What is Peppermint?
Peppermint (Mentha × piperita, also known as M. balsamea Willd.) is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint. The plant, indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, is now widespread in cultivation in many regions of the world.
It is found wild occasionally with its parent species. It is a herbaceous rhizomatous perennial plant growing to 30–90 cm tall, with smooth stems, square in cross section. The rhizomes are wide-spreading, fleshy, and bare fibrous roots. The leaves are from 4–9 cm long and 1.5–4 cm broad, dark green with reddish veins, and with an acute apex and coarsely toothed margins. The leaves and stems are usually slightly fuzzy. The flowers are purple, 6–8 mm long, with a four-lobed corolla about 5 mm diameter; they are produced in whorls (verticillasters) around the stem, forming thick, blunt spikes. Flowering is from mid to late summer. Peppermint is a fast-growing plant; once it sprouts, it spreads very quickly.
How does it work?
Peppermint can be used for the common cold, cough, inflammation of the mouth and throat, sinus infections, and respiratory complaints. It can also used for aiding with digestive problems including heartburn, nausea, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, cramps of the upper gastrointestinal tract and bile ducts, upset stomach, diarrhea, bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, and gas.
Available in 1kg bags