Takes just a little space but give so much pleasure!

Peppermint herb photoPeppermint, M. Piperita, is a wandering, invasive herb with a deep purple, square stem and deep green leaves. Peppermint has been used for centuries for it's culinary, medicinal, and aromatic properties.

A summer-growing, perennial aromatic herb, Peppermint is a hybrid of Mentha spicata (spearmint) and M. aquatica (watermint). The Peppermint herb grows wild throughout Europe and North America in moist areas and is thought to be of Mediterranean origin.

Growing peppermint indoors is so easy, as unlike other culinary herbs, mint practically grows itself.

Pot Size                    6 to 8 inches container.

Seed Spacing             Sow seeds 2" apart approximately 1/2" to 1/8" deeps.

Plant Spacing             Push one seed a half inch into the center of the pot.

Preferred pH Range     For ideal growth recommended pH range is from 6.0 to 7.5.

Seed Germination       14 to 21days.

Soil Requirements       Well drained and rich fertile.

Growing Mix                Mix a little sand in with a good food-friendly potting soil.

Fertilizer                     Fertilize once a month with a liquid organic fertilizer.

Sun & Lighting             Moderate exposure to sunlight daily

Water Requirements     Keep the soil moist but not wet constantly.

Peppermint plant pictureThere are many ways to use the Peppermint in a variety of culinary recipes. One is to float some fresh Peppermint leaves in chilled summer drinks or add the herb as an ingredient in different fruit punches. The Peppermint must always be added as crushed leaves before use to bring out the optimum flavor in the dishes, unless of course, you are making use of the herb as a garnish for various salads and greens.

The classic application for mint of course is for roast lamb. However, the herb goes equally well with all meats including chicken and fish and especially with the hearty taste of wild meats such as venison, particularly if served with a berry sauce. Most vegetables also will be enhanced with the addition of mint, notably new potatoes, peas and carrots.

A Peppermint tea can be brew, this tea is very soothing and having a cup of peppermint is the perfect relaxing drink. Peppermint tea is one of the best insomnia solutions you can find.

Peppermint is commonly used to sooth gastrointestinal tract by relaxing the muscles in the intestinal wall. It increases the saliva, which increases swallowing making it possible to improve appetite, relieve cramps, and reduce pain associated with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, or motion sickness. Peppermint has also been used to reduce muscle spasms.

And you definitely have heard about peppermint oil. Peppermint oil like other herbs and spices has great medicinal properties. It has been used for years to clam digestion as it is an excellent digestive aid. Just a few drops in a glass of water make it a refreshing drink that has not only a good taste but also improves digestion. Peppermint oil fights against upset stomachs, stops the growth of unnecessary bacteria, calms and relaxes the muscles. Peppermint oil abandons gas, bloating and abdominal cramps and increases the formation of digestive fluids.

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Healthy Recipes from Folk Medicine

Natural way imageFolk medicine has been a part of every culture throughout our history; herbal remedies have been with humanity for thousands of years. Many of these healthy recipes from folk medicine tried and tested and found to be effective and much safer and cheaper than artificial drugs and supplements.

The origins of folk medicine, also known as alternative or holistic medicine, can be traced back thousands of years to the very roots of medicine. The roots of alternative medicine deal with the symptoms of the "whole" person, not merely the physical signs of illness. This is radically different from traditional medicine today.

Eventually, folk medicine evolved into the traditional medicine we are familiar with in today's world. Despite the dominance of traditional medicine, there is still a place for folk remedies. It is used by many people around the world through the massage therapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal remedies, meditation, and many other forms of alternative treatments. Many physicians now support many of these treatments, making them less alternative.

You will find below some popular folk medicine healthy recipes that have been used in my family for generations. Hope you will find them useful in everyday practise, those home remedies is easy and proven to work.

Best Cough Medicine - Folk Remedies

Sweet Milk
Purchase any kind of fig and milk from your local produce market. Good figs will be soft and smell sweet. Milk has to be fresh and not fat.
Fig fruit photoFor one portion you will need:
1 cup milk
5 dried figs
Wash figs and put them into a small pot, pour in a cup of milk. On medium heat, bring milk to a boil and cook down for 15 minutes, cover the pot with a lid, let it draw for about 30 min or until cool down. Strain the figs from the milk.
Take this delicious, sweet milk three times per day. It will reduce cough symptoms and relieve a sore throat.
Figs are actually highly alkaline and contain a powerful healing agent. Figs soothe mucous membranes, particularly in the respiratory system. The fig fruit contains a fairly potent bactericide; it reduces body heat, and helps to ease inflammation. Figs can soothe respiratory ailments by acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Cough down – Mood up
(Just for adults!)
Honey imageYou will need:
1 part Cognac or Brandy
1 part unpasteurised honey
1 part fresh lemon juice
1 small glass bottle

Squeeze lemon into a glass bowl (don`t use plastic) add cognac or brandy and honey, mix it all together, strain the mixture into a glass bottle, close the bottle and shake it well. Take a small sip every 30-40 minutes. But be careful, do not over do it – as mixture contains cognac which can make you drunk.

The cheapest one.

You will need:
To cook a diner!

Mashed potatoes imageMake a mashed potato for diner. While mashing (do not use mixer, do it manually) breathe in the hot steam. It will soothe mucous membranes, warm  the respiratory tract and provide cough relief.
Mashed potato recipe:
1. Peel potatoes and cut into large chunks. Cook in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for about 20 minutes. Check the potatoes with fork; they should be very tender but not falling apart.
2. Drain potatoes well. Using a potato masher, roughly mash potatoes.
3. Add butter and mash thoroughly, add hot milk and mash again until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with extra butter and chives or dill.

Home Cure - Herbal Blend
You will need:
Herbal blend picture2 parts Sage
2 parts Chamomile
1 part Marjoram
1 part Thyme
1 part Lemon Balm

I prefer to use the fresh herbs, but dried will do too. Sage, Marjoram, and Thyme can help clear the lungs and they all have antimicrobial properties. Lemon balm is antiviral and will help relax and fall asleep; chamomile will calm a spasmodic cough while helping to have a sound sleep. Make a tea blend of these herbs and drink 3-5 times a day before meal.

Lavender oil imageAromatherapy

You will need:
Eucalyptus essential oil
Peppermint essential oil

You can add a few drops of the oils of eucalyptus or peppermint herbs to steaming and boiling water, inhale steam slowly to help open clogged sinuses, and clear out the respiratory passages, this inhalation will also minimize bronchial spasms and painful contractions that can happen during coughing. And the smell itself is just great!