Herb of the Week: Peppermint
We’ve all heard of peppermint before, but we most likely get our peppermint as flavor in gum, breath mints and peppermint patties.
But what about the actual fresh peppermint leaves from the peppermint plant? Peppermint is highly medicinal and can be kept in the home for various circumstances.
The following are the medicinal actions of peppermint:
*Carminative- rich in volatile oils which stimulate peristalsis of the digestive system and relax the stomach; alleviates gas
*Anti-spasmodic- relaxes stomach muscles and relieves muscle spasm in digestive tract
*Diaphoretic- aids the skin in the elimination of toxins; promotes perspiration
*Anti-emetic- reduces nausea and can help to relieve or prevent vomiting
*Nervine- supports nervous system
*Antiseptic- anti-microbial; reduces risk of infection
*Analgesic- reduces pain (can be used externally in essential oil form, or internally in the form of a tea
Peppermint may be one of the best herbal carminatives, easing gas pains by relaxing visceral muscles and stimulating bile. It can be of help during pregnancy, as it can ease nausea and vomiting.
Due to its diaphoretic properties, peppermint can help with fevers, cold and flu by helping release toxins through the skin while keeping body temperature regulated. It can also ease pain and therefore can relieve painful periods. It can be used externally to ease pain, itching and inflammation.
As you can see peppermint is often highly underrated!
I personally keep peppermint in my home herbal apothecary at all times. I find it most helpful during times when I am feeling under the weather or when I need digestive support.
I often pair mine with fennel and add fresh lemon juice for a beautiful digestive and liver tonic.
A few years ago I suffered from plantar fasciitis, and I found that massaging the arches of my feet with organic peppermint essential oil not only relieved the pain, but also helped relax the fascia. A small amount of peppermint essential oil can also be dabbed onto the temples to relieve headaches.
Don’t underestimate the power of this amazing plant!
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