PEPPERMINT Mentha piperita
Mints are sobering and clear headed herbs, aloof, even. In mythology they are said to have descended from Mentha, a nymph, who had succumbed to Pluto's passion. His jealous wife Persephone (or, according to some accounts, her mother Demeter), disgusted and enraged, stomped the poor nymph into the ground and punished her with infertility. A hybrid between common Garden Mint and Watermint, Peppermint is indeed sterile. She reproduces by means of creeping rhizomes - though rather prolifically at that. Peppermint has been used for food and medicine for many millennia. From China to Egypt, evidence of its use goes back thousands of years. It is still a popular herbal home remedy and provides flavouring for dozens of products from chewing gum to chocolate and cigarettes to name but a few. Creepy crawlies such as mice, rats, cockroaches and ants detest the scent. Planting Peppermint in the garden, sprinkling it in the cupboards or on their pathways will surely deter them.
Peppermint is mostly used as a digestive aid. It can ease nausea and travel sickness and relieve cramps and colic. It soothes PMT related symptoms such as bloating or abdominal pains. It is also used to decongest the upper respiratory tract and as a steam inhalation it can help clear stuffiness, catarrh and sinus headaches, sinusitis and bronchitis. Peppermint is calming and relaxing. It soothes an agitated nervous system and dispels anxiety and fears. It aids neuralgia and rheumatic pains, strengthens the nerves and tones the entire system. Do not use during pregnancy.
All Mints are said to act as aphrodisiacs and can be used in various love charms and potions. Peppermint clears the mind and aids concentration and helps focussing on one's intent. It is protective against evil spirits and wards off the demons of disease. Peppermint is very cleansing and can help clear the air of lingering emotions and irrational fears or attachments.