Peppermint is a popular herb known for its refreshing taste and many health benefits. It is commonly used to make tea, but can also be used in cooking, skin care, and aromatherapy.
What is Peppermint?
Peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and watermint. It is a perennial plant that grows in moist areas of Europe and North America. Peppermint plants have dark green leaves with a fuzzy texture. They produce small, purple flowers in the summer.
Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals. It is also a good source of menthol, which has a number of health benefits, including:
Relieving nausea and vomiting
Reducing stomach pain and indigestion
Improving gut motility
Decongesting the sinuses
Soothing sore muscles
How to Grow Peppermint
Peppermint is a relatively easy plant to grow. It can be grown indoors or outdoors. If growing indoors, plant it in a pot that is at least 12 inches in diameter. If growing outdoors, plant it in a spot that receives partial shade.
Peppermint plants prefer rich, moist soil. Water them regularly, but be careful not to overwater them. Fertilize them every few weeks during the growing season.
Other Uses for Peppermint
In addition to making tea, peppermint can be used in a variety of other ways, including:
Adding it to bathwater for a refreshing soak
Using it as a natural insect repellent
Making it into a mouthwash
Applying it to sunburns for relief
Cooking with it (e.g., in mint sauce, mojitos, or lamb dishes)
Peppermint is a versatile herb with many health benefits. It can be enjoyed as a tea, used in cooking, or applied topically. If you are looking for a natural way to improve your health, peppermint is a good option to consider.
Here are some additional tips for growing and using peppermint:
When harvesting peppermint, be sure to leave some leaves on the plant so it can continue to grow.
Peppermint can be dried and stored for later use.
Peppermint essential oil can be used for aromatherapy or added to bathwater.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best to consult with your doctor before using peppermint. Peppermint can also interact with certain medications, so be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
How to Grow a Peppermint Plant
Peppermint is a great addition to a garden, and can be grown either outdoor or indoors. When potting a peppermint plant, it is best to put it in its own pot. If you do not separate it, it can easily take over a small garden as this plant is known to be an aggressive spreader. Here is how to grow a peppermint plant and protect the other plants in your garden.
Rich, acidic soil.
Requires partial shade. Mint can grow in full sun, but will need to be watered more and monitored more closely for sun damage to the plant.
Keep soil moist to the touch, as this plant typically grows along rivers and marshes. Make sure there is proper drainage for the roots to prevent root rot (soggy feet).
Fertilized with a balance fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season.
The most common problem with mint is rust. to fix this, apply a fungicide and allow soil to dry out between watering.
Make sure the plant receives a fair amount of humidity. If growing indoors, spraying it or setting it on top of a tray of pebbles with water is adequate.
Non-toxic to humans, but the natural oils can be toxic to animals if ingested.
5 Uses for Peppermint
Peppermint Tea – Our Weaver’s Peppermint Herbal Tea helps ease digestion, helps with headaches, freshens the breath, relieves clogged sinuses, improves energy, improves sleep, aids in fighting infections, weight-loss, relief from allergies, and improves concentration.
In the tub – Steep a handful of mint in about a pint of hot water, around 200 to 212 degrees. After it has fully steeped (4 to 7 minutes), strain out the mint. Add the hot water to your bath water for a refreshing experience.
Ant repellent – Chop stems of mint neatly and place by where ants are entering your home. Replace every few days when you notice the strong mint smell is gone.
Natural mouthwash – Add a handful of mint to a quart of boiling water (add basil, thyme, or oregano as well) and steep for 4 to 7 minutes. Strain the herbs, and put the water in the fridge. Use as a mouthwash and store for up to a week.
Helps with sunburn – If you do not have any aloe vera around, have no fear. Brew a double strength cup of peppermint tea, and refrigerate. Once cool, dip a cotton pad into the tea and apply to burn to help alleviate some of the pain.
Cooking with Peppermint
While we all know mint makes a great tea, there are plenty of other uses for it in the kitchen. Check out some of our favorite recipes which show the best way to use mint in the kitchen.
Peppermint Pesto Recipe
Recipe by Grace Parisi
3/4 cup packed peppermint leaves
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 scallions, thickly sliced
2 medium garlic cloves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Add mint, parsley, scallions, and garlic to a food processor to break down.
Slowly add lemon zest, olive oil, and salt until it is processed smoothly.
Use immediately, or store in the fridge to use the next day.
Peppermint + Lime Tonic Cocktail Recipe
By Vincent Distrola
Add more flavor to your typical gin and tonic.
Muddle a few leaves of mint to the bottom of your glass.
Add 2oz lime juice and 5oz tonic water to a shaker.
Add 1oz gin and ice into the shaker and shake well.
Pour mixture with ice into the glass with mint leaves and enjoy!
Peppermint Brownie Recipe
Peppermint Brownies Recipe
Recipe by Marcy Greenblatt (Taste of Home)
Forget the Peppermint Bark, try this tempting brownie recipe!
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup crushed peppermint candies
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13x9 in baking pan with foil and grease the foil; set pan aside.
In a bowl, whisk together first 4 ingredients. In a large bowl, beat oil and sugar until blended.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in vanilla.
Gradually add flour mixture; stir in peppermint candies. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack.