Peppermint

(Mentha x piperita) Fresh mint is used to flavour the Kentucky whisky drink Mint Julep, made in inverting (tops down) a small branch of young peppermint sprouts in the sweetened, diluted, whisky, so imparting the aroma of the leaves, but not the bitterness of the broken stems (Lloyd). This is the mint in Creme-de-menthe (Forsell), and it is also used for scenting soap (a sprig of mint used to be put in a bath at one time (Gordon. 1977)).

Use peppermint to keep flies and midges away - rub the face and hands with the leaves. Mint (or parsley) grown on a window sill is also said to keep flies and insects out of a kitchen. Bruise the leaves occasionally to release more odour (Boland. 1977). Applied to the temples, it will relieve headaches, and it can also be used for a queasy stomach and indigestion. It is an antiseptic (Genders. 1971). Gypsies use the tea for headaches (as well as laying the leaves on). A drop of the juice on an aching tooth will relieve the pain (Vesey-Fitzgerald). Peppermint tea is also a sedative (Bircher), and is used in Russian folk medicine as a "heart strengthener" (Kourennoff). In Alabama, they used to give peppermint tea to babies who had a cold (R B Browne).

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