Peppermint

From our list of ailments, see what Peppermint can be used for:

  • Digestion
  • Diverticulitis
  • Indigestion
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Itching
  • Nausea

Natural Remedies using Peppermint

to relax GI smooth muscles, peppermint oil may sometimes worsen symptoms of hiatal hernia. Coated pills opening too soon (in stomach) may cause gastralgia and heartburn. Excessive ingestion of the oil is associated with acute renal failure and interstitial nephrosis. Menthol reactions include reported cases of urticaria, allergic cheilitis, stomatosis, and rarely, shaking chills from use of topical menthol products. GI complaints due to use of peppermint preparations include stomatosis, severe esophagitis, gastrosis, unexplained diarrhea, and pancreatitis. Menthol in nasal preparations may cause spasm of the glottis in young children (AEH). Should not be inhaled by small children (AEH). Menthol-containing ointments applied to an infant’s nostrils have produced immediate collapse. ‘Peppermint tea should not be given to infants or very young children because the pungent fragrance can cause gagging” (Castleman, 1996). Estimated LD for menthol in humans may be as low as 2 g. Survival after doses of 8 to 9 g have been reported. I fear APA erred in saying that it took 1 g/kg body weight menthol to be lethal in humans (APA). Estimated LD50 for peppermint oil in humans = 2000–9000

Use herbs rich in vitamins to help heal wounds, such as rosehips, rosemary, peppermint, coriander, and thyme. Include in your diet or drink as tea, 1 or 2 teaspoons per cup.

Digestion, Diverticulitis, Indigestion, Irritable bowel syndrome, Itching, Nausea

The Benefit of using Peppermint as a natural cure

It is easy to grow herbs from seed, which you should get from specialist seed producers. You can also get mature plants from specialist nurseries. The varieties of herbs found in ordinary garden centres are often modified garden cultivars, which are also often incorrectly labelled. Remember to check the Latin name on the seed packet or plant label. Once you start growing annual herbs, collect the seeds or let the plants seed naturally. Some herbs (e.g. lemon balm, peppermint) need dividing or thinning out every few years, but most will live happily undisturbed in the same place without watering or fertilising. However, if cultivated in pots, herbs will need watering and an occasional soil boost (comfrey liquid manure being the best). Refer to the Resources section for the names of specialist nurseries.

This herb is stimulating to the digestive process as well as relaxing to the digestive tract. It will ease bloating and painful cramps caused by indigestion. Although peppermint helps to digest your food, it is easy to have too much of it, so in my view 2 cups of tea a day should be the limit. Peppermint tea can be too stimulating if you suffer from stomach over-acidity, hiatus hernia, reflux or heartburn, but it often helps people with IBS by relaxing the smooth muscles of the intestines. Peppermint also makes a refreshing and cooling drink on a hot day.

Remember that garlic makes great medicine for all sorts of problems and you can get it everywhere. Many countries have a good choice of herbs in their chemists or even supermarkets: for instance, in France and Germany you can always get a wide selection of medicinal herbal teas. Also try to use fresh, locally available herbs such as peppermint and lemon balm.

In general I recommend cultivating about 8-11 herbs that are exceptionally versatile, are available fresh for most of the year or are easy to dry. These herbs are included in List 1 in this chapter. For an average family you will not need many plants of each category: perhaps one lemon balm plant, one elderflower bush, 4-5 meadowsweet plants and a total of one square metre sown with chamomile or calendula (marigold). Many herbs, e.g. lemon balm, peppermint and calendula, can be repeatedly harvested through the season, which will encourage new growth. It is difficult to recommend a particular amount to grow, as needs will differ from family to family. As a general principle, plants that are evergreen and can be harvested all year round can be planted in small numbers, while plants that need to be dried or processed into tinctures will be required in bigger amounts.