Peppermint Herb: Health Benefits, Uses, Facts

FR: Menthe anglaise, Menthe poivree

GER: Edelminze, Hausminze, Krauseminze, Pfefferminze

IT: Menta pepe, Menta piperita

SP: Hierbabuena, Menta, Piperita, Yerbabuena

BOT: Mentha piperita

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ILL: Plate 15, No. 3 peppermint. Although often named as a separate species, peppermint is today thought to be a hybrid between water mint and spearmint. There are cultivated varieties, those usually referred to being black peppermint with dark stems, and white peppermint with green stems. Of these, the white is reputed to have the better flavour. Climate and soil are also important factors. Peppermint is rarely used in cooking as a herb. It is an exception to the general rule, for it is better to use a fine peppermint oil rather than the fresh herb. Occasionally peppermint flavour is needed in sweet dishes, but its main use is in sweets and candy. Peppermint creams are worth making at home, using the very finest and most expensive peppermint oil obtainable; then the inferiority of commercial candy is very apparent. It is of interest, perhaps, that peppermint oil contains menthol, which has an anaesthetic action and causes the sensation of cold in the cordials and liqueurs, of which creme de menthe is the best known. Some of these are coloured green and some white. They usually contain other flavourings combined with the peppermint. (See Pennyroyal.)

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