Pure, cut peppermint leaves
As we all know, mint is the flavour of choice for toothpaste and for chewing gum. It is a very civilising herb – quite impressive, when you think about it. This is a plant which gives off a smell that makes you think, “that’s clean”. Come to think of it, how do you know when a peppermint plant is dirty? Ever thought about that one? Best not to, really. You may, however, be thinking, “I don’t want to drink toothpaste and I don’t need chewing gum tea.” You are not alone, but stay with me because there is a lot more to peppermint than just mouthwash.
Peppermint contains menthol, which stimulates the digestive juices in the stomach (bile – there, said it). This makes a cup of peppermint tea after dinner a handy, caffeine-free digestif. Peppermint also helps relieve digestive problems such as indigestion and heartburn, and some studies suggest it can relieve the symptoms of bowel complaints. Not only that, but menthol can help relieve cold symptoms too: because it is a decongestant, it thins mucus in the sinuses and throat, breaking up phlegm. To sum up, bile, bowels, mucus, phlegm. I love this job.
It goes on: by stimulating digestion in the stomach, peppermint helps to reduce the build-up of gas in the gut, which means less wind in return for a bit more burping. So while scientists spend millions every year researching a cure for flatulence (a laboratory best avoided) nature has already provided a helping hand.
We should also mention that peppermint infusion actually tastes quite nice. We only use pure, cut peppermint leaves, for a fuller and more refreshing taste. The plant is rich in vitamins and minerals too. So on top of its gifts for aiding digestion, curing bad breath and controlling flatulence, peppermint infusion makes a nice present for health-aware friends – as long as they haven’t read this article, in which case they might get the wrong idea.