Mentha piperita

Peppermint - Mentha piperita (in the Lamiaceae or Mint family)

Part used: Leaf.

Taste/smell: Sweet, spicy, aromatic, cooling.

Tendencies: Cooling and drying.

Dosage: Infusion: 1 tablespoon per cup of water; or 1:1 fresh strength liquid extract: 10-30 drops 1-4 times per day.

Mental picture and specific indications: Peppermint is specific for spasmodic conditions of the respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts.

Use: (a) Antispasmodic, (b) Cholagogue, (c) Choleretic, (d) Carminative, (e) Mild disinfectant, (f) External analgesic, (g) Diaphoretic.

It is used for colic, flatulence, irritable bowel syndrome, general indigestion, nausea, vomiting, common cold and flu and desolution of gallstones. Topically, pepperment is applied to insect bites, stings and itchy skin in general. The spasmolytic effect appears to be due to its menthol, a calcium antagonist agent.

Contraindications: It is contraindicated in pregnancy due to the emmenagogue effect, acute gallstones due to the choleretic effect and hiatal hernias due to the relaxing effect on the lower esophageal sphincter. Peppermint is used in pregnancy under the guidance of qualified health care practitioners.

Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.