Mint, or peppermint, was first cultivated in England in the Middle Ages and now grows everywhere in Europe. The leaves are used medicinally.
What it does
Peppermint contains the volatile oils menthol and menthone and the flavonoid menthocide. These compounds are carminative (relieve wind), anti-spasmodic and stimulate bile. They can be used externally as a nasal decongestant and analgesic.
Peppermint is very popular as a tea and is often combined with elderflower in remedies for chills and colds.
Peppermint oil tablets, capsules and tinctures can be taken to help digestion/IBS symptoms.
Peppermint is also available as an aromatherapy oil which can be used as an inhaler or diluted and applied to the temples for headache relief.
Peppermint may cause a burning sensation when taken internally.
If you have heartburn, liver damage or a gall bladder disorder you should not take peppermint.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with peppemint.