Peppermint – peppermint

Peppermint (Mentha piperita); cold mint; Lamiaceae (Labiatae) family; peppermint


The words “mint”, “mint” immediately remind of taste sensations – who has not tasted mint chewing gum and other food products with a mint smell? The aroma and cooling effect are characteristic of peppermint, which was bred by humans through the selection of wild types of mint – water mint, field mint and others. Therefore, peppermint does not occur in a wild state. It is grown in orchards and gardens, but most importantly, in large specialized farms that supply raw materials for the pharmaceutical and food industries.

Peppermint is a perennial, its stem is straight or branched, sometimes reddish, up to 60 cm tall. The leaves are opposite, oblong or elliptic, unevenly sharp-serrated on the edges, short-hairy underneath. The flowers are small, lilac-pink, in a circle

similar inflorescences covering the stem. Mint blooms in June-July.

The plant is harvested in the middle of flowering, when part of the flowers have already bloomed, and the other is in the budding stage. Dried grass is threshed, coarse stems are removed.

Mint leaves contain almost 2.5% essential oil, which includes menthol and many other complex organic compounds. In addition, they have carotene (provitamin A), tannins, micro- and macroelements.

The active base of peppermint oil, menthol, has antiseptic, analgesic and irritant properties. As a result of the irritating action, there is a feeling of cooling, which is accompanied by a reflex narrowing of blood vessels, and then mild anesthesia occurs.

Mint preparations increase the secretion of digestive glands and stimulate the appetite, inhibit the processes of putrefaction and fermentation in the intestines (carminative effect). They also normalize the function of the gallbladder — stimulate the release of bile into the duodenum. Mint infusion has a weak sedative and hypotensive effect (lowers blood pressure). This product eliminates nausea, prevents vomiting, relieves intestinal muscle spasms (intestinal colic), helps with indigestion of fats; useful in liver diseases, nervous excitement and various neurotic conditions. Menthol as a mild vasodilator is used for angina and spasmodic conditions of cerebral vessels, it is also included in various medicinal products, in particular validol. Externally, mint infusion is used in medical practice for rinsing the oral cavity, baths and compresses; washing the surface of the skin helps well with itching, neurodermatitis and eczema. In traditional medicine, mint leaves have long been used for migraines (applied fresh to the forehead), as well as for the treatment of skin diseases (gauze soaked in the juice of fresh leaves is applied to affected areas of the skin). Mint leaves are included in carminative, diaphoretic and other medicinal teas.

It should be remembered that an overdose of menthol can cause a violation of the function of the respiratory center, especially in children.

As a food product, mint is used in the production of liqueurs, in the food and confectionery industry. In English cuisine, peppermint is a mandatory component of sauces for lamb dishes. A small amount of fresh mint leaves improves the taste of roast and game. It is useful to add some mint to stewed cabbage, carrots, vegetable soups, marinades for meat, fish, and especially cheese dishes.

The honey productivity of the plant is 320-500 kg from 1 hectare. Honey, collected by bees from mint flowers, is amber, aromatic, pleasant, slightly cooling in taste.

Infusion of leaves. 5 g of peppermint leaves per 200 ml of boiling water, infuse for 20 minutes, filter. Take 1/2-1/3 cup 2-3 times a day for 15 minutes. before eating

Decoction of leaves (external). 50 g of leaves per 10 liters of hot water, boil for 15 minutes, filter. Pour into the bath. The affected areas of the skin are washed with the same decoction.

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