I- NomenclatureMenthe

Latin name: Mentha x piperita officinalis

Family : Lamiaceae

Common namesMentha balsamea wild1, White peppermint2


from Latin “mentha”: homage to the nymph Minthe

from Latin “piper”: pepper


II- Legends and traditions

Pluto, king of the underworld, had fallen in love with a young nymph named Menthé. Proserpina, the wife of Pluto, was very jealous, and in spite, she turned the young girl into a plant. In Ancient Greece, in memory of poor Menthé, young brides wore crowns of mint leaves.


III- Botanical description

Description: Perennial herbaceous plant of 60 to 80 cm with a strong odor of menthol, with quadrangular, purplish and purple stems.

The leaves are sharp, toothed, opposite and oval dark green in color.

The flowers are small, pink in whorls in terminal spikes.

The fruits are tetrakenes.

HabitatPeppermint is native to the Middle East. It results from a hybridization between aquatic mint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha spicata).

Usually sterile, it is propagated by its runners or suckers (low branches which develop roots in contact with the soil).

Flowering: From June to September

Harvest: the aerial parts are harvested in the first year before flowering.

Pars used : aerial parts


IV- Active ingredients

Aerial parts

•   Essential oil

•   Terpene alcohols: 45% menthol (neurotonic)

•   Ketones: 30% menthone (cholagogue and choleretic)

•   Esters: menthyl acetate (antispasmodic)

•   Bitter principles

•   Tannins


V- Therapeutic uses



Aerial parts

•   Anti-acid

•   Anti-fermentation

•   Anti-milk

•   Antiputride

•   Antispasmodic

•   Carminative

•   Cephalic

•   Cholagogue

•   Choleretic

•   Digestive

•   Hypertensive

•   Neurotonic



Reduces migraines, nausea (motion sickness),

Aerophagia, gastric acidity, dyspepsia, intestinal fermentation

Against halitosis (bad breath)


Infusion: infuse 1 tablespoon of leaves in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes.Filter and drink 2 to 3 cups a day.

Mint drops: add a liter of brandy with the whole plant. Leave to macerate for 2 months. Melt 750g of sugar over low heat until the consistency of a syrup. Skim, cool, mix with brandy. Drink two months later.


VI- Precaution of use


The essential oil is contraindicated for babies under thirty months and contraindicated internally in cases of bile duct obstruction, inflammation of the gallbladder and severe liver problems.


Antacid drugs to treat the stomach may speed up the dissolution of capsules or enteric coated tablets in the stomach rather than in the intestine, take these dosage forms at least two hours apart with the drugs. Taking peppermint and iron at the same time may interfere with normal iron absorption.

Unwanted effects

Taken in large quantities, the essential oil can trigger menstruation.

Taking the essential oil in capsules or non-enteric tablets can cause heartburn, depending on the sensitivities.


Consult a doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have gallstones.

When applied topically, near the respiratory tract, the essential oil should be avoided in children under 4 years old.






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