LATIN NAME: Mentha X Piperita
ENGLISH NAME: Peppermint
HABITAT: Asia, North America, Europe, India
BOTANICAL INFORMATION: The genus belongs to the family of Lamiaceae and has 20-25 species of plants. Peppermint is a perennial cultivated herbaceous plant with a strong aromatic smell, up to 100 cm in height. The plant is not found in the wild. It comes from the crossing of spearmint and watermint. There are several species of peppermint, among them are plants with pure green leaves and with red-violet ones (stem and reverse side of the leaf), the so-called black mint. The black mint has higher yield of essential oil. Stems of the plant are upright, tetrahedral, bare or rarely haired. Rhizome is horizontal, branched, and procumbent. Thin, fasciculate roots and underground or above-ground procumbent runner depart from the nodes of the rhizome, depending on the density of the soil. The leaves are opposite, elongato-ovate, acuminate with a heart-shaped base. The flowers are small, red-purple collected in the spiciform inflorescences on the tops of the runners. The fruit consists of 4 dark brown nuts. Fruits appear very rarely. The plant multiplies vegetatively, with the help of root cuttings.
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION: Peppermint is rich in different chemical components. Essential oil is found in all above-ground parts of the plant (in the inflorescences - 4-6%, in the leaves - up to 3%, in the stems - up to 0.3%). In addition, the leaves contain organic acids, tannins, flavonoids, carotene, Vitamin C, pectin, phytosterol, betaine, hesperidin, ursuloic (0.3%) and oleanolic (0.12%) acids, macro- and microelements and other chemical compounds.
ACTIONS: Peppermint can produce a mild sedative effect, some choleretic, antispasmodic, antiseptic, and analgesic effects. With regular ingestion has tonic, wound-healing and diuretic effects. Due to the local irritating effect, peppermint increase the capillary circulation and intestinal motility. It is assumed that Mentha Piperita can also produce digestive, antiviral, antioxidant, carminative, detoxicant, stomachic and cooling effects on the body.
There are some recipes using peppermint that you can make at home!
Add 200gm of dried herb in 1 liter of alcohol (preferably Vodka). Seal the container. Place in a cool and dark place. Stain through a cotton cloth.
Pour a cup of water over dried peppermint t, boil for 8 minutes. Stain and drink 3 times a day.
SOME INTERESTING FACTS:
The name of the plant has an interesting origin. There is a legend about a beautiful nymph Minta. Hades, the god of the kingdom of the dead, fell in love with her. But his wife turned out to be extremely jealous - she got angry and turned the nymph into a low and inconspicuous plant. Hades was very upset, but he could not return Minta. He did what he could - gave the plant a wonderful aroma. Aphrodite liked tragic love, and rmint became her favorite herb - it was also used as an aphrodisiac.
In each country, mint was used in different ways. The Romans loved to wear a wreath of mint, because they believed that it makes a person smarter and more intelligent. Also in Ancient Rome, rooms were sprayed with mint water and tables were rubbed with plants to create a cheerful mood.
Until all sorts of whitening toothpastes have been invented, teeth were whitened with the help of a mint infusion - the ancient Greek scientist Hippocrates very much advised to rinse the mouths with this herb. The ancient Jews made mint perfume. In Italy and South America people made mint pep up drinks and infused wine with Mentha. However, Assyrians were the first to use peppermint as a medicine.
Hippocrates and Paracelsus were the first to scientifically prove the healing properties of the plant, and Avicenna determined its therapeutic use. According to Avicenna, mint is effective "for headaches, stops bloody vomiting and bleeding ... strengthens the stomach, soothes hiccups, promotes digestion ... it drives sweat and warms ... Mint decoction drives urine and helps from cracks in the intestines." In the 12th century, Amirdovlat Amasiatsi wrote about the benefits of peppermint decoction for eczema, pruritus, urticaria, and leprosy resulting from an excess of mucus.
*Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.