Believe it or not, these days there are people who think that peppermint is nothing but a piece of candy. It is striking that many take that particular sweet right after dinner. Is it instinct? The fact is that peppermint, Mentha piperita, is a plant with a powerful effect on the digestive system.
But it can do a lot more. In addition to its digestive powers, it has a beneficial effect on many organs related to digestion. So much so that it is an important natural remedy against painful gastrointestinal diseases such as stomach ulcers and duodenal ulcers. But it does a lot more. It works against headaches, respiratory diseases, flu and even menstrual complaints. And that is just a small selection from the wide ranging uses of this plant.
The list of magical usage is equally long. How about protection while travelling, giving strength and arousing lust. Peppermint also has the magical ability to bring luck and money into your life. What else the plant can do and how? Read about it in the rest of this plant monograph.
Peppermint stands on a rhizome. The rhizome has nodes from which shoots are formed. Peppermint is therefore a invasive plant. The stems are square, slightly hairy and reddish-purple in colour. The leaves are ovate, opposite with a serrated edge. They are about 8 inches long and dark green in colour with sometimes a reddish-purple hue.
Peppermint has flowers that stand in racemes at the apex. The flowers are pink to lilac in colour with 4 protruding stamens. However, the flowers have nothing to do with reproduction, because they are sterile.
The origin of peppermint is not completely clear, but most botanists assume that it’s a cross between Mentha aquatica (water mint) and Mentha spicata (spike mint). Peppermint has been among us for many centuries now and has been used medicinally for just as long.
Peppermint repels mosquitoes. The essential oil can therefore be used in a vaporizer as an insect repellent.
All applications mentioned in this monograph also apply to Mentha arvensis (field mint).
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