Apart from the many peppermint benefits, many species and varieties of this plant that, even cross-pollinated, preserve their medicinal properties. Hippocrates recommended this plant as an aphrodisiac, one of the peppermint properties when taken in high doses.
Peppermint Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name – Mentha piperita L.
- French – Menthe.
- Spanish – Menta.
- Environment – Cool, shady soils all over Europe and South America. Peppermint is cultivated to use its essence, especially in Great Britain.
- Description – Herbaceous plant of the Labiatae family, with the quadrangular violet stem growing from 40 to 80 cm high. Its flower clusters are pink or violet, growing in terminal spikes.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally – The leaves and the flower clusters.
The plant contains from one to three percent of the essence with complex composition with more than 100 components, the most outstanding of which is menthol and alcohol, to which the plant owes many of its properties:
- Digestive, carminative (eliminates intestinal gas and putrefaction), choleretic, antiseptic, analgesic, stimulating, and aphrodisiac in high doses. The essence contains polyphenolic substances with antiviral properties on the hepatitis A virus.
- Internally used, it is recommended for dyspepsia, intestinal gas, headaches and migraines, digestive colics and spasms, gastric atony, type A (viral) hepatitis, and physical exhaustion.
- In eternal applications, massages with their essence in alcoholic dissolution (menthol alcohol) alleviate rheumatic and muscular, and neuralgias.
Peppermint essence, in high doses, can provoke insomnia and irritability. When inhaled in high quantities, it can cause laryngeal spasms in children.
How to use Peppermint
- Infusion with 10 to 20 grams of leaves and flower clusters per liter of water. Drink from three to five cups daily.
- Essence – The recommended dose is from one to three drops, up to three times a day.
- Compresses and lotions, applied with the essence or with menthol alcohol.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 366. Print. [peppermint benefits]