How to use peppermint for medicinal and cosmetic purposes

Peppermint - a perennial herb up to 1 m tall, has a characteristic sharp aroma. The generic name is given by the name of the mythical nymph, which the sorceress Proserpina turned into a plant. The specific definition of "peppery" comes from the Latin piper (pepper) and is given because of the pungent taste of the leaves.

Peppermint flowers are small, reddish-purple, collected at the top of the stem in half-whorls, forming spike-shaped inflorescences. Blooms from late June to September. Peppermint does not grow anywhere in the wild.

Mint is a valuable medicinal plant, is used in official and traditional medicine. Since ancient times, mint has also been used for cosmetic purposes.

Have a calming effect herbal masks... A tablespoon of mint should be brewed with a glass of boiling water, covered with a lid, let it brew for half an hour, and then strain. The resulting infusion must be wiped off the inflamed areas.

If the skin on the face becomes flabby, it is useful to do hot herbal mint compress pepper, lime blossom, or mixtures thereof. Brew dry grass with boiling water (a tablespoon of the mixture in a glass of water), insist, strain. Then moisten a piece of cloth in the resulting hot broth, squeeze it slightly and apply to the face. When the compress has cooled down, you need to wet the fabric again in hot broth and make a new one. Repeat for 8-10 minutes.

To refresh a tired face, you can do mint face compress... To do this, you need to brew mint tea, strain it and heat it again, then pour it into a bowl. You also need another bowl of cold water and two soft cloths. And we proceed to the procedure itself. Soak a napkin in hot tea, squeeze it out, put it on your face and hold it for two minutes, then replace it with a napkin dipped in cold water. We do this two or three times. The last time we keep the cold napkin for five minutes.

For dry skin care, you can use dry herb mint masks, which is better to grind. The mask is applied after washing. It is prepared like this: take two tablespoons of dry leaves or mint herbs, pour in such an amount of water to make a mushy mass. It is heated over a fire to 60-70 degrees and allowed to cool slightly. Then they put it on a clean face, cover it with a soft cloth, making holes in it for the eyes, nose, and mouth. The mask is kept for 15-20 minutes. You can close your eyes with cotton swabs soaked in warm water. After half an hour, the mask is washed off with warm water.

Good effect gives mint and mixed with other medicinal herbs... If there are acne, irritation or inflammation on the skin of the face, then it is useful to make a lotion from the infusion of a mixture of dry plants. To do this, mix 15 g of peppermint leaves, horsetail and yarrow herbs, sage leaves. A tablespoon of this mixture is brewed with a glass of boiling water. Let the herbs brew and strain the liquid. Then you can apply it.

S. Lesnov

Application in traditional medicine

Soothing tea

Melissa is very indicated for nervous, highly excitable people who cannot calm down and fall asleep in the evening. In this case, it is recommended to brew lemon balm tea: pour 3 teaspoons of a finely chopped lemon balm leaf with 250 grams of boiling water, cover with a lid, and then let it brew for 10 minutes. Take 3 cups daily. If honey is added to tea, its effect as a sleeping pill is enhanced. The infusion is indicated for dizziness, headaches, normalizes the digestive system. You can prepare tea in another way. For this you need to take 2 tbsp. tablespoons of dry grass, pour 1 liter of boiling water, leave for about one hour, drain. Take half a glass 3 times a day on an empty stomach.

The use of lemon balm for kidney diseases

With hepatic colic, you can prepare the same solution as indicated above, but instead of 1 liter of water, you need to take 0.5 liters, leave for 1 hour and take 125 grams 3 times a day on an empty stomach.

Tincture for tinnitus and neuroses

In case of tinnitus, it is necessary to prepare the following solution: 10 grams of fresh grass, pour 30 ml of vodka, leave for a week in a dark place, strain through double gauze, instill 3 drops at night in each ear. Alcohol tincture of lemon balm, prepared from essential oil, is used for neuroses of the heart and stomach and as a sleeping pill, and when applied externally as a rub. The tincture is especially good in the cold season, since it mobilizes the protective properties of the body.

Soothing baths

With its calming properties, lemon balm is also used for the preparation of medicinal baths. 50-60 grams of herbs, pour 1 liter of boiling water, leave to brew for 10 minutes, strain and pour into the bathroom.

Essential oils of lemon balm for colds and viral diseases

For the treatment of cough, inhalation is prepared from the oil. Mix 3 drops of oil with honey, add a little water, you need to breathe for 15 minutes. The same infusion is suitable for the treatment of stomatitis and gingivitis; applications from lemon balm oil are also used. This oil effectively fights viruses, it is indicated for influenza and ARVI as inhalation.

