer days. If you plan to grow peppermint for its medicinal properties be sure to plant the variety of peppermint that has the greatest effect. There are more than twenty species of the peppermint plant. Mentha piperita, the true peppermint, has the highest medicinal properties. It also contains the essential oil menthol. It is the menthol that gives the herb its healing power. Teas made from peppermint have the ability to prevent convulsions and flatulence. It is also useful for irritable bowel syndrome and can relieve headache symptoms. It is also excellent at stimulating the liver and gallbladder functions. The aroma of peppermint can counteract motion sickness and also helps to freshen breath.
To make peppermint tea, pour one cup of boiling water over one tablespoon of dried peppermint leaves. Steep this for ten minutes. Drink one cup of the tea in small sips after each meal. Drink up to three cups per day. The essential oil from peppermint eases nausea, diarrhea, headaches, and menstrual cramps. Peppermint is also rich in potassium, calcium, and B vitamins. It can be used to combat bone loss. The essential oil stimulates digestion and helps to prevent gallstones from forming. It also increases the flow of bile and helps to metabolize fat in the body. The B vitamins that peppermint contains has positive effects on the nerves and brain. It can help to improve concentration and performance. Fresh peppermint leaves contain more B vitamins than dried leaves.
Drink a cup of peppermint tea after meals to help relieve mild stomach disorders, vomiting, or nausea. Peppermint tea can be added to bathwater to help relax. Steep five tablespoons of peppermint leaves in one quart of boiling water. Pour the tea in the tub and soak for about twenty minutes. Peppermint tea can be a good preventative remedy for sore throats. Drink the tea at the first sign of a sore throat. To help with motion sickness drink one cup of tea three times per day, three days before you travel by car, plane, or boat.
To help settle an upset stomach you will need eight ounces of peppermint leaves, eight ounces of lemon-balm leaves, and eight ounces of fennel leaves. Use one teaspoon of the mixture for each cup of boiling water. Steep this for ten minutes and then strain the leaves from the liquid. This will help with stomach cramps. To ease and calm the nerves, you will need one ounce of peppermint leaves and one ounce of lemon-balm leaves. Use one teaspoon of this mixture for every cup of boiling water, Steep this for fifteen minutes and strain the leaves.