What is peppermint good for?
Peppermint is a perennial plant from the Lamiaceae family. Its branched stems can reach a height of 30-80 cm and bear a multitude of fragrant leaves, which are pointed at the top and slightly toothed around the edge. The small flowers can vary from white to purple.
The flowering period lasts from June to October.
Its origin is the Far East, where it was cultivated in China and Japan, from where it spread across the continent via Africa and southern Europe. Records of its healing effects abound, with records of the first cultures in Egypt dating back to the 12th century BC. While Dioscorides considered it an aphrodisiac, Hippocrates and Aristotle argued that its effect was quite the opposite. That the domesticated mint was economically very important in antiquity can be inferred from the fact that the works of Theophrastus, Pliny and Columel also mention its inconvenient characteristic of degenerating from a cultivated culture into a wild plant over time. On the European continent, the cultivation of cultivated mint was expanded thanks to the monastic orders, because of its beneficial effect it was a mandatory in the medicinal herbs of the monastic gardens. The first mint farms in England date back to the 17th century in the Hertfordshire area.
Are mint and peppermint the same thing?
It is little known that this medicinal plant, used all over the world, is a hybrid with a very complex genetic makeup, created by crossing spearmint (Mentha aquatica L.) and spearmint (Mentha viridis L.), while spearmint was created by cross forest mint (Mentha silvestris L.) and spearmint (Mentha rotundifolia L.)
This fact is of great importance for production, considering that when it is propagated by seeds, degeneration occurs, as mentioned in ancient historical texts, therefore cultivated mint is propagated exclusively by vegetative means, stolons.
As a medicinal part of the plant, a leaf of mint (Foilum Menthae piperitae) is used, collected before flowering, because then it is the richest in active substances and contains the highest concentration of essential oil.
In addition to the leaves, essential oil (Menthae piperitae aetheroluem) is also used in phytotherapy and Aqua Menthae piperitae, a product also obtained from the distillation of essential oil, is used for the production of pharmaceutical preparations.
The mint leaf is rich in active ingredients, the most important of which are polyphenols (flavonoids, phenolic acids), tannins, triterpenes, bitter substances and essential oil (with a high content of methol and menthone, with the presence of compounds eucalyptol, terpineol and limonene).
Pharmacy Garden's peppermint leaves are dried in the shade, in the open to preserve the active ingredients. Our peppermint is therefore full of the essential oil and can therefore also be distilled from dried plants.
The whole plant has a pleasant balsamic scent and a characteristic refreshing taste, which first warms and then cools. Freshly picked, cultivated peppermint is used in cooking, as a spice for many dishes and salads.
It is often used in the preparation of desserts, as its unique and refreshing taste adds a nice touch to fruit cakes. The use of mint syrup, which is made from the fresh plant, is very popular and is an excellent addition to refreshing drinks on hot summer days. Fresh mint leaves, poured with mineral water, with the addition of sliced cucumber and lemon rings, are an excellent means of rehydration* during the summer heat.
Peppermint is most often used in the form of a hot tea drink, and has beneficial effects on the body.
What does peppermint do?
The active ingredients in mint have a mild anesthetic effect on the stomach lining, so this tea is traditionally used as a remedy for nausea and vomiting. Its antiseptic properties act as a prevention of improper fermentation caused by pathogenic bacteria in the digestive system, and it also acts as an antispasmodic and facilitates the elimination of gases.
Peppermint tea is a proven, traditional remedy to regulate bile secretion and alleviate problems with the presence of gallstones, liver and pancreatic diseases. It is also a common ingredient in tea blends to relieve heart problems caused by bloating and indigestion, such as in Recipe 1.0.
In addition to its beneficial effect on relieving the feeling of palpitations, mint is also considered a means to eliminate nervousness and mental restlessness, so it is also used in herbal mixtures to calm. Recipe 2.0 therefore contains 10% peppermint. Peppermint is also used as a refreshing agent for mental fatigue as it contributes to the activation of intellectual activities.
Due to the anesthetic effect of menthol, the use of peppermint is recommended for pain relief, whether it is pain due to inflammation, rheumatic joint or muscle pain, or headache.
Inhalations with tea or peppermint essential oil have a beneficial effect on relieving symptoms of blocked sinuses and sore throats, and rinsing the mouth with tea helps relieve inflammation of the gum lining.
Peppermint essential oil shows a specific effect on the receptors for cold:
when massaging the skin, a feeling of cold first occurs, which is soon replaced by a slight burning sensation, and then a numbing effect occurs, so products based on peppermint essential oil are often used for massage, to remove pain due to injuries, rheumatic pains, insect bites, neuralgia and headache.
In laboratory experiments, the antibacterial effect of peppermint essential oil against many pathogenic bacteria has been proven. Research has also confirmed the rationale for using mint extract as an analgesic and the anesthetic effect of its essential oil, given that the antispasmodic and analgesic effects of menthol and menthone in diseases of the respiratory and digestive organs have been proven.
Iced tea at Peppermint
Summer heat and increased sweating require increased fluid intake, with mint drinks being an excellent choice due to the refreshing and cooling effects of menthol.
In addition to its refreshing taste, iced tea made from peppermint and thyme has a beneficial effect on the respiratory system, stimulates the work of the liver, initiates detoxification processes and relieves flatulence, and you can prepare it in the following way:
1. Pour a full tablespoon of peppermint leaves with ½ liter of boiling water, cover, infuse for 5-10 minutes, then add 1 teaspoon of thyme, cover and infuse for another 5 minutes, then strain, cool and serve with ice cubes.
Iced tea with mild mint and lemon balm is a good choice during the afternoon break because it removes the feeling of tiredness and tension, and you can prepare it in the following ways:
2. Pour a full tablespoon of lemon balm leaf tea with ½ liter of boiling water, steep for 10 minutes, then add 1 tablespoon of mint leaf tea, cover and steep for another 5 minutes, then strain, cool and serve with ice cubes.
Enjoy the summer!
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