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"Mentha piperita"

Peppermint is one of the oldest herbs traditionally used in households. It is great for colic, fevers, chills, upset stomachs, diarrhea, gas & other related ailments. It is used to treat patients (under supervision) with a cold and pale sytem.

Peppermint is also used as an inhalant to open up sinuses, as well as a steam bath for the face. To do this, just boil a quart of water and turn off heat. To the water add 5 drops of peppermint essential oil and cover your head with a towel making a sort of tent. Lean over the bowl so the steam steams your face and as you inhale it opens up your sinuses. (You must be careful not to have it so hot or get so close that the steam burns you though).

Peppermint leaves contain volatile oil and should never be boiled, as they will lose their medicinal purposes.

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Peppermint is extremely easy to grow. It's square stems will grow from 2 to 3 feet tall, and has beautiful small violet colored flowers that grow in whorls. The leaves of peppermint are dark rich green. It will grow in full or part sun but likes rich moist soil.

The leaves can be picked as needed throughout the season as it grows, or the whole plant can be cut back just before it flowers. It is important to leave at least 3 inches of the plant when harvesting.

Peppermint in a very important plant on the farm here, and it is included in our "Tea Garden" in our touring garden area.

Peppermint can be grown in deep containers as well.

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Peppermint Candy

4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup minced fresh peppermint leaves
green food coloring (optional)

Beath the egg whites and cream of tartar until very stiff. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until very thick. Gently fold in the peppermint. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees for approx. 35 minutes or until dry. Allow to cool. Keep stored in airtight containers.

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Peppermint Shortbread

1 cup sugar
1 cup margarine
2 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup fresh chopped peppermint leaves
1 to 2 drops peppermint essential oil (optional)

Cream the sugar and the butter together. Add the peppermint essential oil if you are using it. Add the flour and mix until well blended. Knead the dough just a bit to be sure the flour is all mixed in. Roll out on floured surface and cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Bake at 300 degrees for approx. 40 minutes until golden.

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Mint Syrup

2 cups water
1/2 cup Peppermint Leaves
1/2 cup Spearmint Leaves
4 1/4 cups Sugar
Green food coloring if desired

Steep the herb leaves in freshly boiled water for 5 minutes. Strain off, saving liquid. Return liquid to a boil and add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Simmer until the liquid is reduced down syrup consistency. Pour into hot sterilized canning jars and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

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Cooling Mint Bath

1/2 cup instant milk powder
1/2 cup baking soda or fine sea salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons ground Peppermint leaves

Mix all ingredients together. Pour under running bath water and stir to mix. RELAX & pamper your skin for the next 10 minutes!

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Headache Oil

1 Handful Peppermint Leaves
Enough Oil to cover (Oil of your choice - use something not very greasy)

Heat over very low heat the peppermint leaves in the oil for a couple of hours, being sure the oil does not scorch. Strain off and discard leaves.

Fill a 1/2 ounce bottle almost up with some of this oil.
To this add: 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
10 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil

Seal and shake until well blended.

TO USE: Rub a dab of this oil in your temples, and into the nape of your neck when you have headaches. If it is a sinus headache you can rub it on each side of your nose (be careful not to get it too close to your eyes or up your nose!) :-)

You should feel that cooling feeling on your skin in just a bit.

Note: When I suffer really bad headaches that make me sick to my stomach, I just mix 5 drops of both essential oils together and put them on me neat, not using the carrier oil. Be careful if you do this that you don't have sensitive skin.

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Marcia Wilson
Journeywoman Herbalist
The Allways Natural Herb Farm

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