This natural hybrid of spearmint and watermint is widely use in dental hygiene products, mouth fresheners, soothing balms and candies. Quite possibly the oldest medicinal herb to be used by man, there’s evidence that peppermint has been used for thousands of years. Grow it in a part of the garden where the plants are assured of water and give it plenty of room to spread.
Sip a tea made of a handful of peppermint leaves to calm stomach upsets and relieve pain and discomfort due to gas. Carry a few sprigs of peppermint when you travel. Sniffing on it every now and then will prevent nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness.
The active ingredient menthol found in abundance in peppermint, as well as in many other aromatic members of the mint family, has a cooling effect on the skin. Make a poultice of the leaves and apply it on the skin to relieve itching and burning resulting from skin allergies and inflammatory conditions. It has mild analgesic action, and relieves headaches and muscle cramps.