The use of lemon balm for headaches and nervous tension

To relax and relieve nervous tension, you need to take a bath with lemon balm oil. Place 5 drops of oil in the bathroom. The duration of such a bath is 30-40 minutes. The oil can be used in combination with olive and peach oil.

Peppermint Features

In the wealthy houses of Roman nobles, mint was used regularly. It was added to the water when taking baths, giving the properties to relax the body and soothe the soul. She was used to rub the tables before meals, as it was believed that the scent of mint cheered up and helped to have fun.

But in ancient times, mint was not the same as it is today. Rather, its main variety, used today for therapeutic purposes, did not exist. It was bred by English breeders only in the seventeenth century, creating a hybrid of two types of culture: water and green.


Peppermint. Botanical illustration from the book "Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen", 1887.

The resulting culture is in many ways ahead of those created by nature. It turned out to be more resistant to external conditions, with a more active and spreading herbal part. The root system of peppermint is powerful, consists of one long, creeping rhizome, from which numerous appendages branch off.

From the root, stems develop, straight and tetrahedral, growing on rich soil up to a meter in height. Leaves of an elongated ovoid form are formed on the stem, sessile opposite on short petioles. The edges of the leaves are covered with small denticles, their surface is saturated green. Leaves grow up to eight centimeters in length.

The flowering period of the culture is long, observed from June to the end of September. Flowers are formed in compact inflorescences, located close to each other, make up "spikelets". The flowers are small, reddish or purple in color, regular in shape. After flowering, ovaries are rarely formed. If they appear, they look like small rounded nuts, but more often the flower falls off and exposes the stem.

Geography and distribution

As a hybrid, peppermint is not seed-propagated. Even if they form and then germinate, the new plant has little resemblance to the mother plant. It develops weak, small, and practically does not smell. Its composition no longer contains valuable substances that determine the medicinal properties of mint.

The culture is propagated vegetatively - by root shoots or cuttings. Specialized farms have been created for cultivation. In Russia, these are located in the Krasnodar Territory and the Voronezh Region. It is extremely difficult to meet peppermint in the wild, since the population of wild crops is extremely limited.

You can also grow a culture in your summer cottage. This will require a portion of the root of the mother plant. The root is laid in moist soil in a sunny or semi-shady area. Usually the culture takes root well. A feature of this variety is the ability to grow from the smallest piece of root.

Collection and procurement

In the pharmacological field, peppermint leaves and the apical part of the plant with inflorescences are used. Since the process of accumulation of nutrients in them occurs gradually as they grow, the collection of raw materials is carried out when the vegetation of the plant stops. It is important not to miss this period: when the leaves stop growing, their contents begin to oxidize. The optimal time for harvesting raw materials is the middle of the flowering period, when one part of the plants is already actively blooming, while others are noticeable fully formed buds.

Harvesters and automatic mowers are used for harvesting raw materials in specialized farms. In gardens, peppermint is harvested with a cutting tool. Cut the stems with scissors or pruners, trying not to damage the rhizome, from which stems will develop again next year.

For collection, choose dry and hot weather. It is important that there is no dew on the grass. Raw materials are dried directly at the collection point, laid out on the field. The plant dries up very quickly, literally within two days. Then the raw materials are collected and threshed, shaking off the stems from the leaves. Stems are not used as a medicinal material.

When stored properly in linen bags or a wooden box, the healing properties of mint are preserved for two years.

Composition and properties

The plant contains an essential oil, the volume of which in the leaves ranges from one to three percent. It also contains flavanoids, caratinodes, ursulic acid, betaine. From the point of view of traditional and official medicine, the most important component of the plant is its oil.

It is a colorless or liquidish liquid. Completely transparent, has a pronounced fresh scent. When touched, it creates a feeling of cold, does not taste bitter. The oil contains up to forty-six percent of menthol - the main active component of medicinal raw materials. Esters of organic acids and terpenoids complement its structure.

When used topically, the oil irritates the skin and mucous membranes. Possesses bactericidal properties. Important beneficial properties of mint are the ability to act on nerve endings and activate the body's reflexes. The following effects of menthol make it possible to fully determine why mint is useful.

