Plant Profile: Peppermint

Around this time of year, peppermint starts to pop up in everything from cocoa to coffee to baked goods. While this is one of the more common herbs that people grow and use, there’s still a lot to appreciate about this power-house herb.

Not only does peppermint taste good, but it can also help calm an upset stomach, soothe headaches, help if you have digestive issues, promote alertness, help with fevers and congestion, and of course freshen breath. Peppermint has a high menthol content which is part of the reason it makes this plant so powerful. It also provides important nutrients like calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

The main part of the plant that’s used for medicine and food are the leaves and occasionally the flowers. Besides food and tea, the leaves and flowers can be used to make tinctures, oils, poultices, decoctions, salves, and just about anything else you can imagine, making this one versatile herb.

Peppermint Photo Courtesy of Park Seeds

If you don’t have a peppermint plant but are considering adding one to your garden, it’s good to know that, like other types of mint, it spreads very easily and will take over so it’s best to plant in a container if possible. If kept in a container, this is a pretty low maintenance plant and can be easily propagated by taking root cuttings.

If you’re anything like me, my lips get very chapped especially when the colder temps hit. This peppermint sugar scrub is great for reviving those lips and smoothing them out. It can also be used on hands and feet for a little extra softness. This recipe makes a small amount but it’s easy enough to double or triple. It will keep in an airtight container in a cool and dry place for about a month or so.

Peppermint Lavender Sugar Scrub

What You’ll Need:

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup oil (can use coconut, almond, or olive oil)
  • 1 tsp dried peppermint (more or less to taste/smell)
  • ½ tsp dried lavender (more or less to taste/smell)
  • ¼ tsp vitamin E oil (this is optional)

How to Make It:

If your dried peppermint and lavender are in bigger chunks or pieces, feel free to pulse a couple of times in a food processor or spice grinder if you want finer pieces.

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix together adding more or less oil depending on the consistency you want for your scrub.

Spoon into an airtight container and use within a month or so.

What’s your favorite way to use peppermint? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!