Peppermint, one of my favorite herbs. Most all of my garden is grown in the ground, but not the peppermint. This special plant grows in a pot. If I were to grow it in the ground it would become less of a favorite plant, due to it being so invasive. Unless you want a garden of peppermint, I recommend growing this herb in a pot or container.
Peppermint was first discovered in England and is scientifically known as Mentha Piperita and has been used since ancient times.
In Greek Mythology, Hades/Pluto, God of the Underworld, had a lover named Minthe and a wife, named Persephone. With anger and jealousy, Persephone killed Minthe, turning her into a plant for all to walk on. Hades upset by what his wife had done and saddened by the death of Minthe, turned the same plant into that of Mentha. When she was stepped on, fragrance of mint would fill the air and carry the memory of Minthe.
There is also a story of the Greeks wiping down a table with Peppermint before inviting unwanted strangers in for a meal. It turns out these unwanted strangers were Zeus and Hermes. In return, Zeus and Hermes, revealed themselves and turned the home into a temple. It is this story that peppermint became a symbol of hospitality.
Peppermint has also been found to have been used by ancient Chinese and Egyptians. In 1721, the use of Peppermint for medicinal purposes was listed in the London Pharmacopoeia.
In addition to the sweet, minty fragrance, this little invasive green plant has many uses and is prepared in a variety of ways, most commonly in teas, tinctures, and oils.
It is one of the most popular herbs and can be found in a wide variety of items, including, soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, candy, gum, food dishes, cough syrups, pain creams, toothpastes, mouthwash and much more.
Peppermint contains Vitamin A and C, Menthol, Sulfur, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium and Niacin to name a few.
This herb helps with many ailments, such as; Indigestion, Asthma, Bronchitis, Nausea, Vomiting, Morning and Motion Sickness, Heartburn, Headaches, Allergies, Rashes, Eczema, Muscle Pain and Earaches. In addition this magical little herb can bring down fevers, treat the cold and flu, improve concentration and has energizing properties.
So how do you grow this marvelous plant?
Peppermint is a perennial and grows in most areas that supply sun with little shade. It grows vigorously and can grow itself into a ground cover. For that, I grow mine in pots. If you are going to plant more than one peppermint plant, I recommend spacing them at least 2 feet apart.
Provide the peppermint plants with good draining soil. Keep the plant moist but not soggy. Because of this, a good place to plant would be at the bottom of a down spout or another damp area.
When harvesting you can cut the plant up to 1 inch from the ground or pick off leaves that you need. Be sure to fertilize or top with a thin layer of organic compost.
You can plant cuttings from a family or friend or a purchase a plant. My personal favorite way to obtain and grow plants. Clippings are my favorite souvenir when visiting new places or important events.
I use peppermint from the garden for many uses. Foot Scrubs, Food Dishes, Flavoring Water, Adding to Ice Cube trays to enjoy with a glass of Ice Tea, or drying it for a cup of hot tea or for a tea bath.
Peppermint Essential Oil is also a staple in the house. It is used for Bug Repellent, Headache Balms/Salves, Household Cleaner, Glass Cleaner and in Aromatherapy.
Peppermint, a gift from Mother Earth to you!