  • Local anesthetic. On the surface of the skin, the substance activates cold receptors, from which there is a sensation of coolness and tingling. The vessels of the outer skin respond reflexively to the excitation of cold receptors. They narrow, reducing blood flow to the skin. Associated with this is the ability of the medicinal plant to temporarily relieve pain in the places of bruises, cuts, injuries or medical, cosmetological manipulations.
  • Expansion of blood vessels. Simultaneously with the vasoconstriction on the surface areas of the body, their reflex expansion in the organs occurs. Thanks to this, blood pressure decreases, the severity of pain in the heart area decreases.
  • Improving the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. When used internally, menthol acts on the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestines. It activates their peristalsis, as it has an irritating effect, due to which the digestion process is more intensive. As a local antiseptic, it inhibits the processes of putrefaction in the intestines, improves the secretion of the glands of the digestive tract.

Despite the fact that the composition of mint is well studied, there are controversial points of its effect on the body of men and women.

Popular questions about mint

The main controversial factor is the ability of culture to influence the hormonal background of a person. Research on this issue was carried out in 2007 by Turkish scientists. In an experiment on laboratory mice, it was found that the use of peppermint tincture can increase the amount of estrogen in the body.

This raised even more questions to which experts are answering.

  • Can mint be consumed while breastfeeding? “Mint can change the amount of milk in a nursing mother,” comments breastfeeding consultant Svetlana Panina. - Hot flashes will be observed at the first intake and rare applications. This is due to the fact that menthol dilates blood vessels, activates blood circulation. Accordingly, milk is released from the breast better. But the systematic use of mint for women who are breastfeeding is not recommended, as it can cause depression, reduce activity, and disrupt the rhythm of the heart. " These effects are associated with the general effect of menthol on the body. Probably, the hormonal background does not change with a single or even periodic use of mint in small quantities.
  • How does mint affect blood pressure? Since ingestion of the plant and even inhalation of menthol causes vasodilation, a decrease in blood pressure is observed. Therefore, one of the contraindications for mint is hypotension.
  • Can mint be consumed during pregnancy? “In recent years, several studies have been carried out on the effect of peppermint on the body of a pregnant woman and a child,” says obstetrician-gynecologist Yana Karabanovich. - They did not reveal any negative effects of the plant on the development of the child. If you like the mint flavor, you can safely drink one or two cups of aromatic herbal tea throughout the day. " Such a drink relieves the nausea that occurs in the first trimester, so mint for women in a position that is hard to tolerate toxicosis will even be useful. However, its use for medicinal purposes during pregnancy is not desirable. “The culture contains phytoestrogens - compounds close to the hormones of a woman,” continues Yana Karabanovich. - When taken regularly, they are able to change the course of pregnancy, stimulate the muscles of the uterus, creating a threat of miscarriage. Therefore, if you are feeling irritated, nervous and planning to use the plant as a sedative, be sure to consult your doctor. He will help you find a safer solution. "
  • Is there a danger in taking peppermint for men? An experiment conducted by Turkish scientists revealed the ability of mint to increase the level of female sex hormones. Therefore, theoretically, its use can cause problems with potency and a decrease in sex drive. At the same time, the plant has a sedative, relaxing effect, which also reduces libido. But it is important to take into account that in the experiment on mice, the animals did not receive any more liquid than an aqueous solution of mint extract. By correlating the weight of a mouse and an adult male, it is possible to estimate how large the dosage was during the experiment. Therefore, it is not necessary to completely exclude mint from a man's diet. With its periodic use in the form of tea, the culture will not bring any harm. If the use is regular, the inhibition of potency is possible.

Benefits of mint for health

The leaves and flowers of the plant have a pronounced healing effect. It is due to the high menthol content of peppermint oil.

  • This substance acts in a very diverse way. If menthol is rubbed into the skin, it narrows the vessels of the skin and reflexively expands the vessels of the heart, brain, lungs, therefore menthol drops so effectively relieve headaches of almost any origin. The same property is used to relieve pain in rheumatism, arthritis, sprains: menthol constricts blood vessels at the site of inflammation, creates a feeling of cold and neutralizes painful sensations.

When taken orally, menthol enhances gastric motility and intestinal motility, has an antiemetic effect, relieves nausea and dizziness, stimulates the stomach and pancreas, and reduces pain.

Mint tincture is recommended for anxiety, stress, insomnia. Menthol suppresses the excitation of the central nervous system and normalizes blood circulation in the brain. The compound has antimicrobial and disinfecting effect.

  • The tannins in mint leaves improve digestion, promote the identification of radionuclides. Mint tea is advised to drink after intense X-ray examinations. Also, tannins suppress the reproduction of pathogenic microflora.

