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