What Is Peppermint?
Peppermint, indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, is one of the oldest herbs. The plant grows up to about 2-3 feet tall. The leaves are dark green and opposite leaves with white flowers. It is actually a hybrid cross between water mint and spearmint. Mint tea is customary to use in the Middle East to offer the guests.
Botanical name and family
Botanical name- Mentha piperita
Geological Distribution of Peppermint
The plant is local to Asia and Europe. It is also naturalized in North America and South America. The plant is also found in Africa and Australia. It typically occurs in a variety of geographical areas. Sometimes it occurs in stream-side, lakeside and sometimes in drainage side. All over India, it is grown in Indian gardens for decoration. Mostly it is seen in South India, Central India, riverside, wasteland, and wetland and many other places.
Health Benefits of Peppermint
- Improves Liver Function
- Natural Remedy For Cold And Flu
- Treatment Of Respiratory Problems
- Kills Bad Breath
- Anti-Cancer Properties
- Treatment Of Seasonal Fever
- Anti-Bacterial Agent
- Enhances Memory
- Helps In Reducing Nausea
- Brings Down Headache
- Aids Digestion
- Beneficial For Breastfeeding
- Treats Depression And Stress
- Helps Weight Loss
- Increases Female Sterility
- Helpful In Treating IBS
- Other Health Benefits
Healing/Medicinal use of Peppermint
The whole herb is useful for its antioxidant, anticancer, antispasmodic, carminative properties. The major constituents present in it are volatile oil, flavonoids, tocopherols, carotenoids and azulenes. It has menthol content. It also contains lemonine, pulegone, caryophyllene and pinene. It is also famous for its typical flavour and used for flavouring the ice-cream, chew gum, chocolate, toothpaste and confectionery. The medicinal value of peppermint is described below:
- It is rejuvenating and useful for its anti-stress activities.
- It fights against cold and cough. It is used as the major ingredient in green tea to reduce cough, cold or for rejuvenation.
- It is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.
- It gives relief from migraines and headaches.
- It reduces pain and also used for glowing skin.
- It is useful for inflammation, infection and eczema on the skin.
- It keeps mosquitoes away.
- It clears bowel, cures intestinal pain and stimulates gall bladder.
- It is antiseptic and analgesic in nature.
- Peppermint is useful for the treatment of oral inflammation.
- Peppermint is useful during painful menstruation causing cramp or irregularity.
- Peppermint is useful for pre-diabetic patients.
- It also levels blood pressure.
- Peppermint is useful against sinus and respiratory infection.
- It is also used for heart burning, nausea and muscular pain.
- It is also useful for a toothache.
- Peppermint is used as a flavor in food and beverages.
- The plant is also useful for bronchitis.
- Peppermint is also useful for the treatment fungus, lice or insects.
- It is used for the treatment of colic in infants.
- It is also helpful for breastfeeding, nipple damage or pain.
- It is useful for gastric, indigestion and stomach pain.
- It is used to remove dandruff.
- The flowers of peppermint are the largest honey producers.
It is seen in the history that the Greek and Romans in 79 AD used the leaf and flavour for their sauce and wine. They also used this for decorating their tables during great feasts. Though toxicity of the plant is still in a great debate, yet it is being used vastly for medicine by the specialists.