Benefits of Peppermint
Peppermint is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint.
1. Peppermint
Peppermint(Mentha piperita)is a sterile, hybrid plant, created from the blending of watermint(Mentha aquatica)and spearmint(Mentha spicata). Peppermint is used for adding flavor or fragrance to several foods, cosmetics, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and other products it is also popular for medicinal purposes.
2. Description
Mint is the glorious plant that gives the candy of the same name its cool burst of flavor. While there are about 25 different species of mints, peppermint is actually a natural hybrid cross betweenMentha aquatica(water mint) andMentha spicata(spearmint). Peppermint has greenishpurple lanceshaped leaves while the rounder leaves of spearmint are more of a grayish green color. The taste of both peppermint and spearmint bear a flavor that can be described as a cross between pepper and chlorophyll, with peppermint being a bit stronger and spearmint being a little more cool and subtle. In addition to peppermint and spearmint, other plants in the Mentha genus include apple mint, orange mint, water mint, curly mint and Corsican mint.
3. History
Mint is an ancient herb used since antiquity for its culinary, medicinal and aromatic properties. The origins of mint are honored in a Greek myth that tells the tale that the plant was originally a nymph (Minthe), who was transformed into a plant by Persephone, who was jealous of the affections that her husband Pluto was showing to Minthe. While Pluto could not reverse the spell that his wife cast, he did impart Minthe with a sweet smell, so when she was walked upon in the garden, her aroma would be delightful to the senses.
4. Peppermint for irritable bowel syndrome
A study carried out by researchers atMcMaster University3, Ontario, Canada, and published in theBMJ (British Medical Journal)concluded that doctors should recommend peppermint oil, fiber, and antispasmodics as firstline treatments for irritable bowel syndrome. After looking at four trials involving 392 participants, lead researcher, Dr. Alex Ford and team found that peppermint oil was the most effective treatment when compared to antispasmodics and fiber.
5. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil is a concentrated oil made from the peppermint plant. Peppermint oil can be bought or made at home. The oil is extracted by steam distillation from the whole fresh or partly dried plant before it starts to flower. According to an article in the scientific journal Natural Product Communications2, the chemical components of peppermint oil are menthol (40.7%), menthone (23.4%), as well as menthyl acetate, 1,8cineole, limonene, betapinene and betacaryophyllene.

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