The Botany Club: Peppermint

Lets talk about Peppermint! First cultivated in 1750 near London, as an experimental hybrid between watermint and spearmint.

Like most mint plants, It’s really effective at taming stomach ache and indigestion.

Stress goes right to my stomach. The first thing to go is my appetite and then when I do eat, my muscles cramp and protest. Scientifically speaking, this is because the nervous system suppresses the digestive process during periods of anxiety. In case we need to fight an axe murderer, or run away from an axe murderer (more likely). Think fight or flight.

I used to pop Buscopan regularly, but I seeing as I take enough drugs already, I thought I’d give peppermint a go.

First I went with the tea bags. They do the job well enough, but I really didn’t like the colour. The tea turned a deep dehydrated urine shade. Plus, I’m a big fan of scent and the tea bags didn’t have any, so the whole experience was a bit me’h!

I purchased a peppermint plant for £5 at the garden centre. I suppose I could grow it from seed, but why bother? As a beginner, I’d recommend keeping things as simple as possible.

For Brewing 

Always go for the new leaves/shoots at the top, as these are the most fragrant. The bigger leaves at the bottom tend to be more waxy.

For one cup, pick a small handful – two or three shoots.

Wash first, to remove any creepy crawlies

Use a pestle and mortar to bruise the leaves and release the oil. Although, tbh you can batter them with any kitchen appliance!

Depending on what you have, either add the leaves straight into a cup. Or you can add to a tea-pot and use a strainer before pouring. A cafetière will also work.

Leave to brew for five to ten minutes before drinking.

Growing Tips

Peppermint is a reasonably sturdy plant. You can keep it inside if you wish, but it should be fine outside.

It spreads like crazy, so keep it in a pot unless you want it everywhere.

Be sure to water daily and supply good drainage in the pot, so that it doesn’t drown. It won’t tolerant dry conditions.

Partial sun is sufficient

Be sure to trim regularly so that new shoots can grow

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2 Comments

  1. luludigitale (https://twitter.com/LuluDigitale)
    September 21, 2017 / 7:59 am

    This is the first post I read on your blog and I love it!
    I love mints in all cases, they help not only with digestion but also nausea, headache/migraine ; they actually help relief of anxiety to a point, and if you dip a cloth you can also use the tea as an eye compress for small eye infections ! (I prefer verbena for this use, though).

    Mints do grow very easily and spread very widely if you don’t trim and let them alone. We have some at my mother’s garden, over several meters!

    If you just want the flavor and some of the benefits, you can actually just put it as such in your cup. It won’t be as rich as when crushed or cut because the oils don’t get as activated, but you still get some of them. I don’t even bother to take the stalk of leaves out of the cup, because it’s probably one of the flavors I love the most in the world!

    As for always taking the top part of the plant, it’s not only due to fragrance, but also because the bottom part is the one that will grow. So the bottom is waxy, because it’s not ready, basically.

    • allmadhere
      September 21, 2017 / 8:24 am

      Thanks for this. Some useful tips 😊

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