Peppermint

Mentha piperata

The Egyptians used this aromatic herb in flavouring wine and food and valued its menthol content. Peppermint recorded in the seventeenth century that it was the herb most useful for ''complaints of the stomach, such as wind and vomiting, for which there are few remedies of greater efficacy''.

Therapeutic effect: Excellent for the digestion, as a decongestant, and for skin disorders. Use for colds, flu, flatulence, headaches, indigestion, nausea, toothache and sunburn.

Use: Inhalation,baths and massage. Peppermint oil is still used in gripe water to settle upset stomachs. A few drops on a handkerchief can alleviate headaches and symptoms of sea and travel sickness, as it is refreshing and invigorating. It makes a refreshing skin tonic or bath oil in the summer because of its cooling properties. Used in a footbath it can help sweaty, smelly or tired feet, or in compress to relive hot flushes.

Other popular ways apart from the above include, diffusers, on your pillow at night, meditation, car air fresheners and in steam / saunas.

Cautionary note: For skin complaints do not use in a concentration of more than one per cent as it can cause irritation, always dilute with carrier oil (jojoba oil)