Peppermint (Mentha piperita, also known as M. balsamea Willd.) is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint. Peppermint is used for the common cold, cough, inflammation of the mouth and throat, sinus infections, and respiratory infections. It is also used for digestive problems including heartburn, nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cramps of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract and bile ducts, upset stomach, diarrhoea, bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, and gas.Some people also use peppermint for menstrual problems, liver and gallbladder complaints, preventing spasms during endoscopy procedures, and as a stimulant.
The great thing about this common herb is that it not only smells fantastic, is easy and economical to grow, but is also a real appetite stimulant for horses. Unfortunately, the increased use of mint in horse feeds has devalued the way horse owners regard this herb, yet one only has to look at its actions to realise that it is offers more than just a great aroma Mint is used as one of the main herbs for the digestive system and contains from 0.5 - 1.5% of volatile oil which is found in all parts of the plant. The oil content is highest just before flowering and the amount of oil in the plant can vary depending on the variety of mint, the soil it is grown in and the climate. The oil consists of about 50% menthol.The reason Mint is such a valuable herb for the digestive system is due to the volatile oil it contains. The oil has a carminative action helping to relax sphincters and the smooth muscle of the digestive system, assist in the expulsion of intestinal gas, tone mucous membrane surfaces and increase peristalsis.