Written by Jayant Row in Nutrition
Viewed by 399 readers since 05-18-2009
Peppermint, also known as brandy mint or lamb mint, comes from a plant that is native to Asia and some parts of Europe. It requires a moist place that has lots of shade for its purple flowers that can be seen in bloom from July to September. It is an herb and is used extensively in confectionery, and also in alternative medicine. Its active ingredient is menthol which has a lot of properties that help to soothe and calm. Its application, in the form of oil, alleviates colds and headaches and is also effective in treating skin that has had an exposure to poison ivy.
Peppermint is used as a flavoring for toothpaste, ice cream and chewing gum. Its addition to shampoos and soaps leaves a cooling effect on the skin.
Peppermint teas are famous all over the world and it is much appreciated by people suffering from anxiety. It helps to cure toothaches, fever and muscular pain. It helps to promote digestion and reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint tea can also be good if you are suffering from diarrhea, flatulence or just plain nausea. It has antibacterial properties and is suggested as a drink for those suffering from herpes and other viruses. It is said to be good for the treatment of gallstones.
Peppermint plant leaves and flowers are dried and the dried product is crushed to form the basis for peppermint tea. Peppermint tea can be made from a mixture of tea leaves and peppermint leaves or from peppermint leaves alone. Tea that is made only from peppermint is said to be totally free of caffeine and is therefore more of a favorite with health food proponents. Double mint tea is produced from a blend of peppermint and spearmint and had its own share of aficiandos.
If you are lucky enough to have peppermint plants in your garden you can make your own peppermint tea and reap its benefits. You would first need to pluck some peppermint leaves from the plant that you have and put this in a heap in a large tray. Keep this tray where it is exposed directly to sunlight. It is better if you rip the leaves several times so that it assists the process of drying as more area gets exposed. The leaves will become dry and crunchy once they have properly dried out. Keep them in the sunlight for a longer time if you think the leaves need to be drier. You are now ready to make your peppermint tea.
Boil water and put two tablespoons of the dried peppermint leaves in a pot. Pour the boiled water over the leaves and cover the pot. You can add four or five fresh shredded leaves of peppermint to enhance the flavor. Let the leaves infuse for about fifteen minutes and then pour out the liquid through a strainer into your tea mug. If you desire to sweeten it, add sugar, mix and drink your peppermint tea.
Peppermint tea is not recommended for people suffering from GERD, which is a gastro esophageal reflux disease. It is also not recommended for people suffering form liver or gall bladder diseases. Some people are allergic to peppermint and this may cause skin rashes and swelling.