Peppermint is not only suitable for mojitos or tea. Include it in your diet, not only your stomach will thank you.

What do we often reach for on hot summer days?

After a mojito.

And what do we reach for when we want to freshen our breath?

After chewing gum.

What do these two things have in common?


Everyone knows its taste and smell.

Learn to use mint in cooking too.

What is Peppermint?

When we hear mint, many of us immediately think of not only the popular drink mojito, but a whole range of other mint-flavored products, from chewing gum and candies to toothpaste. Peppermint or Mentha piperita belongs to a very large family of peppermint plants.

The mint genus (Mentha) includes several dozen species that interbreed with each other, creating natural hybrids. One of them is peppermint itself. Apart from the fact that mint is a well-known medicine, it can also be used to prepare various drinks and dishes.

Peppermint leaves.

Types of mint

All plants of the mint genus contain similar essential oils, tannins and flavonoids, thanks to which they also have similar medicinal effects and can be used in the same way to flavor dishes. Among the most famous representatives, let’s mention at least:

  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – a plant that is a natural hybrid of water mint and spearmint. It has been used for its medicinal effects since ancient times. In addition, it is also used in cooking for its aroma.

  • Water mint (Mentha aquatica)

  • Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

  • Long-leaf mint (Mentha longifolia)

  • Peppermint (Mentha suaveolens), depending on the variety, can smell like lemons or apples.

  • Mentha arvensis – often considered a weed plant.

What does mint contain?

Like other medicinal herbs, peppermint is also rich in various health-promoting substances, including some minerals and vitamins. The stated values apply after fresh peppermint.

100 g
Energy 70 calories
Carbohydrates 14.9 g
Proteins 3.75 g
Fats 0.94 g
Fiber 8 g
Vitamin B1 0.082 mg
Vitamin B2 0.266 mg
Vitamin B3 1.71 mg
Folic acid 0.338 mg
Vitamin C 31.8 mg
Potassium 569 mg
Phosphorus 73 mg
Magnesium 80 mg
Manganese 1.18 mg
Calcium 243 mg
Zinc 1.11 mg
Iron 5.08 mg

What is mint good for?

Consuming peppermint brings a number of positive effects to our body, which mankind has been using for thousands of years. Peppermint leaves contain several essential oils, including menthol, menthone and limonene, which give it not only its characteristic aroma, but also a number of medicinal properties.

  • Relieves digestive problems – Peppermint relieves digestive problems such as gas, bloating and indigestion. The substances contained in it relax the digestive system and prevent the contraction of smooth muscles, which helps relieve spasms in the intestines. In addition, it also supports the proper functioning of the gallbladder, liver and pancreas. Capsules containing peppermint oil reduced the incidence and severity of nausea and vomiting in a study in people undergoing chemotherapy. Last but not least, mint also helps with pregnancy sickness.

  • Freshens the breath – in addition to the pleasant smell, peppermint has antibacterial properties that help destroy germs that cause dental plaque, which can also improve our breath. For this reason, it is a common ingredient in toothpastes and mouthwashes.

  • Helps with headaches and migraines – Since mint acts as a muscle relaxant and pain reliever, it can relieve some types of headaches. The menthol in peppermint oil increases blood flow and provides a cooling sensation. The application of peppermint oil to the forehead and temples is especially recommended.

  • Unclogs Congested Sinus – Thanks to its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects, peppermint tea helps fight sinus congestion caused by infections, colds and allergies. Research has shown that menthol improves the perception of airflow in the nasal cavity. Therefore, steam from peppermint tea can help you breathe better. Steam inhalation is used for colds and flu.

  • Helps reduce fatigue – the natural compounds in mint have a beneficial effect on our energy. Peppermint oil aromatherapy has been found to reduce the incidence of daytime sleepiness.

  • Relieves menstrual cramps – mint acts as a muscle relaxant, so it can relieve menstrual cramps. In one study of women with painful periods, peppermint extract capsules were found to be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in reducing the intensity and duration of pain.

  • Helps fight bacterial infections – Peppermint oil effectively destroys and prevents the growth of common food-borne bacteria, including E. coli, listeria and salmonella. Peppermint oil also kills several types of bacteria that lead to illness, including staph and bacteria associated with pneumonia.

  • Improves concentration – drinking peppermint tea can help improve the ability to focus and concentrate. In one study, young people scored significantly better on cognitive tests when given peppermint oil capsules, another study found that sniffing peppermint oil improved memory and alertness compared to another popular essential oil.

  • Improves Seasonal Allergies – Peppermint contains rosmarinic acid, a plant compound that has been linked to reducing the symptoms of allergic reactions such as runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and asthma.

  • Improves sleep – peppermint tea is an ideal choice before bed because it naturally does not contain caffeine. In addition, it helps you relax better thanks to its muscle-relaxing abilities.

  • It can help with weight loss – peppermint tea is naturally calorie-free and has a pleasantly sweet taste, making it a smart choice when you’re trying to lose weight.

