Scientific name: Mentha piperata
Peppermint with its familiar sweet flavor right off the plant, is very versatile, safe with no side effects, and easy to grow.
- Volatile oils: menthol, menthone
- Phenolic acid
- Digestive aid
- Relieves nausea and gas
- Antispasmodic: helps to relax muscles, stomach cramps
- Breath freshener
- Can reduce pain: headaches, bug bites, burns, toothache
- Natural decongestant: good for helping with colds and sore throats
Besides baking peppermint into desserts, you can use the plant in tea, salads, smoothies, candy, gum, and whatever mint flavor would taste good in!
- It can make existing gallstones worse.
- Too much peppermint oil can be dangerous, and any used on infants or small children can cause major breathing issues.
- Do not take with an immuno-suppressant.
(consult a doctor if experiencing any serious conditions)
- Indigestion & resulting headache: tea mixed half and half mint and chamomile.
- Digestion help: tea made with equal parts chamomile, dill leaf & seed, and peppermint leaf. Or just peppermint leaves by themselves.
- Mouse repellent: peppermint oil can be sprayed anywhere you have too many critters.
Where do you live?
Peppermint grows best in zones 5-9 but can be grown in slightly cooler conditions.
Put em in the ground
It starts easiest from cuttings, and will easily spread to take over the garden, so consider keeping it in a pot, or make sure you can harvest it on a regular basis.
- Rich, very moist, well-drained soil
- Full sun to partial shade
- It’s best to move the plants every 3-4 years.
- Put a thin layer of compost or fertilizer every few months
- Plant near cabbage and tomatoes
- Pests: powdery mildew, rust, leaf spot
- Right before flowering cut the stems 1 inch from the ground
- Keep harvesting frequently to keep the plant healthy and within its boundaries
- Young leaves have the most flavor
- Start harvesting springs in the spring as needed
- Feel free to freeze or air dry