PEPPERMINT (Mentha piperita L)

This kind of mint is the classic mint, but does not come from a pure family, but from the hybrid product of Mentha aquatica x Mentha viridis or spicata (which at the same time is a hybrid between M. Longifolia x M. Rotundifolia), originated in England, in a nature way, approximately in the XVII century and that has been multiplied in an agamous way throughout the world, since then.

It’s a vivacious herbaceous plant which base is a rhizome with numerous stems or aerial/underground stolons, of 50 to 90 cm in height. Leaves are entire, fractioned or cut, fine and fragile; the whole leave is 3 to 9 cm long and 1 to 3 cm wide, and often wrinkled. Limb is oval-shaped or lanceolate, apex is acuminate, the edge deeply toothed and the base asymmetric. The veins are pinnate, prominent in the surface beneath, with lateral veins that form the central vein at a 45° angle approximately. Petiole is grooved and goes from green to brownish-violet, normally of up to 1 mm in diameter an 0.5 to 1 cm long. Inflorescences are oblong, of 3.5 to 6 cm, generally fragmented by false terminal spikes with small bracts. Flowers have an almost regular corolla, pinkish-violet and sometimes white, with 4 lobes at the top, where the uppermost one is trimmed; four stamens are within the corolla. As it is a hybrid plant, seeds are rare and sterile. Stolons are the responsible of its reproduction through the root system. It belongs to the Lamiaceae (=Labiatae) family.

Peppermint leaves have a characteristic and penetrating scent, its flavor is very aromatic. Harvest: June-July and September. It is original from Europe and it’s cultivated by sprouts.

Peppermint does not grow very much in the wild. It tolerates extreme weather but it has adapted itself to be cultivated in humid and shaded soil, protected from the wind in orchards. It is cultivated with industrial purposes, to store drugs, elaborate liquor and essences. As it is a creeping plant is ideal to grow under other plants in flowerpots. Soil should be humid, rich in humus and retentive of moisture, (mix two parts of black soil, one of sand and another part of worm humus). Blooming takes place in summer.

Part used
The leaves and sometimes the entire aerial apex.

Internal use
> Digestive alterations: gastric and intestinal spasms, dyspepsia, meteorism, flatulence, aerophagia, belching, gastritis, enteritis, nausea and vomit, stomatitis, slow and difficult digestion, irritable colon syndrome.
> Bile deficiency, hepatitis, biliary colic, biliary lithiasis, cholelithiasis.
> Respiratory disorders: common cold, pharyngitis, rhinitis, dry cough, bronchitis, etc.
> Dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual periods).
> Headaches, insomnia.
> Urinary infections: cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis.
> Neurovegetative dystonia

External use
> Rheumatic pain, arthritis, arthralgia, etc. applied by frictions.
> Neuralgias and headaches.
> Skin disorders: itching, hives, skin irritations pain, insect bites.
> Respiratory disorders, by inhalations: cold, cough, sinusitis, bronchitis, laryngitis, etc.
> Mouthwashes for mouth hygiene.
> Toothpaste.
> In gel or cream: cellulites, tired legs, etc.

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