Peppermint | Spearmint
Mint essential oil is great for massage to relieve muscle soreness, stiffness and rheumatism. Herbalist also recommend it for relaxing herbal baths.
Both peppermint and spearmint owe their value in healing to their aromatic oils. Spearmint was the original medicinal mint; peppermint is a natural hybrid of the spearmint species.
Peppermint essential oil is mostly menthol, spearmint essential oil contains a similar chemical carvone. Although these chemicals are similar, herbalist of age believe menthol is tastier and more potent. Peppermint is also the one more widely used in herbal medicine.
Peppermint tea has long been used as a soothing after dinner drink. It aids digestion and helps increase bile production. Just what your body needs after a rich meal to prevent gallstone formation. Not to mention what it can do for bad breath.
For a drug free tension headache remedy, simply rub a 10% peppermint oil solution into the temples and forehead. The essential oil helps support circulation and may benefit bruises also. It is equally effective in easing the pain as acetaminophen. Combining the two painkillers will bring even faster relief.
Spearmint has much of the same properties and uses as peppermint; but milder, good to use for children’s complaints. Spearmint tea will remedy hiccups.
CHEMICAL & NUTRIENT CONTENT OF PEPPERMINT:
Menthol, menthone, methyl, acetate, volatile oils, tannic acid, terpenes and vitamins A, B9 (folic acid), C, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and omega 3 fatty acids.
CHEMICAL & NUTRIENT CONTENT OF SPEARMINT:
Carvone, menthol (.5% compared to 40% in peppermint), terpenes, volatile oils, vitamins A, B9 (folic acid), C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium.
Keep in mind when designing an herbal garden that there are about 25 species of mint plants. They are aromatic, almost exclusively perennial, rarely an annual herb. The mint family’s characteristics are square stems with wrinkled, serrated, two inch leaves and flower spikes with whorls of small, pink, white, or lilac flowerers that bloom in summer.
Any piece of mint root with a joint or node can produce a plant. Contain your mint bed in rich, moist, well drained soil under full sun or partial shade. It makes a perfect container plant. Growing herbs indoors is no more difficult than growing them in the garden and adds refreshing flavor to many recipes.
Frequent cutting encourages bushiness. Mint leaves maybe harvested as they mature. Cut the entire plant within a few inches of the ground when the first flowers appear. Most species of mint become woody after a few years, just dig them out and replace them with new root cuttings.
Other herbs containing carminative actions include alfalfa, angelica, balm, basil, chamomile, cinnamon, comfrey, dandelion, fennel, garlic, meadowsweet, passion flower, rosemary, and thyme.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR PETS:
Peppermint oil applied to feet is used for calming animals as needed; as with thunder phobia. DO NOT USE ON CATS.
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