Peppermint

Botanical name: Mentha piperita or Mentha x piperita
Other name: Mint
Dutch: Pepermunt, German: Pfefferminze, French: Menthe poivrée
Mint family Labiatae




General description


Peppermint flowers Mentha piperita


Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is a fast spreading, perennial and winter hard plant. Peppermint flowers from July till September with small violet flowers. The leaves are mint green and stand crosswise opposite each other on the stem. The leaves are elongated, oval and have saw tooth shape and a striking menthol smell.


Peppermints leaf Mentha piperita

The seed of mint is dark brown approximately spherical and small.
The plant is a crossing of water mint (Mentha aquatica) and green mint (Mentha spicata) and knows many varieties (20 to 35 different kinds of peppermints). The dark purple variant is the most suitable for medical applications. The many mint kinds have approximately the same properties although the taste often differs in strength. Mentha arvensis becomes used in China and North-America many. Mint kinds become used especially in the kitchen and for refreshing teas.





Peppermint plant Mentha piperita

Cultivate Peppermint yourself.

Place.
The plant grows best in partial shadow or in the full sun.
Soil.
Mint grows the best on damp, good drained, alkaline soil with many nutrients.
Multiply.
Take root or stem cuttings or divide mint, in spring or fall. In the Summer put the root cuttings in water. Sow peppermint in the spring.
Cultivation.
Thin out or end replant in 30 cm distance, in large pots or plastic bags to limit shooting from the roots. Remove all flowering stems to prevent cross pollination between the different kinds. Mint can be also cultivated indoors.




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History


Greek god hades

According to an old Greek gods story is the peppermint plant arise through a quarrel between two women.
Hades, the Greek god of the underworld, felled in love with a beautiful girl that was called Mentha. Because of this the wife of Hades made a violent quarrel with Mentha. Hades tried to soothe the quarrel, but did not succeed. After this he had decided to change the girl Mentha in a beautiful plant that got the name of the girl.

Mint has been very valued in the history and appeared the dear of it among others from references in the bible, in which the Pharisees tens collected by mint, dill and cumin. The Jews laid it on the synagogue floor and this use became taken over centuries later on in Italian churches, where the herbs Erba Santa Maria are called.
Mint as a symbol of hospitality becomes described by the Roman closer Ovidius. He tells rubbed over two farmers, Baucis and Philemon, that their tray with mint before she the guests clerks.
The Romans also brought their wines and sauces on taste with mint. Women however, who were drinking wine, and got drunk were threatened with death. Therefore surreptitious wine drinkers camouflaged their breath by chewing on a mixture of mint and honey. In Japan the refreshing, beneficial smell of mint became so high praised that the Japanese carried a smell ball with mint leaf.
Many mint kinds were imported in the ninth century in Europe. A monk from that time wrote that there were so many kinds of that he yet rather the sparks from the fire hearth of the Vulcanus would want to count. With more than six hundred kinds and bastard form, can one a good plant better with the nose then descending on the name choose.
According to A. Vogel, the wild mint became used by the Missouri-Valley tribes to lower flatulence and by other tribes to lower fever.



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Applications


Decorative.

Use the herb in bouquets for ill people.

Housekeeping.

Culture Peppermint (or fall mint) straight with steeds leaf people to fight.
Scatter fresh or dried leaf to hold around food of mice away. Impute (fall mint) on a new beehive by to pull. Use bath oil tobaccos smell to drive away.
Scatter (Pennyroyal) in cupboards and beds fret and to drive away delouse.

Cosmetic.

Use strong decoction (fall mint) to cure splits in the hands. Add to bath water for a revitalising and refreshing bath.

Medical.

As a medical herb, one used the leaves and the ethereal oil.

Working and character.
Cramp preventing, against flatulence, water retention, menstruation arousing.
Externally cooling and antiseptic.

External.
- As a compress by "warm" headache and neuralgia.
- As a rinse by hot and itching skin problems. The tea gives cooling when it evaporates.

Internal.
- By cramps and colic, intestine problems.
- By indigestion.
- By trip illness, nastiness and pain by gall bladder problems.
- By headache through indigestion.
- Insomnia, with name when worsened through tension in the stomach and restlessness.
- By ailment pain and postponed menstruation.
- Use as a tea and inhale by infections of nose and sinus.
- As a mouth water for a fresh breath.

