Peppermint Herbal Information
ALSO KNOWN AS
Brady mint, balm mint, curled mint, lamb mint.
TRADITIONAL HERBAL USES AND MEDICINAL PROPERTIES
Peppermint 's unique signature note is really all about the digestive system and its action of acting as a mild anesthetic to the stomach wall. It is indicated in conditions such I.B.S (irritable bowel syndrome), flatulence, intestinal colic, nausea and vomiting. It is a carminative herb, which means it settles the digestive system but as an anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic herb it also relieves painful cramps and swelling in the digestive tract. As an anti-emetic herb if a gastro-intestinal condition is present it can be used to reduce the frequency of vomiting. It also supports the fighting of gastro-intestinal infection as it is an anti-microbial agent. Peppermint is well known for its use to treat nausea in pregnancy (morning sickness of the 1st trimester) and to treat travel sickness.
Peppermint is also indicated for use in relieving symptoms of the common cold and flu. It is particularly effective in nasal congestion, as an inhalant it can relieve nasal catarrh. Hot Peppermint tea is used for colds, flu, a clogged head, nasal congestion, sinusitis and chest congestion. These are all relieved by the menthol content of Peppermint.
Finally Peppermint's other action is for the relief of painful periods, as a nervine it is known for easing anxiety and tension associated with pre-menstrual syndrome.
FOLKLORE AND HISTORY
Peppermint was probably used as a medicine in ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome. The genus name, Mentha, is derived from the Greek mythological nymph Mintha who is said to have transformed into the plant. The leaves were used for digestive and gall bladder problems. Inhaled peppermint was used to treat conditions that affected the upper respiratory system and throat.
Essential oil, up to l.5%, containing menthol, menthone and menthyl acetate as the major components, with isomenthone, menthofuran, isomenthol, neomenthol, piperitone, a- & b- pinene, limonene, cineole, pulegone, viridiflorol, ledol etc.
Flavonoids; menthoside, rutin and others
Miscellaneous; rosmarinic acid, azulenes, choline, carotenes etc.
TYPICAL PREPARATIONS AND DOSAGE
Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto a heaped teaspoonful of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. This may be drunk as often as desired.
Tincture: l-2ml three times a day
None known. However if you are taking homeopathic remedies peppermint is contraindicated as it negates their action.