Peppermint: More Than Just a Mint |

Peppermint: More Than Just a Mint

beth November 23, 2012
 Image by: Wonderferret

I bet the one of first things you think of when you hear “peppermint”, you think of that sweet and hot candy. Well, peppermint is actually one of the most versatile herbs you can ever have in your herbal medicine cabinet. Did you know you could take a simple mint leaf and turn it into one of the best natural medicines for many illnesses? Keep reading to find out all the wonderful things you can do with this fragrant herb!

Tell Me More

There are many varieties of mint… Chocolate and Sweet are two of my favorites, but Peppermint and Spearmint are the most medicinal. Most peppermints have green, serrated leaves and produce spikes of small, purple flowers that bloom mid-summer. They are all very fragrant {pinch and roll a single leaf between your fingers and you’ll smell it all day!}; each variety has a slightly different aroma.

You can use the leaves, stem, and flowers; fresh or dry. I think the dry version makes a better medicine, but the fresh makes the best tea. If you wait to use the peppermint until the plant flowers, you will end up with a strong and slightly bitter flavor, so pick it before it flowers.

Image by: Nseika

What Is Peppermint Used For?

You know how I mentioned that peppermint is one of the most versatile medicinal herbs you can find? Well, let’s talk about that now. It is known to be useful for almost every part of the body… head, shoulders, knees and toes {got you singing that children’s song didn’t I 😉 } not to mention skin, stomach, mouth and more.

The main property that peppermint holds is menthol. This medicinal compound has been proven to alleviate respiratory conditions/congestion, soothe muscle spasms in the gut and ease irritable bowel symptoms. It is also what makes up the powerful essential oil. Several studies have shown that when menthol (peppermint) is used long-term, it can break up and dissolve gall bladder stones! How amazing is that?

Menthol isn’t the only medicinal property in peppermint. It has antimicrobial properties which defend against infections and viruses and help fight colds, flus and more. And we can’t forget to mention the analgesic properties which make it great for topical pain relief.

Here is a {long} list of conditions Peppermint is used for:

  • Arthritis and Pain
  • Colic
  • Colitis
  • Cold Symptoms
  • Congestion and Sinusitis
  • Cramps
  • Digestive Aid
  • Gastritis and Intestinal Inflammation
  • Headaches
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Infections
  • Lack of Appetite and Nausea
  • Mucous Membrane Inflammation
  • Muscle Pain
  • Nerve Pain
  • Toothaches and Oral Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Stress
  • Viral Infections

How Do I Use Peppermint Properly?

Peppermint is one of the most versatile herbs and can be safely be used in a number of ways. For internal issues, the simplest way to prepare is to make an infusion, also known as an ‘herbal’ tea. This is a great way to give it to kids, just add a touch of honey (which is great medicine in itself) and some raw milk… delicious! For topical use, I like salves, baths and essential oil. Other forms of peppermint you may find may include tinctures, capsules, creams and dream pillows.

Peppermint is a fantastic herb to use for adults and children; however, I use cautious and avoid ingesting pure peppermint essential oil and be sure to dilute it in a carrier oil when applying topically.

Please remember, it is always best to consult a natural health care professional before taking any new herbs or supplements.

Image By: Bert_m_b

Where Can I Get Peppermint?

I bet you can find a friend who has peppermint that has outgrown its designated spot in the garden. Peppermint is a very aggressive grower, so you can plant it and grow it yourself… just keep it in a pot so it doesn’t take over your yard. It grows well as an indoor plant in the kitchen too.

If you are not able to grow your own, no worries! There are great places like Bulk Herb Store (my personal favorite) and Mountain Rose Herbs that sell organic, high quality, bulk herbs. You can also purchase pre-packaged tea bags, tinctures and essential oils from your local health food store or online. Just remember, organic is always best!


Do you have peppermint as a medicine cabinet must-have? What are you favorite ways to utilize this herb?

This is the writings of:

  1. […] of these herbs is peppermint. Peppermint is both a stimulant and a relaxant, which is what makes it so useful in aiding […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

Meet My Family
Love our content? Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE Nourished Living Cookbook!