In the next few blogs I’m going to be talking about plants that you can grow at home. You can eat them, make teas from them or use them for medicinal purposes. They can also be bought from the store in the form of essential oils for a variety of other uses.
Today I’m going to tell you about one that is easily grown at home, is fresh smelling, delicious and very useful. The lovely Peppermint, also known as Mentha piperita.
The peppermint plant is native to southern Europe. It’s a perennial herb, which means they live for several years and it grows up to about 1m tall (not however if it is grown on a window sill).
This plant has a long cultural tradition. Fragments of the plant have been found in Egyptian burials and because peppermint is not native to this region it is assumed it was grown in the gardens of temples and used for its all-round healing properties.
Peppermint essential oil has many therapeutic actions, some being:
- Analgesic – relieves or diminishes pain
- Antiseptic – destroys or controls pathogenic bacteria (Menthol)
- Decongestant – relieves and reduces congestion
- Stimulant – stimulates the physiological functions of the body
When peppermint oil is applied it causes local depletion of cold receptors, suppresses sensitivity of sensitive nerve endings and induces a pleasant feeling of coldness that overlaps unwanted perceptions such as itching, burning and minor pain.
This is why this essential oil is one of the ingredients in Skin Relief. The local anaesthetic action is so significant, and when applied, dogs’ stop scratching or nibbling pretty much immediately.
Peppermint hydrosol or flower water is most famous for its digestive, anti-inflammatory and mind stimulating properties. Spritz it on your face when tired, or during hot weather and you will feel an immediate refreshing effect.
Peppermint is also commonly used in cosmetics. It’s incredibly refreshing and tones the skin and tightens up pores. It’s very good for excessive sweating, relieving the feeling of heavy legs and also refreshing your breath.
And what about the home-grown herb?
The leaves can be used fresh or dry. I use fresh leaves for making tea, or I just add a few leaves to my water bottle. You can also make your own mint sauce. I haven’t tried it yet but there are plenty of recipes online. I usually add fresh peppermint to dishes with legumes such as chickpeas, beans, lentils, peas or pasta or potatoes.
If you feel like experimenting at home you can make your own peppermint facial tonic:
For this you’ll need:
50ml peppermint hydrosol (flower water)
2ml natural liquid soap with no fragrance
Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy as a gentle facial cleanser. Please remember, because it is made with no preservatives, keep it in the fridge and use it in a few days.
How do you use peppermint at home? 🌿🌿🌿