Plants have always been a part of my life. Since I could remember, my father would bring my little sister and I into his small garden. It only took up a small square of land in our backyard but to us it felt like another world. He would spend all day out there, and then come in to teach us about the different vegetables, fruits and herbs he was growing. He knew so much and made sure to share it with his girls. The plants followed us inside, growing from clay pots and glass vases. My mother believed in the holistic elements to certain plants and was always quick to look there first. My parents worked hard to create something to pass on to us, which is why I decided to start the Herb Shop! I want to share where I’m from, where a lot of our medicinal fixes originated from, as well as, shine a light on the multifaceted uses of common plant life that we look past every day.
Mentha piperita or Peppermint
Peppermint is actually a hybrid of Watermint and Spearmint. Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now widely spread and cultivated in many regions of the world. Peppermint is actually a sterile plant due to its nature as a triploid hybrid. This doesn’t stop Peppermint from being used for centuries as a way to flavor foods, add fragrance to soaps, or cure a fit of nausea. Through different medicinal, cosmetic, and culinary practices, we have managed to expand peppermint’s uses in some amazing ways.
There are many different health benefits to peppermint. The benefits can alternate between physical ailments to psychological ailments such as anxiety and depression. Here is a brief list of some ailments that are said to curable with the use of peppermint:
- Menstrual pains
- Depression-related anxiety
- Muscle and nerve pain
- Common cold symptoms
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
There are so many ways to utilize peppermint. The herb has been used in soaps, candles, fragrances, oils, creams, lotions, and more. Peppermint oil is known to sooth aches when rubbed into the skin as well as coughs and sore throats when inhaled via vapor. Here is a quick Peppermint Lip Scrub recipe that is sure to leave your lips feeling soft and refreshed.
1 Teaspoon of Coconut Oil
1 ½ Teaspoon of Sugar
½ teaspoon of Himalayan Salt
¼ Teaspoon Raw Honey
5 drops of Peppermint Oil
- Add all your ingredients into a small dish and mix them together until it is well combined.
- Add more Coconut Oil into the mixture until it is the desired texture.
- Once mixed, scoop it into individual lip balm containers.
Recipe of the Day
Peppermint is mostly known for its cool refreshing taste, especially around holiday seasons like Christmas. Food makes any occasion better, so here is a recipe combining Peppermint with some other yummy foods to make Peppermint French Toast Sticks.
2 Cups of Half & Half
2 Tablespoons of Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla extract
1 Teaspoon of Peppermint extract
½ Teaspoon of Cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon of Nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon of Salt
8 Slices of Brioche or Challah
- Cut slices of Brioche or Challah into stripes.
- Mix ingredients together and let stripes soak for 30 seconds.
- Remove, allowing excess liquid to drop off.
- Cook in a hot buttered skillet until brown. Serve with Maple Syrup.