Although I tried my hardest to get myself to enjoy a cup of yarrow tea each afternoon (since yarrow is such an amazing tonic) but it was just too bitter. Peppermint though, is an herb I don’t mind enjoying every day.
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The Benefits of Peppermint
Ironically, peppermint is both stimulating and soothing at the same time. How it this possible? The volatile oils in peppermint stimulate the circulation and soothe the nerves. This unique trait is called “the peppermint paradox”.
Peppermint is one of the most-loved herbs for treating nausea and gas. Its soothing properties also make it a mild pain-killer. And, if you start feeling an after-lunch slump, try brewing up a cup of peppermint tea. It makes a tasty pick-me-up
Because the volatile oils in peppermint contain most of its powers, make sure you prepare tea properly to avoid damaging the oils. To properly prepare peppermint tea, bring water to a boil. Remove it from the heat and cool just a tad before adding the peppermint. Then, cover tightly while the tea steeps so that the oils do not escape. (If you use the leaves or petals of an herb –instead of the roots— you should almost always prepare your tea like this.)
Although I generally prefer to use herbal teas and tinctures over essential oils, since most of peppermint’s herbal powers lie in the oils, a good essential oil is much more potent than an herbal tea or tincture. Depending on your desired use, this increased potency can be a great or not-so-great thing. For example, peppermint tea tends to be more relaxing to the nerves, but peppermint essential oil is generally much more stimulating to the circulatory system. (Because essential oils are so powerful, make sure you carefully follow instructions for diluting.)
I am not a doctor or a nurse. The only hospital I have ever worked at is a doll hospital. There, a band-aid can cure a heart attack. As always, please do you own research (these are some of my favorite resources) and talk to your health care provider if your condition is serious.
Practical Uses for Peppermint
Peppermint for nausea
When I was pregnant, I drank peppermint tea religiously. It didn’t make the morning sickness go away, but did help calm my stomach. Peppermint is also helpful for car sickness (if you have essential oil with you!) and the stomach flu. When the kids are sick, I have them sip strong peppermint tea or soak in a warm peppermint bath.
Peppermint for an afternoon pick-me-up
Peppermint is like a “‘blast of green energy.’ It renews, refreshes, and energizes without depleting or using up energy reserves.” Medicinal Herbs. These energizing properties make peppermint a wonderful pick-me-up tea when your start to feel like you are slipping into a slump. I drink it almost every afternoon.
Peppermint for frazzled nerves (and headaches)
Thanks to the “peppermint paradox”, peppermint not only works as a pick-me-up, it helps calm frazzled nerves too. If you get headaches from indigestion or poor circulation to the head (often caused by tension), peppermint tea or diluted peppermint oil rubbed into the temps can help calm your headache.
Peppermint for relieving pain
The volatile oils in peppermint have mild anodyne properties, which is a fancy way of saying peppermint helps relieve pain. Use properly diluted peppermint essential oil for relieving the pain of burns, toothaches, bee stings, and headaches.
Peppermint for digestive problems
From fighting indigestion to relieving gas to calming colic and easing cramps, peppermint is the herb of choice.
Peppermint for increasing other herbs effectiveness
Like cayenne, peppermint is a “catalyst” herb. Peppermint stimulates the circulation and helps your body absorb other herbs more effectively. (Plus, its pleasant taste can help mask other less-pleasant herbs.)
Enjoy the benefits of peppermint
Peppermint is a tasty herb that packs a powerful punch. Its paradoxical properties help it stimulate the circulation and calm the nerves and make it the herb of choice for digestive problems, fatigue, nausea, and frazzled nerves.
Even if you’re new to gardening, peppermint is one of the easiest herbs to grow (just make sure you keep it contained, otherwise it can spread like wildfire.) If you don’t want to wait for your peppermint to grow, purchase high-quality tea or essential oils and beginning enjoying its powerful benefits today.