Peppermint is distinguished by its high concentration of an aromatic, volatile oil
known as mentha, which gives mint its smell. Mentha, like many aromatic oils, shocks, refreshes and numbs, with the end result of relaxing, opening and clearing tissues. It is penetrating, subtle, clear, etheric, light, and dry.
Whereas pungent spices like cinnamon and cayenne can increase swelling, heat, and inflammation, aromatic spices like mint generally disperse fluids and heat, leaving a cooling aftereffect. Its aroma when inhaled easily reaches the brain. Psychologically, peppermint inspires, refreshes and arouses with a sense of awe and letting go.
Mint clears all forms of stagnation - in the stomach, blood, gallbladder, lymph, lungs, and even emotions. It is used to clear mucus from the respiratory tract and open the sinuses. It soothes sore throats, and reduces eye redness. This ability to clear, along with its diaphoretic quality (releases heat via sweat), can alleviate early stages of fever and also bring rashes to a head for quicker healing. Applied topically as an antipruritic, peppermint alleviates itching, as well.
A renowned stomachic for dyspepsia, mint's stimulating and inspiring nature is a traditional remedy for indigestion. It is a carminative, meaning that it both prevents and facilitates the release of gas. Mint relaxes muscle tissue, especially smooth muscle tissue, making it a useful antispasmodic. It is used to calm all cases of colic, including colicky peristalsis of the intestines, vasospasm type headaches, bronchospasms, and uterine spasms.
From tingly shampoos to teas and flowerbeds, mint is an inspiring, popular worldwide herb whose medicinal qualities are also extensive. Varieties of mint grow in nearly every country and climate. In Central and South America mint is called hierbabuena, which literally translates to "good herb." A member of the Mint family (Lamiaceae), peppermint's cousins include many other aromatic herbs like basil, rosemary, sage, oregano, and catnip.
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Mint leaves have a pleasant warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste, an ideal addition to teas, beverages, jellies, syrups, candies, and ice creams. The Ancients believed that mint would prevent the coagulation of milk and its acid fermentation.
Mint helps digest crude fibers in meat. Mint leaves, jelly and sauces are used on lamb dishes from the Middle East, to Great Britain and in American cuisine too. Mint is also key ingredient in Touareg tea, a popular tea in northern African and Arab countries.
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Question. Why is it that mentha oil looses its potency over time? Do you know why mentha oil is effected by temperature changes? From hot to cold the bottle will swell or leak I believe.
- DeanO!, Freeman, MO, 11-08-11