• Peppermint

    Synonyms: American Mint, Black Mint, Brandy Mint, Lamb Mint, Peppermint Herb, White Mint

    Family: Labiatae

    Genus species: Mentha piperita (hybrid of Mentha spicata and Mentha aquatica), Mentha piperita var. officinalis (White Mint), Mentha piperita var. vulgaris (Black Mint)

    Type: Perennial herb

    Part Used: Aerial parts

    Homeopathy: Tincture of whole fresh plant

    Location: Africa, Asia, Europe, North America

    Actions: Analgesic, antemetic, antibilious, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antipruritic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiulcer, antiviral, aphrodisiac, aromatic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, choleretic, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, nervine, peripheral vasodilator, respiratory stimulant, spasmolytic, stomachic, tooth whitener, vasodilator, vermifuge

    Indications: Abdominal pain, anorexia, anxiety, biliousness, bronchitis, chills, chronic gastritis, common cold, convulsion, colic, diarrhea, dyspepsia, fever, flatulent indigestion, gallbladder disorders, gastrointestinal spasms, halitosis, headache, herpes simplex, indigestion, intestinal colic, migraine, morning sickness, motion sickness, myalgia, nasal congestion, nausea, Newcastle disease, painful menstruation, pruritus ani, rheumatism, Semliki forest virus, spasmodic colitis, stomachache, tension, vaccinia, vomiting during pregnancy, West Nile virus

    Homeopathic Indications: Chapped skin, cracks, dermatological ailments, dry cough, grazes, headache, hoarseness, influenza, insect bites, lost voice, pruritus, sore throat

    Chemicals & Nutrients: beta-Carotene, Calcium, Carbohydrates (56%), Copper, Fats (5%), Fiber (11%), Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein (25%), Sodium, Tannins (7% in Mentha aquatica), Vitamin C

    Preparation & Dosages: (3x/day)

    Dried herb: dose 2-4 g or by infusion

    Oil: dose 0.05-0.2 ml

    Tea: 1-1.5 g leaves in 160 ml boiling water, steep up to 10 minutes, drink 3-4x/day

    Contraindications: In cases of gallstone ailments, only to be used after consultation with a doctor. Diverticulitis, diverticulosis, duodenal ulcer, esophageal reflux, gastronintestinal disease, hiatal hernia, lactation, pregnancy, spastic colitis, stomach ulcer, ulcerative colitis.

    Side Effects: (Possible adverse effects and/or overdose effects) Drowsiness, vomiting. Tea made from leaves may cause bronchial and laryngeal spasms in small children. Overuse of peppermint may cause heartburn and relaxation of lower esophageal sphincter. May worsen hiatal hernia.

    Warning: May interfere with iron absorption and other minerals when taken internally. Tannins are incompatible with alkalies, gelatin, heavy metals, iron, lime water, metallic salts, strong oxidizing agents and zinc sulfate. Tannins precipitate proteins. Tannins may cause bowel irritation, kidney irritation, liver damage, irritation of the stomach and gastrointestinal pain. Long-term and/or excessive use of herbs containing high concentrations of tannins is not recommended. A correlation has been made between esophogeal or nasal cancer in humans and regular consumption of certain herbs with high tannin concentrations (Lewis, W.H. and M.P.F. Elvin-Lewis. 1977. Medical Botany. Plants Affecting Man's Health. New York: John Wiley & Sons.)

    Safety: Mentha piperita is considered GRAS. Safe when used appropriately.

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