Medicinal Herbs used in Wildcrafted Herbal Products' Therapeutic Creams and Compounds

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Medicinal Herb: Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

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The plant is found throughout Europe, in moist situations, along stream banks and in waste lands, and is not unfrequent In damp places in England, but is not a common native plant, and probably is often an escape from cultivation. In America it is probably even more common as an escape than Spearmint, having long been known and grown in gardens.

Of the members of the mint family under cultivation the most important are the several varieties of the Peppermint (Mentha piperita), extensively cultivated for years as the source of the well-known volatile oil of Peppermint, used as a flavouring and therapeutic agent.

The leaves of this kind of mint are shortly but distinctly stalked, 2 inches or more in length, and 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches broad, their margins finely toothed, their surfaces smooth, both above and beneath, or only very slightly, hardly visibly, hairy on the principal veins and mid-rib on the underside. The stems, 2 to 4 feet high, are quadrangular, often purplish. The whorled clusters of little reddish-violet flowers are in the axils of the upper leaves, forming loose, interrupted spikes, and rarely bear seeds. The entire plant has a very characteristic odour, due to the volatile oil present in all its parts, which when applied to the tongue has a hot, aromatic taste at first, and afterwards produces a sensation of cold in the mouth caused by the menthol it contains.




Biological Name:

Mentha piperita


Other Names:
Peppermint, brady mint, balm mint, curled mint, lamb mint

Parts Used:
Aerial parts, oil

Active Compounds:  

Essential oil, up to l.5%, containing menthol, menthone and menthyl acetate as the major components, with isomenthone, menthofuran, isomenthol, neomenthol, piperitone, a- & b- pinene, limonene, cineole, pulegone, viridiflorol, ledol etc.
Flavonoids; menthoside, rutin and others
Miscellaneous; rosmarinic acid, azulenes, choline, carotenes etc.

Traditional Applications in Herbal Medicine:

Carminative, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, aromatic, diaphoretic, anti-emetic, nervine, anti-microbial, analgesic, stimulant, stomachic, rubefacient.

Peppermint is an excellent carminative, having a relaxing effect on the muscles of the digestive system, combats flatulence and stimulates bile and digestive juice flow. It is used to relieve intestinal colic, flatulent dyspepsia and associated conditions. The volatile oil acts as a mild anesthetic to the stomach wall, which allays feelings of nausea and the desire to vomit. Relieves the nausea & vomiting of pregnancy and travel sickness.

Also used in the treatment of ulcerative conditions of the bowels. It is a traditional treatment of fevers, colds and influenza. As an inhalant it is used as temporary relief for nasal catarrh. Where headaches are associated with digestion, Peppermint may help. As a nervine it eases anxiety and tension. In painful periods, it relieves the pain and eases associated tension. Externally it is used to relieve itching and inflammations.

Peppermint oil is the most extensively used of all the volatile oils, both medicinally and commercially. The characteristic anti-spasmodic action of the volatile oil is more marked in this than in any other oil, and greatly adds to its power of relieving pains arising in the alimentary canal.

From its stimulating, stomachic and carminative properties, it is valuable in certain forms of dyspepsia, being mostly used for flatulence and colic. It may also be employed for other sudden pains and for cramp in the abdomen; wide use is made of Peppermint in cholera and diarrhoea

Combinations : For colds and influenza it may be used with Boneset, Elder Flowers and Yarrow.

Other indications include:
  • Menthol in mint has antispetic properties. Also carminative, antispasmodic, locally antiseptic and mildly anesthetic.
  • Stimulates heart and circulation.
  • Used in fever management, chronic pancreatic conditions, overactivity of the digestive system, and Crohn's disease.
  • Relaxing to the digestive tract, it is used for indigestion and stomach upset as well as nausea and vomiting..
  • Relieves gas and is used for colic, griping, flatulence, diarrhea and spastic constipation.
  • Mint is often combined with alfalfa for digestive benefits.
  • The oil inhibits spasms in the digestive tract and hard coated peppermint oil capsules are used in England for treating irritable bowel syndrome.
  • The hot tea is used for colds, flu, clogged head (nasal, sinus and chest congestion relieved due to menthol content).
  • As inhalation treatment: pour 5 to 10 drops of the oil into 2 quarts of boiling water and breathe in to clear sinuses (use towel as a tent to trap the steam; this is not a safe procedure for children!) Also used for asthma
  • Also used for migraines associated with digestion.
  • Used for painful periods. Add a few chamomile flowers to mint tea to settle upset stomach and relieve cramps and pain.
  • Used externally to cool inflammations.
  • Used as a wash for poison oak as well as a lotion for external inflammations.
  • Used as a mouthwash and in lozenges
Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto a heaped teaspoonful of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. This may be drunk as often as desired.
Tincture: l-2ml three times a day.


No information available. Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.

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