Peppermint Herb, Peppermint Tea, Peppermint Essential Oil - Uses, Nutritional And Health Benefits

Peppermint Herb

Latin Name : Mentha piperita

Peppermint is a hybrid plant produced by crossing spearmint (Mentha spicata) and watermint (Mentha aquatica).

A native to Europe it is today cultivated worldwide. Peppermint is also simply known as mint and imparts a cool, slightly biting taste on the palate when eaten due to its menthol oil content that is present in both the leaves and stem.


Peppermint

Source

Peppermint Plant

Peppermint is a herb that has been used since ancient times for its medicinal properties.

The plant is a sterile hybrid that grows from 1 to 3 feet high, produces no seeds and propagates only by spreading laterally through its rhizomes that produce bare, fibrous roots.

The leaves are dark green with serrated margins while the stems are smooth and squarish. Both the leaves and stems bear fine hairs.The plant bears purplish white flowers that are borne in whorls.

Peppermint is a fast growing herb which grows best in permanently shaded, moist areas that are not waterlogged.

Peppermint is used in foods and beverages as a flavoring. It is used in soaps and cosmetics and also used in toothpastes and mouthwashes.

It is also used medicinally by making tea, its extracts and its essential oil.


Nutrients In Peppermint

Peppermint in high in menthol essential oil. It also contains other oils lkke methone, menthol acetate, menthofuran and cintheole.

The herb is rich in potassium and low in sodium content.

Peppermint contains high amounts of vitamin A and C, folates, copper, iron, manganese and good amounts of magnesium, copper, calcium and vitamin B2.


Nutrients In Peppermint

 
 
 
 
Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Fresh,
 
 
Nutritive Value per 100 grams
 
 
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
 
Principle
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
Energy
70 Kcal
3.50%
Carbohydrates
14.79 g
11%
Protein
3.75 g
7%
Total Fat
0.94 g
3%
Cholesterol
0 mg
0%
Dietary Fiber
8 g
20%
Vitamins
 
 
Folates
114 mcg
28%
Niacin
1.706 mg
10.50%
Pantothenic acid
0.338 mg
6.50%
Pyridoxine
0.129 mg
10%
Riboflavin
0.266 mg
20%
Thiamin
0.082 mg
7%
Vitamin A
4248 IU
141%
Vitamin C
31.8 mg
53%
Electrolytes
 
 
Sodium
31 mg
2%
Potassium
569 mg
12%
Minerals
 
 
Calcium
243 mg
24%
Copper
329 mcg
36%
Iron
5.08 mg
63.50%
Magnesium
80 mg
20%
Manganese
1.176 mg
51%
Zinc
1.11 mg
10%

Health Benefits Of Peppermint

  • Peppermint relieves stomach discomfort associated with indigestion, gas, flatulence, diarrhea, spasms. The menthol in it has the ability to relax the smooth muscles of intestinal tract.
  • By relieving the muscles it helps to lessen body ache and muscle pain, It also relieves dental pain and nerve pain and inflammation of the joints thereby also lessening the discomfort in arthritis and rheumatism.
  • It helps asthmatic people breathe easier. The rosamarinic acid in it prevents the production of chemicals that cause inflammation. Peppermint extracts help to provide relief in allergic rhinitis (allergic colds).
  • The menthol helps to also decongest the nasal passages making breathing easier while at the same time loosening up the accumulated mucus and helping in its expulsion.
  • By aiding the flow of bile it aids in digesting fats.
  • Peppermint helps to cool and soothe skin conditions like itching/rash/inflammation caused by hives, poison ivy or poison oak.
  • Headaches, colds and coughs, sore throats are relieved by its use.
  • Peppermint eases menstrual cramps, nausea and vomiting.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea can be prepared from its fresh or dried leaves or tea bags available in the market.

It is a caffeine free tea which is deliciously refreshing and with plenty of health benefits.

Making Peppermint Tea

All you will need is a handful of fresh peppermint leaves, 2 peppermint tea bags or 2 tsp of loose leaf peppermint tea.

Boil 250 ml or 8 ounces of water and remove from heat.

Now add either of the above but if you are adding fresh leaves be sure to tear them up into small pieces, or cut them up with scissors before adding to the just boiled water.

Cover and let the leaves steep for 10 minutes.

Now strain off the liquid and add honey or sugar as per taste.

You may chill the tea in the refrigerator if you prefer it cold.


Health Benefits Of Peppermint Tea

  • Peppermint tea calms an upset stomach. Whether you have gas, flatulence or bloating or whether you need to perk up your digestion peppermint tea is a great help. It will also relieve nausea and vomiting.
  • It helps to keep the liver and gall bladder healthy.
  • Relieves anxiety and stress and calms the agitated mind as also a throbbing headache or migraine pain.
  • When applied topically it will relieve itching and pain of rash, hives or allergic reactions as also those of bites, stings and burns.
  • It will relieve a sore throat, just be sure to add some honey which will also ease cough and relieve a dry throat as well. It also relieves sinus congestion.
  • Gargling with peppermint tea will freshen the breath and also relieve sore, inflamed gums and toothache.
  • Peppermint tea has been found to reduce nipple cracks and pain in breastfeeding women. In the study done in Iran, following each breastfeed the moms washed the nipples and applied cotton soaked in peppermint water to the nipples only washing it before the next feeding.
  • Topical application of peppermint water extract like its tea has been found to benefit in herpes infection as the virus has been found to be inhibited in the laboratory.
  • These benefits are in addition to the benefits mentioned earlier.


