I do love even just a plain Peppermint tea.
Before I started my study I knew that it was a tea that was drunk to aid in digestion but that was all I really knew, I never had any digestion problems so I just drank it because I enjoyed the taste.
If you want to grow this plant for your own medicine cabinet at home or perhaps just for culinary reasons, please make sure you put it in a planter as if you put it into your garden and don't keep control of it, it becomes quite invasive. It is a hardy perennial as well so you will be stuck with it for quite some time.
For medicinal purposes if your harvesting your own, the best time to do it is on a sunny day after the dew has lifted. This is the time of day when it starts going through photosynthesis and its medicinal properties are more potent. You also want to leave it until just before the plant begins to flower. If its purpose for you is culinary then it really doesn't matter you can just pick it fresh as you want to use it.
So what is it good for?
There are limited studies done on its medicinal value which is interesting since the first mentioning of Peppermint we know of is as far back as 1550BC, that being said the studies that have been done show:
May Help IBS Symptoms
Do you have an irritable bowel? You would know if you do, the symptoms are generally poor digestion, bloating, change in bowel motions, Stomach pain, gas a and bloating, none of which are particularly comfortable. If you do Peppermint may help, because it contains a compound called menthol which relaxes the muscles in the digestive tract as shown by this study.
Peppermint has a fair amount of nutrients including Vitamin A, Iron, Manganese & Folate as well as being antioxidant. Incorporating Peppermint into your diet will help you achieve your RDI of these nutrients. Its not going to give you close to what you need daily in just a cup of tea because only a small amount is used but its going to do more for you than a coffee!
May Help Sinus Problems
Menthol one of the active compounds in Peppermint has been shown to help improve airflow through your nasal cavity if you really savour your tea and inhale the steam according to this study. It also has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties which according to this study may help fight clogged sinus if they are a result of an infection, cold or allergies.
May Help Seasonal Allergies
Rosmarinic Acid is another active compound found in mint plants, this acid has been shown to reduce symptoms of allergies such according to this study and while I most certainly do not condone animal testing, in fact I am strongly against it, this study in rats shows Peppermint reduced allergic symptoms
For the above reasons it is the other ingredient I use alongside Nettle in my Allergy Tea. I don't generally suffer from seasonal allergies myself and mostly drink it just because I like the taste but I have found it really helpful when I have had an allergic reaction to something I have eaten or come into contact with resulting in a rash or hives.
We also offer just a plain Peppermint Tea. While I do grow this at home I choose to buy in my herbs so that you are getting certified organic ingredients in your teas. Because I am just a small business so I cannot justify the expense of becoming certified Organic myself. That being said if you would rather the herbs I used were grown here over having certified Organic please let me know in the comments below.