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Peppermint Plants - The Magic Herb

Peppermint Plants - The Magic Herb

Have you ever wondered why we use so much peppermint here at Santa's Village and North Pole City? It turns out that peppermint plants are a very magical herb.

While the office was conducting research for the post Herbs to Help with Heat we found some very interesting information about the peppermint plant. Not only does it taste wonderful, but it does have some great properties to help out with your health and take care of some other things that you probably didn't even know. After reading this, you will probably want to get some peppermint plants for yourself.

What are peppermint plants?

What are peppermint plants?

With the scientific name of Mentha × piperita (the "x" in the name means that it is a hybrid species, i.e. a cross combination of 2 or more species), Peppermint is a mint that is a cross between watermint and spearmint. Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now widely spread and cultivated in many regions of the world. It is occasionally found in the wild with its parent species. Peppermint was first described in 1753 by Carolus Linnaeus from specimens that had been collected in England; he treated it as a species, but it is now universally agreed to be a hybrid. Peppermint typically occurs in moist habitats, including stream sides and drainage ditches. Being a hybrid, it is usually sterile, producing no seeds and reproducing only vegetatively, spreading by its runners. With this being said, if you purchase seeds to grow peppermint plants, you will probably not be getting pure peppermint plants. To grow a peppermint plant, you would have to have a clipping or a seedling. Wikipedia

Origins of peppermint plants (The word Mint)

Origins of Peppermint Plants

Mentioned above, the peppermint plant is actually a cross between watermint and spearmint plants that are found in nature, but the word mint has it's origins in Greek mythology. The folklore states that "MINTHE" was a Naiad-nymph of Mount Mintha in Elis (southern Greece) and was loved by the god Haides. When she claimed to be superior to his wife Persephone, the angry goddess (Persephone) transformed her into a mint plant.

The mint plant has been suggested as having been used in ancient funerary rites to mask the smell of the dead and due to this came to be regarded as a sacred plant of Haides. It is just sometimes very interesting to look up the origin of words...so the word mint is associated with a jealous wife. source

Uses of peppermint plants

Uses of Peppermint Plants

There are many benefits and uses for peppermint. Mostly the leaves can be used to make teas or oils, but you can also use the flowers to make a tea as well.

Uses for Peppermint Oil:

  • Suppress coughing
  • Ward off colds
  • Relief for headaches
  • Aroma therapy
  • Assist with mild cases of acne
  • Used for massaging
  • Used to help relieve sunburn
  • Used to help ease sore muscles
  • Used to help stimulate hair growth
  • Used as a bug repellent
  • Used as a cleaning disinfectant

As it turns out, it is pretty simple to create your own peppermint oils if you have a peppermint plant. Learn how to create peppermint oil.

Uses for Peppermint Tea:

  • Helps soothe an upset stomach
  • Helps improve digestion
  • Treats bad breath
  • Combats the common cold
  • Reduces fever
  • Helps reduce blood pressure
  • Improves mental awareness and focus
  • Helps reduces stress
  • Prevents nausea
  • Promotes healthy skin and hair
  • Helps reduce body temperature

Making a tea from plant leaves is very simple. Mrs. Claus has a recipe already for this, you can click here to view her recipe.

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: Herbs are not regulated by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration). That means it’s important to do your research to ensure the herbs you ingest are high quality and unadulterated. There are some herbs that can interact with prescribed medications or cause allergic reactions. Be sure to rule out possible interactions and allergies with the help of your doctor and a qualified herbalist. You should always talk with a healthcare professional before you begin taking herbs, especially If you’re pregnant, nursing, living with preexisting conditions, or giving herbs to children.

How to grow peppermint plants

How to grow peppermint plants

As already mentioned, to grow a true peppermint plant, you need to start the plant from a clipping from another one. The seeds of the plants are generally sterile and if you purchase seeds to start growing peppermint plants, you will probably receive spearmint or watermint plant seeds.

Once you do obtain a seedling, you will probably want to grow the plant in it's own container and not just in the ground since they are known to spread and take over an entire garden.

Tips for growing peppermint plants:

  • Keep soil moist but not waterlogged
  • Plant in full sun to part shade
  • Keep plants in check through pruning and dividing

This is just some summarized information on growing peppermint plants, for more details, check out the post, HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR PEPPERMINT PLANTS.

For anyone wishing to pick up a peppermint seedling of your very own, you can stop by the greenhouse in Santa's Village as they are creating little travel seedlings that you can take home and place within your own window garden. It is highly recommended that everyone have their very own peppermint plant to help with many medicinal needs.


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Peppermint Plants - The Magic Herb

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