Quantity.
Drink the tea to wish, can lead already large doses till exuberant excitement.
Join by digestions problems closed at other herb teas for instance by Spirea (Filipendula ulmaria) and grease root. Take to promote after heavy meals the digestion.
Use by an itching skin the tea as a rinse or add some drops of ethereal oil to lotions or creams.
Breathe by steaming (often in combination with eucalyptus oil) the steam of the tea, or join some drops ethereal oil to warm water.

Applications with ethereal oil.

The oil is obtained by water vapour distillation of the leaves and bloom top. It is a colour lynx becomes ages till light yellow oil, that thicker than he.
Peppermint can become used hooked by o. a. ring worm, scabies, dermatitis, nerve pain, heart palpitations, stomach disorders, cold, fever, spastic cough, asthma, faint traps, vertigo, mucous membrane inflammation, winter feet, flaw at appetite, bowels complaints, tiredness, tooth and toothache, nastiness, diarrhoea, trip illness, sinusitis, bad breath, shock, acne, stuffed pores, headache and migraine.

Here some applications of the ethereal oil of Peppermint follow.

By a bad breath
1 drops Peppermint on a toothbrush do and clean 2 times a day. Or 5 drops Peppermint hydrolate in a glass water and drink this on.

By headache or migraine
Lubricate 2 drops Peppermint on the temples.

By mosquitoes inconvenience
For the sleeping 2 to 3 drops Peppermint on the cushion sprinkle.

By tooth and toothache
1 drop Peppermint on the painful tooth/ molar lubricate.

Evaporate
Single drops Peppermint in the car, raised the concentration during it driving.

By asthma
The cramp removing properties of Peppermint makes it till a valuable damp bath by asthma. Mix 6 drops Peppermint in a scale hot water and steam here daily 10 minutes with.


An example of available ethereal oil, is the peppermint oil of the brand Chi.



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Chemical properties


In the plant present compounds.

Ethereal oil (among other menthol), tannins, bitters matter, Carotenes, Choline, Flavonoids (among others: menthoside and rutine) and Rosemary acid.

Active compounds in the Ethereal oil.

(Variable according to the different clone)

Monoterpenoids
alpha-pinene 2%, beta-pinene 4%, limonene 3%

Sesquiterpenoids
beta-caryophyllene, bicyclo-elemene, z-bulgarene

Not terpenic alcohols
octane-3-ol

Monoterpenols
menthol 50%, neo-menthol 3%, isomenthol, neo-isomenthol, (+) and (-)piperitols, piperitenol, isopiperitenol

Monoterpenons
(-)-menthon (20-30% and sometimes to 65%), (+)-iso menthon, neomenthon (2,7%), neo iso-neomenthon 2,5%, (+)-piperiton, (-)-piperiton, isopiperiton, pulegon (<3%)

Terpenic acids
1,8-cineol 5,75%, (-)-menthofuran (<3%), piperitonoxide

Terpenic esters
menthyl-acetate 2,8-10%, neomenthyl-acetate, isomenthyl-acetate, butyrate-acetate, menthyl isovalerate acetate

Coumarins
aesculetine

Sulphur containing compounds
dimethyl sulfide, mintsulfide



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Precautions


Use no mint during the pregnancy (unless processes in dishes) and avoided it during the breast-feeding. Babies can get there digestions problems through and can slow down it the milk production. Give also no peppermint at children under the 12 year, in the form of infusion or as ethereal oil. Use in this cases Catnip (Nepeta cataria) instead of peppermint.
The most ethereal oils cannot be taken in without risk. Use ethereal exclusive internal oil when you have sufficient knowledge or consult a (homeopathic) physician. In general however the working by external use is stronger than by internal use.



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Culinary


The leaf becomes used in the kitchen.

Mint has a fresh, sharp taste and is separate or in mixtures good for the digestion.
Make an extract of separate or mixed mint kinds for a refreshing tea.
Mint is lovely in mint sauces, mint vinegar and mint syrups.
Confute are delicious as a piece of candy or as a decoration.
Add the fresh leaves to new potatoes, dip sauce with garlic and pot cheese, peas, fruit salads and drinks. Join mint also closed at chocolate cake, desserts and at cake with raisins or forest berries.
Mint fit best by lamb.
Use mint thriftily in soups and stuffing.

