Information on Peppermint

Latin NameMentha x piperitaphoto
Part UsedHerb
Herb FormsTeabag, essential oil, capsule (oil), bulk herb.
AffectsDigestive system, Respiratory system
CautionsNone noted.
Botanical InfoAn aromatic perennial in the Mint family with creeping rootstock, dark green opposite leaves, purple stems, and small purple pink or white flowers.
DescriptionPeppermint leaf and oil (2-4 drops in a cup of warm water, mixed well) are used to counteract nausea and vomiting and to relieve intestinal gas and bowel irritation. Peppermint is also used for biliary disorders, dyspepsia, headache, and fevers and colds. In Europe enteric-coated capsules of peppermint oil are taken for colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. In Chinese medicine it is indicated for fever and headaches associated with certain kinds of colds and flu (wind-heat, with yellow or green mucus and fever), and skin lesions.
The classic European cold and flu remedy is made by making a strong infusion with 1 part each of peppermint herb, yarrow tops, and elder flowers and drinking 1-2 cups hot. Take a hot bath during the time the tea is consumed, wrap up in a sheet, and cover yourself with a sleeping bag--then sweat. This sweating therapy is good for breaking a fever (diaphoretic), releasing heat and toxins from the body. Make sure to replace lost liquids with plenty of herb tea or water.
Peppermint oil in enteric-coated (disolves in the small intestine) capsules are used today for easing chronic digestive pains and cramping due to gas or irritable bowel syndrome.

Peppermint has a taste of AROMATIC, SPICY and a temperature of COOL.

Dosages

TypeDosage
Infusion1 cup 2-3 x daily
Oil1-2 enteric-coated capsules

Ailments Treated by Peppermint

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Abdominal paincarminativetea, or 1-2 drops of essential oil in a little warm water
Colds, acutediaphoretictea
Colic, adultintestinal antispasmodictea, oil
Flatulencecarminativetea
Gallbladder problemsantispasmodictea
Irritable bowel syndromeantispasmodic, analgesicessential oil in enteric-coated capsules
Chicken poxdiaphoretictea, capsule
Morning sicknessanti-nauseanttea
Nauseaanti-nauseanttea, oil (diluted in water)
Tympanites, generalcarminative, anaesthetictea, essential oil in enteric-coated caps
Dyspepsiadigestive aid, mild anodynetea, tincture, oil in capsules

References

McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Felter, H.W. and J.U. Lloyd. 1983. (1898). King's Dispensatory. Portland, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications.
Weiss, R. 1988. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, England: Beaconsfield Publishers.
Madaus, G. 1976. Lehrbuch der Biologischen Heilmittel. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag.