Peppermint Benefits and Uses

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Peppermint Leaf- Ways to use and recipes
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Peppermint leaf (and the mint family in general) is one of the more well known herbs though it is most often just used as a tea and flavor extract. There are many other ways to use Peppermint besides just as a flavor, and it is one of our favorite herbs.

If you live in a place with a moderate climate, it is easy to grow most of the mint varieties, though it is extremely invasive, so don’t plant unless you don’t mind it taking over!

Peppermint Benefits

Peppermint is an excellent digestive aid. It soothes and calms the digestive system when used internally or externally. I use it to make my Digestion Tincture, which I use for morning sickness, motion sickness, and stomach aches. Peppermint helps get rid of gas, indigestion and heartburn. It’s also good for relaxing nerves and improving circulation. This tincture literally gets me through the first three months of pregnancy.

Peppermint Leaf makes a delicious, calming (and caffeine free) tea that is invigorating in the morning and which improves digestion if consumed after meals.

I use Peppermint Essential Oil and Peppermint Tea as a natural headache remedy (oil on the  back of neck and the temples and drink the tea).

A mild peppermint tea consumed internally or added to a bath can help bring down a fever gently without medicine and without interfering with the body’s ability to fight illness.

According to the book Nutritional Herbology:

Contains aromatic compounds that increase the production of digestive fluids, relieve muscle spasms, increase blood circulation, reduce pains, promote sweating and are antiseptic. It also contains astringent compounds which shrink inflamed tissues. Peppermint has been used to treat indigestion, flatulence, mouth sores, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, nausea, morning sickness and dysmenorrhea.

Peppermint also makes other herbs or supplements taken at the same time more effective. It is a great tea, especially for pregnancy and tooth remineralization as it contains calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

From Mountain Rose Herbs:

According to the American Botanical Council Peppermint is helpful in assisting people with general indigestion and non-ulcer dyspepsia and makes for a soothing and warming after dinner tea The essential oil of peppermint can be applied to the skin or mouth to relieve pain. The essential oil in peppermint teas relieves the pain associated with colitis and colic. Both the peppermint leaf and peppermint oil have German E commission monographs, both for use as a carminative, and as an antibacterial. In many cultures to this day, carrying a bit of peppermint on your person is said to allow safe journey to travelers.

How to Use Peppermint Leaf

  • The tea or tincture can be used for upset stomach, indigestion, morning sickness, or motion sickness. (see recipe below)
  • A cup of peppermint tea can help alleviate a headache or stomachache.
  • Some mild peppermint tea or tincture rubbed on a baby’s stomach (externally) can help relieve colic and promote relaxation, especially when used in combination with Chamomile.
  • Peppermint leaf sprinkled in the back of cabinets will help deter ants and mice (and it smells great!)
  • Peppermint essential oil can be used diluted externally on the head and back of neck (avoid eyes) for natural headache relief or diluted in coconut oil for sore muscles. (Not recommended while pregnant or on children. Check with a qualified practitioner before using any essential oil)
  • A strong tea of peppermint and nettle leaf used as a hair rinse will sooth scalp and promote hair growth. Great for getting rid of dandruff too.
  • A cup of strong peppermint tea in a bath helps relax muscles and is also antibacterial. I occasionally put this in my kids bath with some chamomile for great sleep (and they smell great too!)
  • In Homemade Remineralizing Tooth Powder as a flavor and antibacterial/antimicrobial herb. Just powder and add the herb. This recipe is incredibly budget friendly and can be customized to your preferences.
  • Powdered in sugar scrubs it is very invigorating for the skin.
  • When anyone in our family is sick, I boil a large pot of water on the stove with rosemary, peppermint, thyme, and cinnamon herbs (about 1/2 cup of each) and keep it simmering on low all day. It smells great, is soothing to the ill person and helps cleanse the air.
  • A facial steam can also be made with 1/4 cup mint in about an inch of boiling water. I do this in a large pot, then remove from heat, drape my head with a towel and inhale the steam. Helpful for illness or allergies. Can also add 1 tablespoon of epsom salts to sooth sinuses.

Homemade Peppermint Digestion Tincture Recipe

Ingredients for Tincture:

  • 1/2 cup dried peppermint leaves 
  • 1/4 cup-1/2 cup very finely diced fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 cup dried fennel seeds
  • Approximately 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • Approximately 1 1/2 cups vodka or rum (drinkable variety with at least 40% alcohol content)
  • Quart size glass jar with airtight lid

natural tincture remedy recipe Herbal Digestion Remedy Tincture

How to Make Herbal Digestion Remedy Tincture

  1. Put peppermint, ginger, and fennel in glass jar and pour boiling water until they are just covered.
  2. Fill the rest of the jar with vodka or rum (food grade only! no rubbing alcohol) and put on air tight lid.
  3. Keep in a cool dark place for at least two weeks, but up to six, shaking daily.
  4. After 2-6 weeks, strain through mesh strainer or cheesecloth and store in vials or small jars.
  5. Dosage: for adults up to 1 tsp can be taken straight or in water as needed. For heartburn indigestion or nausea, one dose is usually sufficient, though sometimes a second dose is needed. In pregnancy, 1/2 tsp in the morning often helps with morning sickness, with additional doses if needed throughout the day. For children, 10-20 drops is usually enough, or it can be used externally.
  6. If you are pregnant, nursing, or have a medical condition, you should check with your doctor or midwife before using any herbal remedy or supplement.

Where to Buy Peppermint Leaf

I purchase peppermint from Mountain Rose Herbs, as the quality is excellent and they have good prices.

Do you use peppermint? What’s your favorite use? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


16 responses to “Peppermint Benefits and Uses”

  1. Dave Avatar

    If you are still taking comments…
    I planted 1 peppermint, 1 chocolate mint, and 1 apple mint tea in my garden, not knowing it spreads like wildfire. At first, I made steeped iced tea and hot tea often, although I now use it when I think of it
    However, it is best to contain the plants in a pot so they dont spread. Bees love to pollinate the flowers if you let the plants go to seed

  2. June Smith Avatar
    June Smith

    Making a bathing tea using peppermint blooms 1 cup full to a quart of water on full moon. Add one cup of tea to bath water for excessive weight retention. Add a teaspoonful to a cup of water to sip before bed helps to rid the body of too much weight gain. This comes from an old grandmothers diary my friend let me read. It may be true she was an herblher list till her death at 95 in 1910

  3. Angela Avatar

    Looking if peppermint EO is OK for mouthwash? pregnancy is never an issue. thanks

  4. Jo Avatar

    Hey Katie,
    I’m confused why you discourage topical peppermint EO in pregnancy but peppermint tea is considered safe and helpful? I currently use diluted peppermint EO in coconut oil for various applications, like as a bug spray/lotion and don’t know what else I would use that would be safe. If peppermint EO is unsafe just because of how concentrated it is, do you think it’s possible to overuse fresh and dried peppermint in pregnancy also? Thanks for clarifying if possible!

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      A drop of EO is the equivalent to many many cups of tea, so it would be much harder to overdose on the tea. There is some evidence that peppermint EO can cause contractions at certain amounts so I always avoided to be safe…

  5. Angela Avatar

    I know this is kind of a side note…but I’ve been searching for a peppermint extract to use in my homemade ice cream. I noticed most of them are made with sunflower oil! Can you recommend a good brand/product for this?

  6. Michelle Avatar

    I’ve been searching through your site and can’t seem to find an article on diffusing essential oils. I’m curious to know what you use for this. Reeds? A candle-lit oil burner? A plug-in diffuser?

    Thank you! Love your site!

  7. Lori Avatar

    I’m looking for information about menthol causing young children to stop breathing. That’s a pretty serious claim. I figured I would bring this up to you because I know you read a lot of medical journals. I’m still digging but it doesn’t look like there is a lot of support for that. I mean it was bad medicine for some people but it doesn’t seem to be a huge risk. Several of the cases they mentioned were adults who were smoking the stuff. I am only just learning about natural healing but one thing I have learned is that it does matter how a therapy is administered. I’m just wondering if you have any insight here. Anyway, thanks Katie. I love your blog. I have to check it every time I want to make baby wipes. Eventually I will print it out or just recall it (I bet I could recall it)! Oh that reminds me, what do you think about lavender EO in my wipes if lavender mimics estrogen and I’m wiping my little girl’s butt with it every day? I use lavender and clary sage (smells so good) but it seems like a small amount and I don’t use lavender in anything else for her (she’s only 17 months). Maybe I could just switch it up sometimes and use another oil…

    1. patrick Avatar

      I am not sure I am new to this but I have found that different pepermints from the world give a different effect.

  8. Lori Avatar

    I’ve made my first mint tincture today. I used a folk tinture recipe which is to fill a jar 2/3-3/4 with fresh mint. I ripped the leaves as I put them in the jar. Then you simply fill with alcohol–I used 100% vodka. It’s just a basic simple recipe for herbs from what i’ve been able to research.
    Shake each day. Now–I have read to strain it anywhere from 48 hrs to 2 weeks later for mint. So, Havent decided how long I’ll let it sit before straining. I cant wait! I just seem to not be able to get enough mint smells lately! 🙂

  9. Sarah Tiedemann Avatar
    Sarah Tiedemann

    all other tincture recipes i have read don’t have water in the recipe; what difference does it make to use boiling water and less alcohol?

  10. roxana d. Avatar
    roxana d.

    When i used to live with my parents, the water at  their apartment came from a nearby river, but in the summer it was really really bad water even with all the cleaning. So during summers me and my brother would boil large pans of it at the end add peppermint and would drink it cool. Best drink ever! It was awesome compared to all the unhealthy softdrinks (which we couldn’t afford anyway) So yeah minty-ice-tea rocks!

    And just now i’ve read your article on gelatin – i also have a bit of a cold ( was trying out to see if i have a food allergy, so i think its not a cold just inflammation of the body) so the brilliant conclusion would be to make peppermint jelly with just a little hint of vanilla, ginger and stevia 😀

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