The Myth of Peppermint
In Greek mythology, Persephone, wife of Pluto, the God of the dead, was jealous of Pluto’s love of the nymph Menthe or Minthe, and turned the nymph into a lowly plant to be trod upon. Pluto, unable to reverse the spell, could only soften it by giving Menthe peppermint’s sweet scent to perfume the air.
But peppermint does much more than sweeten the air. Besides adding a great flavor to many foods, peppermint’s essential oil is the world’s oldest medicine and has a long history of therapeutic use. It is valued for combating a variety of issues, including fatigue, minor head discomfort, and digestive concerns. Early Greeks believed mints could clear the voice and cure hiccups. Greek and Roman housewives served mint after meals as an aid to digestion and added mint to milk to prevent it from spoiling. In Victorian times, peppermint was added to hot water for mopping floors in order to remove negativity.
The essential oil of peppermint can be used for inflammation, a hacking cough, motion sickness, depression and IBS. It relieves headaches and stomach upsets. It makes a great breath freshener. Just make sure that the essential oil that you use is therapeutic grade, such as Young Living’s essential oils.
Peppermint oil is my best friend in the summer as I tend to get horrible sinus headaches on those high-pollen days so famous in New Jersey. Inhale it deeply to end sinus congestion and headaches. Added bonus: you’ll experience none of those side effects of OTC sinus medications such as stomach upset, dried out feeling or drowsiness! Just be careful not to get the peppermint oil too close to your eyes because it will sting.