Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Mentha piperita

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Mintha is one of the oldest remedy plants. It leaves were originally found in 1200 b.C. in Agypt, near by Abd-el Quarnah. Already in these times it was cultivated and medically used. It is especially in the arabian countries known, where it is common to drink daily all kinds of mentha-tea. In the botanic peppermint is known as mentha piperita.
The name refers to the myth of nymphia Mintha which was killed by Proserpina, wife of Hades, the king of the underground, transforming her into the plant mentha. The legend also says that it happened because of jealousy.

The source of Latin menta and Greek minthe is unknown. The species name piperita refers to the peppery and pungent taste.

In the New Testament, the mint is called hedyosmon (see also pomegranate). This compound means “the sweet smelling one”: hedys “sweet, pleasant” (see licorice for more information) and osme  “smell”, related to English odour, cf. Latin olere “to smell”. It is not certain, though, whether this biblical plant is identical to any mint species; in modern Greek, the name dyosmos refers to spearmint, not peppermint.

Pliny tells us that the Greeks and Romans crowned themselves with Peppermint at their feasts and adorned their tables with its sprays, and that their cooks flavoured both their sauces and their wines with its essence. Two species of mint were used by the ancient Greek physicians, but some writers doubt whether either was the modern Peppermint, though there is evidence that M. piperita was cultivated by the Egyptians. It is mentioned in the Icelandic Pharmacopoeias of the thirteenth century, but only came into general use in the medicine of Western Europe about the middle of the eighteenth century, and then was first used in England. (Modern Herbal)