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What Is Peppermint Used For?

Peppermint, (M. Piperita), is a wandering, invasive herb with a deep purple, square stem and deep green leaves. The undersides of the leaves are purple as well. This is a common and fast growing mint that makes a great tea. Easily recognisable, the taste of peppermint is refreshing and cooling on a hot summer day. It is also soothing to an upset stomach, due to the menthol it contains.The menthol in peppermint soothes the lining of the digestive tract an stimulates the production of bile, which is an essential digestive fluid. A hot cup of herbal tea is an excellent way to settle your stomach after a big meal.

Peppermint is the flavoring of choice for toothpaste as it is an excellent breath freshener. When using peppermint tea as a breath freshener, increase the effectiveness by adding a pinch of anise, caraway or cinnamon. Menthol vapors are famous for relieving nasal, sinus and chest congestion. For a more effective cold remedy, combine peppermint with elder flower and yarrow. For a hacking cough, drink 3 to four cups of cool peppermint tea throughout the day, taking a sip every 15 to 30 minutes.

How To Grow Peppermint

Peppermint can overtake a garden bed so grow it either in its own pot or bury a pot to the rim in the soil to keep the roots contained. Like most mints, peppermint likes moist, rich soil and full sun. It can grown in partial sun though, so consider it in an area that may not grow much else due to the lack of sunlight. Unlike many other mints that grow from seed, true peppermint grows from cuttings. Stems can be cut and placed in water until they grow roots. These new cuttings will grow new, healthy plants. Often, what is marked as peppermint is just a variety of mint because mints are so easily cross pollinated. Buy true peppermint from reputable growers and see that it is labeled M. Piperita.

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