Peppermint is a perennial spreading herb with dark green leaves and reddish stems. The true Peppermint is a sterile hybrid derived from a cross between Mentha aquatica and M. spicata. Seeds sold and labeled peppermint generally will not germinate into true peppermint, but often produce a less intensely scented spearmint-like plant.
The leaves have a sharp, spicy taste hot at first but at the same time cooling, they can be used to flavour desserts, drinks, teas, sauces, salads, liqueurs and some vegetables.
An infusion of the leaves helps relieve indigestion and flatulence, relaxes muscles in the digestive tract and stimulates bile flow. Reduces nausea. Improves concentration and helps kill bacteria, parasites and viruses in the stomach. It can also bring relief to headaches. Promotes sweating in fever and flu, clears nasal congestion.
Peppermint thrives in moist positions with filtered sun as it grows quickly by underground runners; it is often grown in pots to restrict growth. Use a good quality potting mix, topped with a slow release fertilizer or good organic compost. A liquid feed every few weeks will keep it growing well. Pinching back the growing tips will encourage a more bushy growth.