Peppermint: Mentha piperita
Peppermint is a cross hybrid of a number of different wild mint plants. Peppermint was discovered in the seventeenth century and can be recognized by it's purplish stem and pale-violet flowers. Peppermint has many beneficial uses in it's various forms. As a tea, its calms the digestion system and detoxifies the body by stimulating bile from the bile ducts. In Chinese medicine, mint treats stagnation of the liver, indicated by depression, irregular menstruation, and pain. In Europe, peppermint capsules are used to remedy irritated bowels.
The essential oil, extracted from the whole plant, has a variety of uses. Rubbing a small amount on the skin will repel mosquitoes for up to 50 minutes. The oil works to sooth itchy skin, however, a carrier oil is important for those who have sensitive or dry skin. The vapors open the sinus and breathing passages and deepens the breathing. This has an uplifting effect on your mood by increasing mental clarity, enhancing concentration, sharpening the senses, and improving alertness.