Common Names: Lamb Mint, Coyote Mint, menthe Montana, “Mint”, Brandy Mint,
Botanical Name: Mentha x piperita
Plant Family: Lamiaceae, Mint Family
Parts Used: Aerial parts, mainly the Leaves
Actions: aromatic, anodyne, anti-emetic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, stimulating nervine, stimulating diaphoretic
Habitat: Resembling both Bergamot Mint and Spearmint, this European plant can be found in any cool, damp stream of lower altitudes (CA, OR, WA, BC). Don’t confuse it with the other two look-alikes, crush the leaves to smell a sharp, pungent aroma in comparison to more sweet or lemony aromas. Peppermint can also be found growing in people’s gardens. It is a wild plant that likes to spread out, if you don’t keep your peppermint contained and its growing in rich, moist, well-drained soil with full sun, don’t be surprised to find it taking over!
Collection: The aerial parts can be collected just before the flowers open or while the flowers are in early bloom; this tends to be in the late summer. Collect in bundles and strip the leaves and flowers off the stems before drying.
Stomachaches, Gas & Nausea
Peppermint helps with dyspepsia, stomach cramps, colic, flatulence and nausea. It has a relaxing effect on the muscles of the digestive system and stimulates bile and digestive enzymatic secretions. Michael Moore emphasizes the benefits of pharmaceutically distilled Oil of Peppermint to help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), alternating constipation and diarrhea induced by emotional stress, and severe digestive cramps. Adding the Peppermint essential oil drops to a cup of warm water will help regulate absorption in the stomach. Peppermint’s strong volatile oils acts as a mild anesthetic to the stomach walls, which helps nausea and the desire to vomit.
“Peppermint is one of the best carminative agents available.”
The cooling properties of peppermint are soothing. Peppermint is an anodyne that is commonly used for headaches and migraines. I tend to make a nice tea with the dried leaves and using a couple of drops peppermint essential oil behind my neck and ears. The smell as well as the internal actions help relieve any head pain. The tea also helps with painful digestive issues. Externally, peppermint helps with itching, inflammation, burns, or poison oak/ivy. If you applied a fomentation, peppermint honey, or the essential oil on various external problems, peppermint will cool and soothe.
Peppermint is commonly found in a “Gypsy Cold Care” tea that helps reduce fevers brought on by the flu. Peppermint helps opens the pores, allowing heat to escape when a person begins to feel too hot. Making a steam bath with the essential oils will also help break up congestion in the sinus and lungs.
Tummy Tamer Tea:
Pour hot (almost boiling) water over herbs and let infuse for approximately 15 minutes. Strain herbs, serve tea with honey.
Drink ½ cup of warm tea before and after meals to help an upset stomach or indigestion.
The New Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman
Plants of the Pacific West by Michael Moore
Herbalpedia by Maureen Rogers
Peppermint; Featured Herb by Rosalee de la Forêt
Medicinal Herbs; A Beginner’s Guide by Rosemary Gladstar