For me, the true meaning of Christmas is eating lots of good food with lots of good company. So thank goodness my peppermint plant (Mentha x piperita
) has decided to come back from the dead. I’m sure its had more comebacks than John Farnham. It’s a herbaceous perennial that grows to 60 – 100 cm in height and is currently growing in little patches all over one of my garden beds. The prime time to sow seeds is in spring so it can be used to its full potential in summer. Peppermint grows in full sun or semi-shade in temperate, subtropical and tropical areas. And the good news is it propagates easily from cuttings. However, be warned, when it wants to live again, it takes over. Best to plant in pots if you don’t want peppermint domination.
Among the many health benefits of peppermint tea, the standout (particularly for the season of decadence) is its ability to soothe and aid digestion. I drink it all year round as it generally calms my highly strung tendencies. The menthol in peppermint is a natural muscle relaxant and can help to relieve stress and promote better sleeping. By the way, Planet Organics makes a lovely peppermint tea for when you don’t have access to fresh leaves. With peppermint being a ‘Christmasy’ type herb, I also wanted to wish my fellow bloggers a peaceful and safe Christmas. Thank you for your comments, insight and your wonderful blogs. Christmas can also be a difficult time of year for many so please take care of yourselves. I hope 2015 is the best year for everyone :: Jem x
P E P P E R M I N T T E A
A big handful of fresh peppermint leaves (I use ¼ cup of leaves when making 1 cup of tea)
About 4 cups of boiling water per handful of peppermint or enough to fill your teapot
Tear the peppermint leaves and slightly crush them with your fingers to get the oils going. Place them in a strainer in your teapot and pour the boiling water over the leaves (so they are covered) and let sit for around 10 minutes or longer. Adding ginger during the infusion process is also fantastic. You can add honey to taste and either drink it hot or keep it in the fridge after it has cooled down for a refreshing iced tea.