Peppermint is incredibly easy to grow; it is probably one of the easiest herbs to grow yourself.
*A word of caution – never plant any of the mint family directly into the ground unless you want it to spread everywhere. The mint family sends out runners and it will soon take over your garden like an invasive weed. If you don’t want this to happen, try planting in containers.
Peppermint is a beautiful plant with vibrant green leaves with tall purple scented flower towers. If you plan to harvest your own peppermint, you will want to harvest from the plant prior to flowers forming.
Peppermint can be used in three different ways. The leaves can be used in cooking or to make a tea. The essential oil can be used in a carrier oil, skin care products, or creams. And the peppermint capsules can be consumed like a vitamin.
*Caution: Those who suffer from GERD – gastroesophageal reflex disease should avoid consuming peppermint.
It is also suggested that you speak with your doctor before adding peppermint supplements to your diet. Some medicines or other supplements can have a negative reaction with the addition of peppermint.
If you suffer from indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, or irritable bowels; peppermint may be able to help ease your pains. Peppermint increases the flow of bile, thus reducing indigestion. It also contains antispasmodic properties which can reduce stomach spasms and pain associated with irritable bowels and diarrhea.
Peppermint soothes and relaxes the body and mind. It can help ease a troubled mind and relax you enough for you to sleep. To use peppermint at bedtime, you can diffuse peppermint oil in a diffuser near your bed. For extra relaxation try combining peppermint, lavender, and chamomile oils in the diffuser. Or, you can drink a combo of peppermint and chamomile tea just prior to bedtime.
Peppermint contains anti-microbial properties that fight the nasty bacteria that can grow in your mouth. Try gargling with a few drops of peppermint oil mixed in a small glass of water. You can also add a drop of peppermint oil to your toothbrush to brush the bacteria off your tongue after brushing your teeth. Or, if you want a quick breath freshener, you can always chew on the mint leaf itself.
There are some schools that provide peppermint candies during test taking. They do this for good reason. Peppermint helps the brain focus on the task at hand. Peppermint can help when you find yourself having a difficult time concentrating on an important project. Try peppermint tea, peppermint candies, or diffusing peppermint oil when you need to get something done.
I like to drink peppermint tea when I start to loose focus from staring at a computer all day. Helps reign me back in and makes me stay away from mindless snacking.
To reduce the affects of tension headaches or migraines you can either use an application of peppermint oil in a carrier oil to your forehead or neck, or you can diffuse peppermint oil near you. Peppermint can help sooth muscles and reduce tension.
As stated above, peppermint is good at reducing muscle soreness. You can apply a diluted peppermint oil in lotion or cream to your sore muscles to reduce the pain and discomfort. Because peppermint contains anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-spasmodic properties it is one of the best things to slather on your muscles.
Peppermint is also great for tired feet. I have a nightly ritual of massaging Soothing Foot Balm, which contains Peppermint, into my feet before bed. Works great to relive tired feet as well as making them soft.
If you are feeling a little more sluggish than usual, try diffusing peppermint oil or drinking some peppermint tea. While peppermint does not contain any caffeine, it will energize and rejuvenate you. It even works well when applied or consumed before a workout.
Colds & Flu
Peppermint is a natural decongestant and expectorant. If you are suffering from a stuffy head, try peppermint tea or diffusing peppermint oil in your room. Its antiviral properties help clean the air of viruses. It is also a natural fever reducer. Try using a few drops of diluted peppermint oil to the back of your neck and to the bottoms of your feet.
Peppermint packs a powerful punch, no matter how you use it. It can ease colds, stomach issues, and muscle soreness. And it can help you sleep or wake you up and rejuvenate you. And it’s incredibly easy to grow yourself for use in cooking and to make your own tea.