Spring is almost here and one of the great things about it is, planting healing herbs like
peppermint for healing and healthy living.
One of the things I most look forward to is the smell of mint in the air. It grows wild throughout my yard and when a strong breeze kicks up, it smells like a peppermint cloud.
I know that for many, the mint family is a nuisance, spreading like wildfire wherever its heart desires. But for me, that nuisance was a blessing for my less than green thumb when I began my journey into the gardening world. And when I discovered how valuable and useful it is, it was easy to say: let it grow.
Peppermint Healing Properties
Uses Peppermint Oil and Peppermint Health Benefits
Using peppermint along with two other essential oils will treat depression very effectively:
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia): Among citrus plants Bergamot is regarded as the most fragile thus requiring extraordinary soil and climate to flourish. Bergamot has been used throughout history to lessen stress and nervousness as well as to invigorate the skin. Since it has the ability to rejuvenate and calm and thus reduce depression and anxiety it is considered unique among citrus oil. Bergamot can also cleanse and purify skin.
Peppermint (Mentha Piperia): A research by University of Kiel revealed that when mixed with some eucalyptus oil, the peppermint oil helped with headaches. The research also brought to light the fact that the peppermint oil was very helpful in cases of depression or sadness or general lack of enthusiasm.
Spearmint (Mentha Viridis): Spearmint is an ancient plant with well-studied uses for helping with digestion, easing headaches, and promoting healing. It has even been found in historical records from ancient Greece. Its bright freshness can help improve weight loss, too, by boosting the metabolism, and it acts as a tonic for the gall bladder. Spearmint oil can help stimulate the appetite, fight depression, and make childbirth easier.
Let’s begin with the easiest and most common form for getting that healing dose of
A simple cup of tea, made by steeping about 1 tsp of the dried herb or 2 tsp of the fresh leaves in 8 ounces of boiled water for about 15 minutes, is a lovely remedy for many everyday ailments, including headaches and stomach upset.
Peppermint Tea Benefits:
Drinking a cup of peppermint tea about an hour after a meal helps to keep your digestive juices in working order and when taken prior to eating, might help you to avoid gas pains. Its mild anesthetic properties can sooth the stomach wall and relieve the vomiting associated with pregnancy and motion sickness.
Peppermint can help to relieve anxiety and maintain focus, aiding those who deal with daily stress. And while it can be a soothing herb, it also has the opposite function of encouraging circulatory flow and treating lethargy. A cup or two of a stronger brew, say a tbsp of herb per 8 ounces hot water, can offer you a boost without the caffeine hangover. It’s a valuable help for colds and flu.
Other Uses for Peppermint:
Another way to utilize the tea is for compresses. Soaking a clean towel in the hot, steeped herb can do wonders for headaches. Just place the towel on your forehead, lie down and relax. You can use the same method for sunburn. Just allow the towel to cool and replace as needed.
In addition to the herb, I always keep some pure peppermint essential oil on hand. It packs a bigger punch than the fresh or dried herb and one or two drops will usually do the job. A drop massaged into each temple always eases my headaches. Be sure to wash your hands afterwards because you DO NOT want to get it in your eyes. If you do: washing your eyes out with cool water will usually help. Because of its antiseptic properties, a couple drops of the oil on a minor kitchen burn or scrape can help sterilize the skin and ease the pain.
Putting a few drops into steaming water and draping your head over the water with a towel can relieve sinus congestion. You can also put a couple drops into your palms and rub them together briskly, creating warmth, and then cup your hands at your nose and breathe deeply. This also helps for concentration and focus. But be careful to only breathe this two or three times, as this can stimulate the heart and possibly cause light headedness and burning eyes. Use in an aromatherapy diffuser to provide an overall uplifting and enthusiastic feeling to any room.
I keep a bar of peppermint soap in my shower. For me, there is nothing like the magic of mint in a steaming bath or shower. It lifts my spirit and is super soothing for skin rashes. Adding a few drops of oil to your favorite lotion makes a great foot balm, and gargling with an infusion of the herb freshens the breath!
While the benefits of this herb are far-reaching, exercise caution if you are pregnant or nursing. Do not overuse peppermint in any form for any condition.
The possibilities of this aromatic herb are many, far more than what I’ve included here. I encourage you to explore it further and maybe plant some in your own yard to enjoy its plentiful benefits.
Author: Steve Berchtold
However, if you would like to avoid a peppermint takeover, I’d suggest potting it.