Mint tea

Mint is most often consumed in the form of mint tea. It can be prepared from fresh or dried leaves. For fresh mint, use approximately one tablespoon of fresh mint leaves per cup; for dried mint, one teaspoon is sufficient.

Pour 250 milliliters of hot, but not boiling, water over the mint. Then let the tea steep for approximately 7-10 minutes, preferably covered. This will ensure that the healing essential oils do not evaporate along with the steam. Afterwards, you can flavor the tea with lemon and honey.

A cup of mint tea made from fresh mint.

What is mint tea used for?

Mint tea is especially recommended for various digestive problems, but it also relieves colds, menstrual pains and headaches. If you have trouble sleeping, you can use its calming effects in the evening before going to bed. In general, it is not recommended to exceed three cups of peppermint tea per day.

Side effects of mint

Although mint is generally considered a safe herb, it is not recommended to use it in excessive amounts and for too long. Mint should also not be consumed by people who have problems with heartburn or reflux. Peppermint oil is not intended for oral use, inhalation or topical application should not be used by children under two years of age.

Mint in the kitchen

You can include mint in your diet not only in the form of traditional mint tea. It is recommended to consume mint leaves especially in fresh form. Fresh leaves have a strong aromatic taste and are used in dishes in a more moderate amount. Dried mint can be in the form of whole or ground leaves. Last but not least, fresh mint can also be frozen if needed.

  • In the summer, you will appreciate mint when preparing alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails . A less well-known example is, of course, the mojito. But it can be decorated with mint leaves together with fruit as well as milk cocktails.

  • The fresh taste and aroma also make mint a popular ingredient in the preparation of fruit salads , for example from strawberries, bananas or watermelon.

  • Fresh mint leaves, lemon juice, honey and water can be used to make a delicious mint lemonade that will pleasantly refresh you on hot summer days.

  • Do you like yogurt salad dressings? Try to liven them up with a few fresh mint leaves. In addition, it is an important ingredient in making homemade Greek tzatziki .

  • You can also use mint originally in the production of homemade jams . Best suited to strawberries or blueberries. In addition, a separate mint jam can be made from mint, sugar, lemon and water.

  • Add a few mint leaves when preparing a variety of soups and sauces. Try it, for example, in recipes for pea soup .

  • This aromatic herb also goes well with some types of meat. You can use it with baked or grilled fish or in recipes for lamb .

  • Last but not least, mint leaves can also be used in recipes for meat marinades , in which you marinate various types of meat before grilling.
Fruit salad with fresh mint.

What is mint used for?

Due to its many medicinal effects, a number of diverse products are also produced from peppermint.

  • Mint tea – it is available both in loose form and in tea bags, in addition, mint is also part of many tea blends.

  • Peppermint candies and lozenges – they not only help to freshen the breath, but also relieve sore throats.

  • Mint flavored chewing gum – mint is one of the most commonly used ingredients for flavoring chewing gum.

  • Essential peppermint oil – has a variety of uses in aromatherapy, it has a beneficial effect not only on digestive and respiratory problems, but also on headaches.

  • Mint syrup – made from fresh mint leaves, water, sugar and lemons. In winter, it can be used to prepare mint lemonade or to sweeten tea.

  • Toothpastes and mouthwashes – due to the beneficial effects of mint on the oral cavity and breath, it is often used as one of the ingredients in toothpastes and mouthwashes.

  • Repellents and insect repellents – the distinct aroma of mint repels insects, which is why it is added to various insect repellents.

  • Cooling gels and creams – mint is also used as one ingredient in many products for tired limbs.

Cultivating mint

Peppermint is a perennial herb that belongs to the extensive family of sedums. It probably originally comes from England, where it was created by crossing water mint and spearmint. It currently grows in temperate regions around the world.

It thrives especially in wetter places and its characteristic features include, in addition to its typical scent, a stem covered with hairs with purplish flowers arranged in spiky inflorescences. Its egg-shaped leaves are mainly used.

Purple peppermint flowers.

How to grow your own mint?

Peppermint can also be grown very easily in gardens or in a flowerpot on the balcony. In particular, it requires sufficient moisture, for this reason, when growing in a flowerpot, a larger container is suitable, which will retain moisture better. You can grow mint either directly from seeds, or you can buy an already grown seedling.

In addition to the classic peppermint, it is possible to grow many special varieties at home, which have been bred so that their aroma and taste are more specific. Lemon mint, strawberry mint, cocktail mint or tangerine mint are especially popular.

Comparison of dried and fresh mint.

When and how to collect mint?

Self-grown mint can be harvested all summer long. It is recommended to harvest the leaves with leaves before flowering, as it contains the greatest amount of essential oils at that time. If you want to use mint fresh, the leaves are then removed from the stems, if the mint is intended for drying, the whole stem and leaves are usually dried.

Drying mint

Mint should be dried in the shade in the fresh air or using an electric dryer. It is important not to expose it to direct sunlight or excessively high temperatures, as the leaves could turn black. After drying, the leaves can be crushed together with the stems, or only the leaves can be used.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)