Peppermint for a Cool Summer!

peppermintSince summer is a hot time of the year the focus should be on foods that cool us down. In Ayurveda peppermint is considered a cooling food. When you drink water in the summer add about 4 fresh peppermint leaves (preferably organic) to your water. Make sure the water is room temperature. It shouldn’t be too cold as it will diminish your ability to digest food.

Peppermint can also calm headaches and migraines just from inhaling the oil. It even helps when you have a fever. You can add 2 drops of peppermint oil to a bowl of cool water, then soak a washcloth and put that on the back of your neck and forehead. Always make sure it stays clear of your eyes. The oil in peppermint is also revered for indigestion, menstrual cramps and nausea. You can drink a nice cup of peppermint tea after a big meal or just when your stomach is feeling queasy. I love making tea from tea leaves especially when I grow the herbs in my garden. Every Summer my garden is abundant with peppermint. A general rule is about 1-2 teaspoons (depending on how strong you like tea) for a cup of water. Never boil tea leaves – just pour boiling water over the leaves and let them steep for about 5-10 minutes…again, depending on how strong or weak you like it. Topically it can provide relief from achy muscles and joints as it is anti-inflammatory, however, never use it without diluting about 5 drops of the oil with one ounce of a carrier oil such as coconut, jojoba or even olive oil.

I would not recommend using peppermint around young children. The fragrance may induce gagging and it can be fatal to infants.

Happy Summer!
Maria

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