Peppermint Rocks

by - July 16, 2011

Allow me to  introduce you to one of my favorite essential oils & herbs -- peppermint. We are big fans of peppermint in the Cooper household. We use it two ways: as an essential oil and growing it in a pot. Well, THREE ways if you count my obsession with ALTOIDS. The plain-jane, peppermint-flavored altoids are the only mint I can find the grocery store that isn't tainted with artificial colors and sweeteners. I love them so much, I buy them in bulk at Costco.

Anywho......



WHY PEPPERMINT ROCKS


It can relieve abdominal pain, upset stomach, menstrual cramps, muscle pain/soreness and inflammation. Used for irritable bowel syndrome and its symptoms such as cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Soothes inflammation of the digestive tract when eaten. As an essential oil, it helps with headaches and nerve regeneration. Helpful for nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, mouth or gum infections, fainting, motion sickness, arthritis, inflamed joints and increases circulation.


So many uses!

GROWING PEPPERMINT IN A POT


The awesome thing about growing peppermint is that it's ridiculously easy to grow and very hard to kill. Just water it and give it some sun (they like partial shade) and it will love you. Peppermint is readily found at your local nursery or you can ask a friend that grows peppermint to give you a cutting, which you can use to sprout roots and plant. It loves to grow and grow and will take over whatever it's planted in, so pots are always recommended. Our peppermint plant even put out runners and tried to grow up the side of the brick on our house.


Tips on growing mint. http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/mint-growing-guide


What do we do with potted peppermint?


We keep our pot by our back door, which we pass many times throughout the day. My kids have learned to just grab a leaf as they walk by and eat it. Yep, they just eat the leaves. If you garden organically, no need to worry about washing off the leaves first. Just pick and pop in your mouth. Oooooo....and then you will be in for a surprise. Peppermint is strong. Pleasantly strong, in my opinion (but then again, you're talking to the altoid girl). The leaves have a teeny, tiny bit of a "woody" flavor, which you'll notice if the only peppermint you've ever eaten is in the form of a candy. We treat our plant as a breath mint and the kids (age 7, 5, 2) love it.


Pot on the top is peppermint, pot on the bottom is mint. While we also grow *regular* mint, it is NOT as tasty as peppermint. Much more woody, tho just as edible and good for you. We just prefer peppermint when it comes to eating.


 So I hear some of you saying, "I'm not really into eating peppermint so what else can I do with it?"



Dehydrate!


You can dry the leaves either out in the sun, hanging upside down in your home, or in your dehydrator. Once thoroughly dry, crush the leaves and make a DELICIOUS herbal tea. One little peppermint plant can grow so fast, you will have much more than you know what to do with. I take my dried peppermint leaves and store them in a mason jar. To make a tea, once the water is boiled you can use a cheesecloth or nut milk bag (or fancy herbal tea tool) to steep the peppermint in the water for 10-15 minutes. Drink plain or sweeten with honey or stevia.

How to dry fresh mint - http://www.farmfreshliving.com/How_to_Dry_Fresh_Mint.html



PEPPERMINT AS AN ESSENTIAL OIL


Peppermint is a very inexpensive essential oil and just so happens to be one of my favorites. It has this great cooling effect on the skin (think ICY HOT). You can feel it penetrate the skin and start working its magic. If I've gorged myself on rich food, I put a couple drops of peppermint oil in a teaspoon of almond oil and slather that on my stomach. It really works. Same thing goes for back or muscle pain. Diffusing peppermint in the air deodorizes the air, stimulates the mind and helps one to focus and think clearly. Wouldn't that be fantastic if you were studying for a test? And bonus, it also helps to curb the appetite. There have been days where the 3-o'clock hour comes up and the all I want is SUGAR. Taking a sniff of peppermint essential oil helps get your mind off of that craving.


Some notes on applying peppermint essential oil: Peppermint oil should be diluted well before applying to the skin. Placing one drop of peppermint under the tongue and breathing past it (the peppermint oil) has been known to stop an asthma attack or clear the nasal passages and sinus cavities. Vocal performers often use this trick to dispel mucous from their throats and stimulate their vocal cords. Peppermint is a good massage oil for stimulating circulation. It is too strong to be added to a bath. Use caution when applying to young children as it can sting their skin.

To purchase 100% pure, therapeutic-grade peppermint essential oil, visit the Kissacooper Apothecary here.

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1 comments

  1. I love the new website topics. I may not be able to commit to living a 100% natural lifestyle, but I am very interested in it. I want to do what I can to make my family healthier. Thanks for the information!

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