You’ll find peppermint in most herb gardens, as it’s easy to grow and is such a versatile herb to use in cooking. Did you know that peppermint is a cross between water mint and spearmint? Perhaps that’s what gives peppermint its distinctive flavour and refreshing taste.
Peppermint, or Mentha piperita as it’s known in Latin, is available in many forms including peppermint essential oil, peppermint oil capsules, dried leaves in the form of peppermint tea and it’s also used as a natural flavouring in chewing gum and toothpaste.
The benefits of peppermint oil extend further than as a flavour; peppermint naturally contains menthol which may be beneficial for colds and congestion, and peppermint oil can be diluted with a carrier oil so its relaxing and soothing properties can be felt during topical use on the skin.
When swallowed, the cooling flavour of peppermint benefits the digestive system. Studies have shown that peppermint may help with IBS related symptoms, which can include bloating, trapped wind and indigestion. Some sufferers prefer to take peppermint oil capsules rather than medicated solutions, purely because they contain the natural oils from the peppermint plant.