Cotswold Health Peppermint Tea
Peppermint is an herbaceous perennial native to Europe, Asia and North America; it grows to a height of between 30-90cm. The leaves are opposite, lanceolate with serrated edges, dark green in colour with reddish veins and reddish square stems. The flowers are pale mauve to lilac purple, 6–8 mm in length and form vertical whorls of blunt spikes.
Brief History: Peppermint has long been used as a digestive remedy and for a variety of other purposes including as a cleanser and a digestive. Culpeper in the 17th century quoted the 1st century use of Dioscorides ‘it hath a healing, binding and drying quality, and therefore the juice taken in vinegar, stays bleeding’. Culpeper considered peppermint to be a good means of dispelling a headache if ‘applied to the forehead and temples, it eases the pains in the head, and is good to wash the heads of young children therewith, against all manner of breakings-out, sores or scabs, therein.’ To further illustrate the usefulness of peppermint, Culpeper quoted the 11th century Jewish physician Simeon Sethi recommendation of the herb, ‘it helps a cold liver, strengthens the belly, causes digestion, stays vomits and hiccough; it is good against the gnawing of the heart, provokes appetite, takes away obstructions of the liver, and stirs up bodily lust’. Culpeper also recommended a decoction of peppermint would ‘gargled in the mouth, cures the gums and mouth that are sore, and mends an ill-savoured breath’.
Peppermint tea is a refreshing caffeine free tea substitute which has a fresh, intensely minty flavour and aroma. To make a mug of peppermint tea add 1-2g of the tea to a teapot or infuser - depending on how strong you like your tea – and pour over enough fresh boiling water as required. Strain into a mug, sweeten with preferred sweetener e.g. honey and serve. Serve without milk, peppermint tea can also be served chilled like ice tea. The tea can also be used to flavour syrup, jelly and alcoholic beverages.
Mint tea that has been allowed to cool can be used as a hair rinse for greasy hair, and as a facial tonic, or added to a foot bath to help sooth tired aching feet.
Ingredients: Dried chopped leaves of Mentha piperita.
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