Bee Morse Farm

Learning to live a little more country

Herb of the Week: Peppermint

ECC-Hrb-PeppermintPeppermint is my VERY all time favorite herb.  I’m a total peppermint addict!

Scientific Name: M. Piperita

Part Used: Leaves

Therapeutic Actions: analgesic, anesthetic, antiseptic, antigalactogogue, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, cordial, decongestant, emenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hepatic, nervine, stimulant, stomachic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor and vermifuge

Medicinal Uses:  Terrific for soothing nausea. Peppermint is commonly used for pain relief treatments, induces numbness, reduce milk flow (pregnant ladies, don’t even drink peppermint tea after 8 months of gestation if you plan on breastfeeding), relaxes muscle spasms, helps aid in removing gas, good for brain & memory health,  promotes bile discharge, helps clear congestion and ease respiratory problems. Furthermore, peppermint essential oil relieves menstruation cramps, expels phlegm, reduces fever, is a good tonic for the liver, nerves, and stomach.  Promotes perspiration.

Recipe: By applying a paste of peppermint leaves or using diluted peppermint oil topically you can help speed recovery of a sun burn.

Adverse Reactions: Peppermint oil disturbs certain liver detoxification systems, therefore it can interfere with the metabolism of certain drugs. By inhalation, menthol dilates nasal capillaries and can overexcite the CNS, possibly leading to cardiac fibrillation.  Large amounts of menthol taken orally are hepatotoxic, which means it can toxicially damage the liver.  menthol dilates nasal capillaries via inhalation and can overexcite the central nervous system, possibly leading to cardiac fibrillation.

Toxicity: LD50 of Peppermint essential oil is >2 grams or 2 mL’s in the test population.   MSDS sheet can be downloaded here

Contraindications: contraindicated with the use of cardiac stabilizing medications.  Studies have shown peppermint essential oil can  interfere with calcium channel blockers.

Drug Interactions: Peppermint oil might decrease how quickly the body breaks down cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune).  As previously mentioned,  peppermint oil can disrupt the liver detox system. Some medications that can be effected by a disrupted liver include Elavil, Haldol, Zofran, Inderal, Theo-Dur, Calan, Isoptin, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Valium, Soma, Viracept, Motrin, Coumadin and others. This doesn’t mean those taking these medications can’t use peppermint, but before use please consult your healthcare professionals.

Note: Peppermint, as with any of the mint family, is considered invasive.  To grow mint in a garden, plant in a container to keep roots from getting out of hand.

Head on over to the SHOP for items that include peppermint.

********WARNING: The following information is provided to you for a more natural approach to common, everyday ailments.  This information should not replace your primary care physician and as with starting any new medication regiment, please discuss with your doctor.   It is always safest to perform a skin patch test prior to implementing new remedies to be sure you are not allergic. This information is not imparted  to determine dietary changes, provide course of treatment, prescribe as medication or diagnose any diseases/syndromes/conditions/disorders.  Please carefully research new recipes and ideas before implementing. ********

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Herb of the Week: Plantain

PlantagoMajorOne of my favorite herbs for infusing and making salves with is plantain.

The best part?  You can find it in your own backyard! Most people actually consider plantain weed!

Scientific Name: Plantago Major

Part Used: Root, Leaves, Flower Spikes, Seeds

Therapeutic Actions: Refrigerant, diuretic, emollient, antiseptic, anti-venomous, styptic, vermicide, vulnerary

Medicinal Uses: Relieves pain from cuts, scratches, boils, burns and scalds. Helps ease inflammation & eczema. Externally it helps stop bleeding of minor wounds and the itching of poison ivy. Internally it can help with thrush, blood poisoning, bleeding ulcers, diarrhea, bed wetting, syphilis, toothaches, removes parasitic worms such as ringworm.

Recipe: Apply fresh leaves that have been bruised to relieve stings and bites from poisonous insect (think mosquitoes or black flies).  Apply leaves directly to affected area,  cover the leave and keep the area moist with juice of the plantain leaf.  If itching still occurs when the leaf has dried out, repeat procedure.

Adverse Reactions: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anorexia, bloating, hyper-sensitivity and dermatitis may arise. Life threatening anaphylaxis may occur in more serious cases.

Toxicity: The 70% ethanol extract was found to be toxic to shrimps but P. major possesses a low toxicity in rats after oral and intraperitoneal administration.

Contraindications: Should not be used during pregnancy or if breastfeeding. Should not be used in persons with intestinal obstruction or those who developed hyper sensitivity to plantain.

Drug Interactions: decreased the actions of the drug carbamazepine (treats epilepsy) and enhances the effects of cardiac glycosides  (used in drugs to treat atrial fibrillation, heart failure and congenital heart defects)

Head on over to the SHOP for salves that include plantain.  We have wound care, burn care and insect bite that all contains plantain!

********WARNING: The following information is provided to you for a more natural approach to common, everyday ailments.  This information should not replace your primary care physician and as with starting any new medication regiment, please discuss with your doctor.   It is always safest to perform a skin patch test prior to implementing new remedies to be sure you are not allergic. This information is not imparted  to determine dietary changes, provide course of treatment, prescribe as medication or diagnose any diseases/syndromes/conditions/disorders.  Please carefully research new recipes and ideas before implementing. ********

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