Peppermint Oil

Peppermint essential oil has a pleasant minty aroma. Its main component is menthol which imparts a cooling sensation.

Peppermint oil is extracted from its leaves, flowers/buds and has a pale yellow tinge.

If you find peppermint oil to be too strong you can replace a part of it with spearmint oil as this oil is less intense.

When used in low dilutions as a body mist or in a diffuser it helps to cool the body and refreshes the mind.

Peppermint oil relieves mental fatigue and depression and improves concentration.

It is useful in cramps, muscular and neuralgic pains and colic.

Peppermint essential oil relieve respiratory problems like sinus congstion, asthma, bronchitis, cough, headache, migraine and vertigo.

It cures fungal infections like eczema, ringworm, acne etc and relieves itching and inflammation in sunburn and reduces redness.

It can be used in vapor therapy, used as a massage oil after blending or used diluted in the bath.

Peppermint oil blends well with eucalyptus, lavender, lemon and rosemary essential oils.


How To Use Peppermint

Peppermint can be used therapeutically by drinking its tea, or by adding 1-2 drops of its extract in a glass of water.

Peppermint essential oil can be used to massage specific areas of the body after blending it with a suitable carrier oil mentioned above or can be added to bath water.

It can be used in vaporizers and burners.

It can be added to home made mouthwashes and toothpaste.


Some Uses Of Peppermint

Peppermint is used in foods and beverages as a flavoring. It is used in soaps and cosmetics and also used in toothpastes and mouthwashes.

It is consumed as a tea, used as a repellent for ants, flies and even mice, for oral hygiene, a cooling foot bath or and invigorating bath water.

It is also used to relieve a number of health conditions as mentioned above.


Some Precautions With Peppermint

If you are taking medicines for diabetes, high blood pressure, gallstones, indigestion or any other prescription medicine consult your health care professional for peppermint safety.

Peppermint tea is too strong for babies and small children so should not be given to them or applied topically to infants and small children,

If you are suffering from GERD, are pregnant or breast feeding consult your healthcare professional before taking it.

References

  • http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265214.php
  • https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/peppermint
  • http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-peppermint.html
  • http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/peppermint.html
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16767798
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1865372/
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21075713
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17091431
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12509588
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16121521
  • http://nccam.nih.gov/health/peppermintoil
  • http://www.mintrubbing.org/themintplant.pdf

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

Peppermint-Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Peppermint Sugar Body Scrub

© 2014 Rajan Singh Jolly

More by this Author


Comments 14 comments

ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

If you have room in your budget for only a few essential oils, then peppermint is one of the ones to have on hand. Voted up and shared.


heidithorne profile image

heidithorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

Peppermint essential oil is a staple for me! I use it for many of the issues you've discussed here. It is amazing! Voted up and shared!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

I didn't know that it's a sterile hybrid plant. I've learned something today! I love peppermint, and those cookies look awesome. My mother has a special recipe for a chocolate peppermint ice cream cake that is out of this world. This hub makes me think of that. Voted up and more, pinning and sharing.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I have lots of mint and in the beginning I was not successful in planting mint after several attempts I finally managed to get it right now I can't get rid of mint and would not even try to it is one of my best plants. Interesting and useful hub indeed.


Janellegems profile image

Janellegems 2 years ago from Virginia

Excellent Hub. Thanks for a very informative hub about peppermint and all the magnificent ways to use it and the wonderful health benefits. It is definitely something I am going to use more often.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 years ago from Dubai

Great hub about the health benefits of peppermint. I love peppermint and it is good to know that it is healthy.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Once again, I had idea that something I enjoy yielded so many benefits. Thank you for sharing. :-)


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ologsinquito, peppermint oil is a multipurpose oil and one ought to have it at home at all times. Good to learn that you do. Thanks for the vote and sharing. Have a nice day!

@Heidi, good to learn that and thanks for the ratification of its many benefits. I appreciate the vote and sharing. Have a great day!

@Flourish, I do hope you post that family mint cake recipe. Thanks for all the votes and sharing. Hope you have a wonderful day!

@Devika, so nice that you have mint at home. Yes, it is quite easy to grow and I hope now you can use it with some ideas from here as well. Thanks and have a great day!

@Janellegems, glad you like the info and good to see you hope to use it more often. Thanks for visiting and have a fruitful day!

@Nithya, thanks for reading and appreciating the info. Hope you are keeping good and it's always good to see you around. Have a good day!

@Genna, good to learn you do use peppermint oil. Nice seeing you and thank you. Have a nice one!


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

This makes so much sense. I have asthma and I try to carry peppermint mints or gum with me when I go to meetings. Sometimes I get in to a coughing fit and literally cannot breathe just from the stuffy air. It helps to have peppermint. I didn't know all of the health benefits before reading this, but I do love peppermint tea. Especially at Christmas.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for the thumbs up, Crafty! Peppermint tea offers a lot of health benefits as well when consumed regularly.

Thanks for dropping by.


precy anza profile image

precy anza 2 years ago from San Diego

Great hub Rajan. And good to know all these nutrients one can get from peppermint. I used peppermint in my detox water drink. Up and shared! :)


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for the vote and sharing Precy and good to know you have it in your detox drink.


Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 2 years ago

I absolutely LOVE peppermint tea! I drink it hot, it is so refreshing, and yummy too!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

I agree Monis Mas. It is indeed a very refreshing and healthy drink.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working