We've covered Black Tea, Green Tea, White Tea, and Coffee, so now it's time to step back into the realm of the Tisanes. What better way to do that than by celebrating one of the world's favorite herb?
Let's talk about Peppermint!
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) has been around since the ancient times and has quite a bit of history to it. Some people believe it to be a naturally occurring hybrid of Watermint and Spearmint, while others claim that it wasn't hybridized until the 18th century. It was also thought to originate in Northern Africa and the Mediterranean.
In the Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical text that dates back to 1550 BC, Peppermint is listed as calming to stomach pains.
In Greek Mythology, Minthe was a river nymph who lived in one of the five rivers of Hades. Hades tried to seduce Minthe, but when Persephone caught them, she turned Minthe into a lowly mint plant so people would walk over her. Hades softened the spell by giving Minthe her alluring smell so that whenever someone walked on his lover, they would smell her sweetness.
The Roman philosopher Pliny said that Peppermint stimulated the appetite by stirring "the mind and appetite to a greedy desire of food." He also said that Peppermint should be bound into a crown around the head in order to stimulate the mind and the soul. Pliny, Hippocrates, and Aristotle thought that Peppermint discouraged sexual intercourse. However, the Greeks believed that Peppermint encouraged sexual behavior, so they forbade its consumption in order to maintain control.
Even the Bible uses Peppermint as an example. In Luke 11:39, Jesus says:
"But woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."
Those are the more interesting bits of this plant's history so we can now get into the nutritional side of things. Two tablespoons of fresh Peppermint can provide about 2 calories, 0.12 grams of protein, 0.48 grams carbohydrates, 0.03 grams of fat and 0.30 grams of fiber. Peppermint also contains a small amount of potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, iron and vitamin A.3
The incredible benefits make Peppermint the perfect solution for:
These are but a few of Peppermint's incredible abilities, and there are many ways you can incorporate Peppermint into your daily life. Some of those ways include:
- Stomach and Digestion issues (It may increase bile secretion and encourage bile flow, which helps to speed and ease digestion)
- Reducing fevers (the menthol in Peppermint makes you sweat on the outside while cooling you on the inside)
- Weight Loss (Peppermint raises your metabolism and increases the amount of energy you spent at rest. Taking sips of Peppermint throughout the day may also have some fat burning effect. Plus, Peppermint curves your cravings)
- Keeping the liver and Gallbladder healthy (like the digestion issues, increased bile production also cleans and maintains the liver and gallbladder)
- Reducing bad breath (the menthol and antibacterial properties help kill off the germs that make up bad breath)
- Boosting your immunity (Peppermint has antibacterial properties, as well as trace amounts of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron that bands together and gives your immunity a boost)
- Allergies and other respiratory issues (the Menthol is also an expectorant, and the antioxidant and antihistamine properties of Peppermint help relieve tightness in the chest and opens up the lungs)
Peppermint is available practically anywhere, and it is also fairly easy to grow. However, there are a few side effects. Large doses of Peppermint oil can be toxic, and you shouldn't use Peppermint if you've had certain medical conditions. Best to talk to your doctor if you're not sure how you'll react.
That's it! To learn more about this popular plant, visit Organic Facts, Organic Authority, Natural Remedy Ideas, Medical News Today, The Tea Talk, American Botanical Society, and Indepth Info.
The photos are my own.
- Tea (obviously)
- Adding it to a fruit salad or smoothie
- Bake it into cakes and cookies
- Use it to flavor lamb and other dishes
- Chew fresh leaves
- Use the essential oil
- Mojitos (Just kidding! While there are fresh Peppermint leaves in Mojitos, I'm pretty sure the rum counteracts with the benefits)