Latin name: Mentha x piperita L
Common names: Peppermint
Family: Lamiaceae (deadnettle family)
Part used: Leaf - the leaf is green with red veins
Key constituents: Essential oil (0.5-4% w/w) consisting of mostly menthol (35-45%), (-)-menthone (10-30%), (+/-)-menthyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, limonene, beta-pinene, beta-caryophyllene, menthofuran, piperitone, jasmine (trace) and pulgenone; flavonoid tannins (6-12% w/w); triterpenes; and bitter principals.
One of the mint family of perennial herbs which grow throughout Europe, the peppermint is a hybrid cross between watermint and spearmint which spreads by rooting. Mint is rich in carotenes and vitamin C. It is also a good source of minerals including magnesium, copper, iron, potassium and calcium.1 Mint also contains menthol which helps to give mint tea a distinctive menthol taste.
Peppermint tea, brewed from the plant leaves has long been used in traditional medicines.
The phenolic (plant chemical) compounds in the leaves include rosmarinic acid and several flavonoids, primarily eriocitrin, luteolin and hesperidin.2