We have another installment of our Kentucky Wild Weeds series from Jackie Alberti of Glorybeherbals. Today Jackie will discuss peppermint.
If you aren’t familiar with peppermint you must be from another planet! Peppermint is used extensively to flavor commercial products including candy, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. It is also one of the most useful herbs you’ll ever use. Peppermint is cooling and warming-and it seems to know if your body needs warming or cooling. It stimulates appetite, circulation, mental function and relieves muscle spasms. The menthol content also makes it useful to open breathing passages when you’re suffering from allergies or colds.
To make a medicinal tea with peppermint you can boil some water, chop a teaspoon or two of fresh leaves, take your water off the heat and let the peppermint leaves steep in the water (covered) for 20 minutes. This tea can be sipped to relieve indigestion (and IBS) or added to bath water or a footbath to cool you down and relieve fatigue and pain. One of my favorite baths is rosemary and peppermint. I take this bath after I have spent the morning toiling in the garden but still have a full days work ahead of me. It takes care of my muscle aches and keeps me going for the rest of the day.
If you like to carry a water bottle in the summer, try dropping a sprig of fresh peppermint into the bottle. It really cools you down on a hot summer’s day.
To learn more about medicinal uses of plants and herbs, feel free to contact Jackie through her Glory Be Herbals etsy shop.