Pulchritude: Peppermint

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Synonymous with winter, “freshness,” and wellbeing, peppermint is believed to be native to a vast region spanning Europe, Northeast Africa, and West Asia. Peppermint is a perrenial herbaceous rhizome that grows between 12 to 35 inches in height, with broad dark green leaves that are 4 – 9 centimeters in length and 1.5 – 4 centimeters in width. The plants flowers are 6 – 8 millimeters in length and approximately 5 millimeters in width, with petals that are light purple in color. Contrary to popular belief, Pepermint (Mentha piperita) is actually a hybrid species, being a natural cross between Watermint (Mentha spicata) and Spearmint (Mentha aquatica). Peppermint is commonly used in aromatherapy as it is believed to promote memory, calm, and alertness. Peppermint oil(Mentha piperita) is also used either topically or internally to treat a variety of conditions including nausea, vomiting, irritable bowels, indigestion, sinus and respiratory infections, colds, gas, cough, muscle pain, headache, toothache, treating viral and bacterial infection, among several other reported uses. Peppermint is also used to flavor various candies including breath mints and candy canes, which are typically sold during the winter.

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