Updated: Jan 8
This herb is a hybrid of two mint species: water mint and spearmint. The concentrated oil (essential oil) inside the plant gives items like candies and soaps their taste and smell.
Peppermint’s Mints, notably peppermint, were utilised as medicine by the Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians thousands of years ago. Peppermint, on the other hand, was not recognised as a separate subspecies until the late 17th century.
Peppermint has been a popular herb since antiquity due to its distinct aroma and medicinal value. When eaten, the herb produces a distinct, refreshing cool breeze sensation on the taste buds, palate, and throat, and when inhaled, it produces a similar sensation on the nasal olfaction glands. Mint herb has a distinct flavour due to the presence of menthol, an essential oil found in its fresh leaves and stem.
The herb belongs to the Lamiaceae family, genus Mentha, and is botanically known as Mentha piperita. It is a natural cross hybrid of water mint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha spicata).
The peppermint herb is native to Europe and is now grown in almost every region of the world. It thrives in shady areas and has lance-shaped purple-veined, dark-green leaves with serrated margins and purple whirly-flowers.
In general, mint is a sterile plant that does not produce seeds. It grows, however, through vegetative reproduction, spreading laterally all along the length of its underground rhizomes.
Choosing and storing:
Peppermint leaves, both fresh and dried, are available in the market all year. Fresh mint has a better flavour and is higher in phytonutrients, essential vitamins, and antioxidants than dried mint. Fresh mint should have bright green leaves and sturdy stems. They must be clean and free of dirt, moulds, dark spots, and yellow discoloration.
When purchasing dried mint, as with other dried herbs, try to buy it from organic farms to ensure that it is free of pesticide residues and radiation.
Refrigerate fresh mint leaves by placing them in a zip pouch or wrapping them in a slightly dampened paper towel.
Here are some benefits of peppermint that will ease your health:
Soothe Upset Stomach: Peppermint has chemicals that relax the tissues of the gastrointestinal system in animals. Peppermint and other herbal medicines have been demonstrated in a few studies to help children with stomach pain, but more research is needed before doctors can recommend them. It may also aid with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, according to other studies.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Treatment: Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms such as gas, stomach pain, constipation, and diarrhoea have been linked to coated peppermint oil capsules in studies.
Headache Reliever: Menthol is the active component in peppermint. It has been shown in certain modest studies to help with migraine headache pain. Other symptoms such as light sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting may be reduced as well. According to some research, putting a peppermint oil solution to your forehead and temples can also help relieve tension headaches.
Germs in the Mouth Should Be Killed: Peppermint's flavour not only freshens your breath, but its antibacterial capabilities may also aid in eliminating the source of the odour: microorganisms. It's said to prevent bacteria from developing a film on your teeth, keeping your pearly whites healthy.
Stuffy Sinuses Can Be Relieved: The antibacterial properties of peppermint may aid in the fight against the common cold and the infected mucus that develops in your sinuses as a result. Menthol might also make you feel like you're breathing more freely.
Boost your energy levels: If you wish to feel more alert during the day, peppermint oil may help. When you smell peppermint oil, experts aren't sure what happens in your body, but it may help you sleep better throughout the day.
Relieves Menstrual Cramps: Although the menthol in peppermint does not appear to impact the amount of blood loss, it has been shown to reduce the intensity and length of period discomfort in some people.
Fight Bacteria that Causes Foodborne Illness: Peppermint oil was tested against pathogens such as E. coli, listeria, and salmonella. They discovered that it can halt the growth of all three. It can also eliminate the germs Staphylococcus aureus, which causes skin infections, pneumonia, meningitis, and other illnesses.
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