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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The leaves and flowers of the plant have a pronounced healing effect. It is due to the high menthol content of peppermint oil.
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.
Tannins stimulate blood formation and are useful for both men and women. Mint infusion is prescribed for heavy menstruation, bleeding gums, superficial wounds, hemorrhoids.
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 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:
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.
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.
HealFolk.ru "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.