Tannins stimulate blood formation and are useful for both men and women. Mint infusion is prescribed for heavy menstruation, bleeding gums, superficial wounds, hemorrhoids.

  • Ascorbic acid provides the anti-inflammatory effect of peppermint. Tea and infusion are effective for inflammation of both the upper respiratory tract and stomach.
  • Galenic dosage forms obtained from mint leaves reduce the tone of smooth muscles, that is, relieve spasms of blood vessels and muscles of the bile and diuretic tract. Improves bile secretion and increases appetite.
Gene dosage forms from peppermint leaves increase the secretion of the digestive glands, have an antispasmodic effect, reducing the tone of the smooth muscles of the intestines, bile and urinary tract

Due to the strong sedative effect, mint infusion and tea should not be given to children under 3 years of age. If the child is not too active for his age, tea or menthol drops can be used no earlier than 6 years old.

When to dry mint for the winter and collection rules

When planning to harvest a fragrant plant, you need to consider when to harvest mint for drying for the winter. Errors in the collection and drying of plant materials do not allow him to retain most of the biologically active components.

The first 3-4 leaves appear on mint stems in early spring. During this period, they can be plucked and used fresh for making tea. The optimal time when mint is cut for drying for the winter is the middle or end of July - the concentration of essential oils and other beneficial elements reaches a maximum and the plant will bring the greatest benefit.

Rules for collecting mint for drying:

  1. The height of the stems from which the leaves are torn off should be at least 20-30 cm.
  2. For winter harvesting, you should not pluck leaves that are too young - they dry out a lot and lose a significant part of their useful properties.
  3. The cut of the stems must be done at the very surface of the soil, it must not be cut off.
  4. Mint stems are cut no more than 1/3 of their length. For this purpose, it is convenient to use a sharp knife or a regular garden pruner.
  5. Mint is best picked in warm, dry weather. Drops of dew or rain on the leaves will cause them to rot quickly during drying.
  6. If necessary, the collected raw materials must be wrapped in a slightly damp cloth. This will help keep the leaves fresh and firm.
  7. If the plant was harvested in an ecologically clean area, it does not need to be rinsed before drying. If the leaves are dirty and dusty, they should be rinsed under running water and allowed to dry.

When collecting a medicinal plant, it is necessary to take into account not only when the mint is dried for the winter, but also where it is best to collect it. The grass should not be picked near highways, industrial plants and enterprises, cemeteries, dumps.

Forest glades, meadows, fields and other ecologically clean places are considered the best option for collecting mint.

When to harvest mint - before or after flowering

To preserve all the beneficial properties of the plant, you need to consider when to dry the mint - before flowering or after. It depends on its further application. If the plant raw materials are used for the preparation of essential oil, medicinal decoctions and tinctures, it is harvested during the period of full flowering.

At this time, mint inflorescences contain an increased concentration of essential oils. This rule of winter harvesting also applies if the question arises when to dry lemon balm for the winter.

If the aromatic mint is harvested for culinary purposes and tea making, it is best to pick it before flower buds form. At this time, the stems still retain their elasticity, the leaves are large and fragrant, which makes it possible to prepare high-quality raw materials.

Peppermint: medicinal properties and contraindications. "Cleansing and prevention" Peppermint: medicinal properties and contraindications.

The medicinal properties and contraindications of peppermint are due to its unique biochemical composition. The plant is famous for a wide range of healing effects on the human body.

In this regard, it is widely used in folk and traditional medicine, as well as in cosmetology and cooking. Since this is a hybrid variety, it does not grow in the wild - it is cultivated privately.

  • Peppermint obtained by hybridization. It was bred by breeders specifically for human needs. They retained all the natural, beneficial properties of mint and improved a number of other properties (resistance to changing environmental conditions, frost resistance, etc.).

  • Everyone knows that peppermint is an excellent natural remedy in the treatment of many diseases. And anyone, even the most ignorant in this area, will say that mint, first of all, calms the nerves. Many (who, of course, do not have allergic reactions) are accustomed to using myta everywhere: for medicinal (medicinal) purposes, as a cosmetic product, and as a fragrant seasoning for food. But like any drug, peppermint has contraindications for use. ...
  • In fact, there are few contraindications to the use of mint and they arise only in exceptional cases. Any person is not immune from them, because there are hidden diseases that we may not even guess about. Of course, allergic reactions to mint are not so common. Another contraindication is hypotension - low blood pressure. Bradycardia is also an exception in the case of peppermint treatment.

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