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Mentha x piperita officinalis - L.                
                 
Common Name White Peppermint
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards In large quantities this plant, especially in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so should not be used by pregnant women.
Habitats A natural hybrid, M. aquatica x M. spicata found in moist soils.
Range Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Mentha x piperita officinalis is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms
Mentha x piperita officinalis White Peppermint


Mentha x piperita officinalis White Peppermint
   
Habitats
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

Leaves - raw or cooked. A mild peppermint flavour, they are used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods[183]. An essential oil from the leaves and flowers is used as a flavouring in sweets, chewing gum, ice cream etc[183]. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves[183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anodyne;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Aromatherapy;  Carminative;  Cholagogue;  Diaphoretic;  Refrigerant;  Stomachic;  Tonic;  Vasodilator.


White peppermint is a very important and commonly used remedy, being employed by allopathic doctors as well as herbalists[9]. It is also widely used as a domestic remedy. This cultivar is considered to be milder acting than black peppermint (Mentha x piperita vulgaris). A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders (especially flatulence) and various minor ailments[222, 238]. The herb is abortifacient, anodyne, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, refrigerant, stomachic, tonic and vasodilator[4, 9, 21, 165, 238]. An infusion is used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, digestive problems, spastic colon etc[254]. Externally a lotion is applied to the skin to relieve pain and reduce sensitivity[254]. The leaves and stems can be used fresh or dried, they are harvested for drying in August as the flowers start to open[4]. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic and strongly antibacterial, though it is toxic in large doses[222, 254]. When diluted it can be used as an inhalant and chest rub for respiratory infections[254]. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Cooling'[210].
Other Uses
Essential;  Repellent;  Strewing.

An essential oil obtained from the whole plant is used in perfumery[46, 105]. It is also an ingredient of oral hygiene preparations, toiletries etc[238]. Peppermint leaves are used as an ingredient of pot-pourri[238]. They were formerly used as a strewing herb[14] The plant repels insects, rats etc[14, 18, 20]. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain[244].
Cultivation details                                         
Succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry[1, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for the production of essential oils, but the plant also succeeds in partial shade. Prefers a slightly acid soil[16]. Often grown in the herb garden and also commercially for its essential oil. The whole plant has a pleasant aroma of peppermint. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil[K]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies[24]. A good companion for growing near cabbages and tomatoes, helping to keep them free of insect pests[14, 20]. Produces a better quality essential oil if the plant is grown in dry ground[115]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division[K]. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.
Related Plants                                         
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Mentha aquaticaWater Mint33
Mentha arvensisCorn Mint, Wild mint32
Mentha arvensis piperascensJapanese Mint32
Mentha arvensis villosaAmerican Wild Mint32
Mentha asiaticaAsian Mint32
Mentha australis 02
Mentha cervinaHart's Pennyroyal32
Mentha cunninghamia 02
Mentha diemenica 22
Mentha longifoliaHorsemint22
Mentha pulegiumPennyroyal33
Mentha requieniiCorsican Mint, Mint32
Mentha satureioidesNative Pennyroyal22
Mentha species 22
Mentha spicataSpearmint43
Mentha suaveolensRound-Leaved Mint, Apple mint, Pineapple Mint22
Mentha x gracilisGinger Mint32
Mentha x piperita citrataEau De Cologne Mint, Eau de Cologne Mint, Peppermint22
Mentha x piperita vulgarisBlack Peppermint45
Mentha x smithianaRed Raripila Mint32
Mentha x villosa alopecuroidesApple Mint42
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
17200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Winifred (Singapore) Wed Jun 7 2006
Are the peppermint tea commonly sold at coffee outlets black or white peppermint? Also read that peppermint tea increases sweating, stimulates bile secretion. Is the information true at http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/healthy_living/complementary_medicine/remedies_herbs.shtml#peppermint
Elizabeth H.
Sun Mar 9 2008
"toxic in large doses" ... so what constitutes large doses? Is that somewhere on here and Im just not seeing it. For a common tea- - I would like to know what large doses is-- I drink about a couple quarts of tea a day.
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