And the earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after their kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:12
I truly believe that God placed herbs on the earth to nourish and heal our bodies. I’m working towards my Master Herbalist certification so I’ve been spending some time learning all that I can about herbs the last three years, and still have so much more to learn! It never ceases to amaze me how many healing properties are contained in plants! The first herb I want to highlight is one that I have had a lot of success using, and never realized how valuable it was due to its commonality.
Peppermint is something we all grew up knowing about, especially around Christmas time when the ever popular peppermint candy canes were seen everywhere! But did you realize the medicinal quality of this easy to grow plant? Most of us think of it as a flavoring for gum or toothpaste, but in test tube experiments it has killed some strands of bacteria, fungal colonies and even viruses!
Peppermint is wonderful for soothing an upset stomach or relaxing the spasms in the digestive track. One of the toughest things about peppermint is getting it to the actual place that’s causing the issue before it’s absorbed by the body. In the past, I have had very good results when dealing with an irritable stomach/colon by taking an enteric coated capsule or sipping on some peppermint leaf tea. Usually very quickly after I ingest the peppermint I get relief. It’s been the best thing that I’ve tried so far for this ailment!
Another health issue a lot of us tend to struggle with are headaches. There have been times I’m tempted to give in and taken some sort of over the counter pain medicine for them. Since I’m trying to get away from taking any sort of medication, I first try get to the root cause of my headache, whether it be a food allergy, stress or not drinking enough water. If that doesn’t work I apply peppermint essential oil properly diluted in a carrier oil to the back of my neck, temples and forehead and I’m always amazed at the results! In about 2-3 minutes I feel a cooling sensation and the pain immediately subsides with no drugs taken! There may be times that the headache will return in a few hours and if so I just reapply more oil and again it dissipates. I carry a small roller bottle in my purse and it’s ready to use whenever I need it. (CAUTION: Keep away from eyes! It will burn) If you’re just learning about herbs and suffer with either of these things from time to time, you might want to look into getting some peppermint or better yet growing some!
Peppermint is very easy to grow, but beware it will spread and return year after year so plant it in a place that has room to spread! You can either make tea with the fresh leaves or cut the peppermint and tie together at the bottom. Place a paper bag over the herb and hang upside down in a cool place until dried. Store in a glass container in a cool, dark cabinet. You’ll reap the wonderful benefits of it year round!
A great website to purchase peppermint leaves if you don’t want to grow them is bulkherbstore.com. I get a lot of my dried herbs here and have always been pleased.