Saturday, May 8, 2010

The many uses of Peppermint

One of the oldest remedies known that can be a great addition to your organic garden. Its stimulating aroma and hardiness makes it a necessary herb in any holistic garden. It is a great addition to and any drink from tea to alcoholic beverages, it has the ability to help soothe minor aches and pains. Form the chills to an upset stomach peppermint is a great natural and effective way to relieve minor aches and pains. It is also a great alternation to help during the cold and flu season along with chamomile and maybe some elder .

Peppermint is also a great alternative to aspirin for headaches. Drinking a cup or two can be relaxing and can help with a headache. Some may question Peppermint effectiveness in comparison to it's more popular and similar herb spearmint. The fact of the matter is Peppermint is more powerful! Spearmint is more suited for a child for its similar characteristics and milder strength than that of Peppermint.

Peppermint is a very hardy and easy herb to grow in your garden. Peppermint likes moist soil but and ample sunk light if possible. I say "if" because I have grown peppermint in low light and poorly drained soil and have always had great results. it needs to be closely watched due to its hardiness, it could take over your garden in no time. Peppermint need to have it's own planting bed to help keep it under control. It could be confined to a separate pot to keep it in check. Mulch is necessary to keep the weeds in check. A thin layer mulch will be beneficial in the development of the plant especially during the off season.

Peppermint is ready for harvest when the leaves closet to the soil start turning yellow. The entire plant can be harvested including the shoots and runners. When harvesting the plant the whole plant can be used. The whole plant can be cut within a one inch above the soil, you should be able to harvest a plant twice in a season. The exposed roots or cutting should be cut within a inch of the soil and covered with mulch to protect them for the following harvest.

You can dry peppermint by stripping the leaves and setting then in a warm and dry spot. When dry the leaves can be placed in a tea thimble and steeped in hot water. You can also use fresh leaves and steep for just five minutes strain and serve with lemon and honey.