I grow wild mint at my house. I simply put the clean, fresh leaves in boiling water and steep a few minutes. It makes a very refreshing beverage. I also cut the stalks of the plant and place them on me or around me when I am trying to enjoy my porch in the summer, because the mint keeps away the flies that the nearby horses attract.
There are several varieties of peppermint. According to Mrs. Maud Grieve, author of A Modern Herbal, “Among essential oils, peppermint ranks first in importance.” [Grieve, A Modern Herbal, Vol. II, p. 541.] Peppermint essential oil is used widely both commercially and medicinally. Due to its anti-spasmodic action, it relieves pain and is often applied externally for this purpose, for toothaches, colic, rheumatism, sudden pains, and cramps in the abdomen. It acts as a local anesthetic and vascular stimulant, and it is anti-bacterial.
Internally, the tea is a stimulant and is a wonderful carminative, aiding greatly in reducing flatulence and the pain therefrom. It is said that drinking mint tea on the onset of a cold or mild flu will expel it within a day and a half.
When you are suffering from any sort of stomach problem, whether it be female cramps or too much food or disagreeable food, peppermint tea is helpful. It is inexpensive and delightful to drink. I like the tea mixed with a little honey.
There are many branches in the mint family. Two are peppermint, a perennial that is primarily used for cosmetic purposes, and spearmint, used for culinary purposes. The fragrant oil from the peppermint plant’s smooth, sharply pointed leaves is extracted from the plant by steam distillation. (Commercial mint growers have mint distilleries.)
Menthol, useful in giving a sensation of coolness in the mouth, is made from peppermint oil.
Peppermint is highly stimulating on the skin and at low doses, mixed with other appropriate ingredients, accelerates the sloughing process. Thus, it is a favored ingredient in botanical enzyme exfoliant masks, facial steams, cleansers, and toners.
Chemical constituents: Menthol, menthyl acetate, isovalerate, menthone, and cineol.