Curently Accepted Name Mentha x piperitaSynonyms Mentha aquatic L. var. crispa (L.) Benth.Metha crispa L. and Mentha dumetorum Schult (Plants.usda.gov, 2017).
Common Names Peppermint, mint, and menthol (Plants.usda.gov, 2017).
Botany and Parts Used
Growing Pattern and Plant Structure
Parts Used Piperita is wild plant although it is cultivated widely in parts of Europe, America, and Asia. The plant grows well in moist soils and warmer climate. In America, the plant has become a vital crop since the last century. Again, it grows well in soils with a high water-holding capacity (Cms.herbalgram.org, 2017).
It also grows to a height of about 2-4 feet and produces white flowers or small purple flowers depending on the species. Piperita flowers bloom during July and August. It has dark green leaves with a pleasant scent (Cms.herbalgram.org, 2017).
Leaves of Piperita are harvested during the blooming stage and prepared for adding flavor, especially in tea. They have anti-histamine and anti-bacterial properties.
The stem is also used as a flavor additive in consumables such as tea.
The oil extracted from the plant is also used in preparing pharmaceutical substances and flavoring candy and gum. The oil has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties (Cms.herbalgram.org, 2017).
Main Constituents The main constituent of Piperita is menthol. Methol is an organic compound, and when medical used through a topical application on skin or mouth, it produces a cooling sensation. Other constituents include volatile oil, flavonoids, and carotenoids among other compounds that have anti-bacterial, anti-virus and antihistamine properties (Rasooli, Owlia, Taghizadeh, Astaneh, and Sharafi, 2017).
Medicinal Actions and Research Report
Medicinal Actions Piperita has been traditionally used as a tonic in the prevention of spasms and various stomach ailments. The plant extracts were also used in the treatment of diarrhea, cholera disease, and other ailments such as flu, colds, and raising the body heat. The traditional had no specific preparations, and many users believed that the plant would cure some of the ailments without the knowledge of its active components. Dried leaves or the whole plant was mixed with boiled water, and then it was orally administered. In the modern medicinal uses, Piperita is commercially used in drugs used in treating cold and cough because of the high methanol content that provides coolness effects and smooth breathing (Herro & Jacob 2010). This study will exclude animal studies.
According to WebMD, Piperita or peppermint is effectively used in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Peppermint is orally administered to reduce stomach pain, gas, and bowel movements in people with IBS. During colon examination, peppermint oil taken orally is used to enhance relaxation of the colon muscles. It is also used an ingredient in enemas to relax the colon when performing a barium enema examination. The action of this remedy is by decreasing the muscle spasms. It is also effective in reducing pain and spasms during an endoscopy procedure. Peppermint solution is also applied to the skin to relieve a migraine headache as well as a tension headache. The action of peppermint headache resolution is achieved through the relaxation sensation of menthol.
The modern medicinal uses of peppermint are based on clinical trials and other scientific experimentations. A study conducted by (Rasooli, Owlia, Taghizadeh, Astaneh, and Sharafi, 2017) documented that mentha Piperita essential oil had antibacterial effects on some bacteria namely the E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus faecalis, and klebsiella pneumonia. The oil has phenolics that have DPPH inhibition activity and lipid peroxidation inhibition. Additionally, the oil has antioxidant power as documented in the study findings as well as the cytotoxic effect on the human tumor cell line (Rasooli et al., 2017).
Peppermint tea is popular medicinal remedy with a lot of health benefits. It is used to relieve various ailments including dyspepsia, enteritis, biliary disorders, and intestinal colic. In places like Germany, peppermint tea is a licensed treatment approach used during indigestion. The essential oil extracted from Mentha Piperita is used as an herbal pain reliever and also applied by athletes to soothe sore muscles. Concerning external uses, peppermint oil is approved for relieving muscle pain, nerve pain, and myalgia. It is also used externally to repel insects such mosquitoes which is a positive effect on preventing diseases such as malaria and dengue fever (Newerli-Guz, 2013).
Peppermint tea has the antioxidant capacity, and it is recommended for treating bacterial infections in the gastrointestinal tract. It has also been discovered that peppermint has anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects whereby it has active compounds that suppress okadaic acid that is responsible for tumor formation. Menthol dosages when administered in high quantities and concentration, they have a positive effect in reducing the activity of cytosolic arylamine N-acetyltransferase (NAT) in promoting human liver tumor cell (Newerli-Guz, 2013).
Mentha piperita is also a source of flavonoid glycoside that has a significant effect of inhibiting the production of histamine and therefore it is used in relieving allergic reactions. Menthol can suppress the production of inflammatory facilitating compounds making it useful in the treatment of allergic reactions. Other medicinal applications of peppermint include its anti-viral properties applied in the treatment of influenza viruses. The herb inhibits reproduction of the virus thus reducing the infectiousness (Herbwisdom, 2017).
Preparation and Dosage: Safety Consideration
Preparation and Dosage
Safety Consideration Mentha piperita belongs to class 2 of medicinal herbs.
Leaves and stalks of Mentha piperita are collected before or during the flowering stage. They are then dried for making tea and flavoring by steeping in boiling water. About 1-2 grams of peppermint is recommended and should be taken three or four times in a day (WebMD, 2017).
The essential oil is steam distilled using the dried leaves and plant stalks where about 0.05 ml (the equivalent of ten drops) is recommended.
Peppermint camphor (menthol) is prepared by freezing the oil. It is later used topically when used to soothe muscles, and relieving headaches or inhalation (WebMD, 2017).
It is not recommended for individuals with disease disorders such as gallstones, acid reflux, and achlorhydria since it may worsen the condition.
People should not apply or inhale high concentrations of menthol because it can cause dermatitis or headaches.
It has no limitation on external uses (WebMD, 2017).
Cms.herbalgram.org. (2017). HerbalGram: Peppermint. [online] Available at:
http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbalgram/issue72/article3059.html?ts=1508781775&signature=d1ae17544a0f5a99f85370c6e559c9ed&ts=1509063998&signature=b39d90718492dadd81a3bceab820f8ea [Accessed 27 Oct. 2017].Herro E., & Jacob S. (2010). Mentha piperita (Peppermint). Dermatitis. 21, 327-329.
Herbwisdom. (2017). Peppermint Benefits & Information (Mentha piperita). [online] Available
at: https://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-peppermint.html [Accessed 27 Oct. 2017].
Newerli-Guz, J. (2013). Essential oil content as a determinant of sensory features of
peppermint tea Mentha piperita. Zeszyty Naukowe - Akademia Morska W Gdyni. 48-53
Plants.usda.gov. (2017). Plants Profile for Mentha piperita (peppermint). [online] Available at:
https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=MEPI# [Accessed 27 Oct. 2017].Rasooli, I., Owlia, P., Taghizadeh, M., Astaneh, S. and Sharafi, S. (2017). Protective effects of
bioactive phytochemicals from Mentha piperita with multiple health potentials.
Webmd.com. (2017). PEPPERMINT: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings - WebMD.
[online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-705- [Accessed 27 Oct. 2017].
WebMD. (2017). Peppermint Oil Uses, Benefits, Effects, and More. [online] Available at:
https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/peppermint-oil-uses-benefits-effects#1 [Accessed 27 Oct. 2017].
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