Peppermint has been one of the favorite herbs known since antiquity for its distinctive aroma and medicinal value. The herb has a unique, refreshing cool breeze sensation on taste buds, palate and throat when eaten, and on nasal olfaction glands when inhaled. This unique quality of mint herb is because of the presence of menthol, an essential oil in its fresh leaves, and stem.
Peppermint herb is originally native to Europe and nowadays cultivated in almost all the regions of the world. It grows well under shady conditions and features lance-shaped purple-veined, dark-green leaves with serrated margins and purple color whirly-flowers.
In general, the mint plant is sterile; producing no seeds. However, its growth happens through vegetative reproduction, spreading laterally all along through its underground rhizomes. There exist more than 20 varieties of mint herbs with a wide range of color, fragrance, and flavor.
Health benefits of peppermint
The mint herb contains no cholesterol; however, it is rich in essential oils, vitamins and dietary fiber, which helps to control blood cholesterol and blood pressure inside the human body.
The herb parts contain many essential volatile oils like menthol, menthone, menthol acetate. These compounds effect on cold-sensitive receptors in the skin, mouth, and throat, the property which is responsible for the natural refreshing, cooling sensation that it initiates when inhaled, eaten, or applied to the skin.Peppermint-herb is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium. 100 g fresh herb provides 569 mg of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper work as cofactors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.