Recipe 1: Melon-tomatoes-mint-salad

Ingredients.
- 250 g melon
- 250 g strong tomatoes, cut in parts
- 175 g cucumber, peeled and grated
- 1.25 dl minced mint
- 2.5 dl yogurt
- salt and black pepper

Preparations manner.
- Divide the melon meat with a knife in balls or cut the flesh in blocks.
- Mix the melon in a salad basket with the tomato and the cucumber.
- Fold the mint through the yogurt and serve the sauce over the salad.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish the salad with mint leaves.

Recipe 2: Mint-chocolate-ice

Ingredients.
- 2 dl mint leaf (by preference peppermint)
- 50 g soft white sugar
- 75 g bitter chocolate
- 2 eggs, split up
- 2.5 dl whipped cream

Preparations manner.
- Mix the mint leaf with 25 g of the sugar and chop it as fine possible.
- Place a bowl in a pan with boiling water and melt in this 50 g of the chocolate. Take after the chocolate has melted the bowl from the pan.
- Beat the egg yolks through the melted chocolate till a fumy whole arises.
- Beat the whipped cream in a bowl stiff and fold the minced mint through.
- Fold the whipped cream mixture through the cooled down chocolate mixture.
- Freeze the mixture in a freezer box with a content of 1 litter.
- Mix the mixture when at the edge of the box ice crystals have formed.
- Place it back in the freezer and knock the ice of every 45 minutes till it is sturdily enough.
- Beat the egg white stiff and mix it with the rest of the sugar.
- Fold the egg white carefully through the ice.
- Grate the rest of the chocolate fine and stir it through the ice.
- Place the ice back in the freezer and let it freeze complete.
- Serve the ice with mint leaves diped in melted chocolate (let it stiffen on fat free paper)


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Other variants


There much different variants of the genus Mentha (about 3500). The many mint kinds have approximately the same qualities, although the taste often differs in strength. Here stand there some described.

Curled Mint (Mentha crispa)
Height 20 - 80 cm and flowers from July to August with dark lilac flowers. Stem mostly bald, often red come towards. Leaf elongated and egg round and sow tooth till waned.

Horse Mint (Mentha silvestris / Mentha longifolia)
Resembles Mentha crispa, curly leave like mint kind.

Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
Resembles Mentha crispa, curly leaf mint kind.

Water mint (Mentha aquatica)
It is a fixed plant for a swamp. Height 30 - 70 cm and flowers from April to June with lilac flowers. The herb smells strengthen less then Mentha piperita.

Corsican mint (Mentha requienii)
Small, clear green leaf with peppermint smell and whole small flowers. Height 25 mm. This variant forms a good soil coverer.

Pennyroyal Mentha pulegium 
flower

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
Clear green leaves with peppermint fragrant. Has a weak stems that shoot roots when they touch the ground. Height 15 cm.

Apple mint (Mentha suaveolens)
Hairy clear green leaf with apple smell. Height 60 cm.

Apple mint Mentha suaveolens flower and leaf



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Remaining images



Here a number of impressions / photographs of peppermint (Mentha piperita) are shown.


Peppermint flower Peppermint leaf 
Mentha piperita

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[1]. Britton, Jade & Kircher, Tamara; - Herbal Remedies - First edition; Marshall Editions (1998). ISBN 1840280719
[2]. Bremness, Lesley;- The Complete Book of Herbs: A Practical Guide to Growing and Using Herbs - Fifth edition; Studio (1994). ISBN 0140238026
[3]. Shaw, Non; - Herbalism: An Illustrated Guide - First edition; Element Books Ltd. (2000). ISBN 1862042241
[4]. Dr. C. Norman Shealy; - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies - First edition; Element Books Ltd. (2000). ISBN 186204516X
[5]. Rüdt, U.; - Therapeutic and poisonous plants - First edition; Zutphen:
B. V. W. J. Thieme & Cie (1973). ISBN 90-03 94630 , 2



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