secrete a a wide variety of chemical substances. These
substances are for the plants well-being and interactions
with other organisms. A large number of oils and fragrances
are produced by these plants.
the photo, you can see what is called a surface- borne
glandular trichomes. The flat cells are covered with
a membrane. Oil secretions fill the space. Trichomes
can be found on any part of the plant especially the
leaves and flowers. When you rub against or crush
the plant, the membrane ruptures on the flat cells,
you "smell" the oil.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita): Peppermint
is a perennial plant, 2 feet or more in height. It
has dark green leaves and reddish stems. Tiny purplish
flowers appearl on terminal spikes 1-3 inches long.
Peppermint does best in rich, moist soil. It grows
in sun or shade.
leaves are aromatic and peppermint is found in cosmetics,
cooking and medicines. You'll find peppermint in tea
and as a favoring. Oil from the plant is used in chewing
gum, toilet water, soap, liqueur and more. Fresh or
dried leaves scent sachets and potpourris. Peppermint
oil is used in herbal water to refresh and cool skin,
in facials to cleanse skin, and in lotions.
Mints: Mints had their beginnings early in history.
Greek athletes used bruised mint leaves as an after-bath
lotion. In the Middle Ages, mint was important as
a cleansing agent and later was used to purify drinking
water that had turned stale on long ocean voyages.
Mint also was given mystical powers and it was used
to neutralize the "evil eye" and to produce an aggressive
Romans crowned themselves with peppermint, and the
poet Ovid referred to mint as a symbol of hospitality.
The Greeks believed peppermint could clear the voice
and cure hiccups. It was thought to be a remedy for
mad dog bites when combined with salt. The colonists
brought peppermint to America for medicinal use. (PSU)
Herbs in the Garden, West Virginia University
Extension Service (WVU)
Penn State Department of Horticulture (PSU)
photo of the peppermint plant oil glands and the information
the cells is from the Microscopix
Photo Library Web site. Permission was given by
Andrew Syred to reprint the photo on this Web page.
from University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension:
a Little Spice (and Herbs) to Your Life
Harvesting, Drying, Storing
Your Own Potpourri
Ice Cream using Cooked Eggs or Omitting Eggs (Recipe
for Peppermint Ice Cream!)
Herbs Video Clip - Backyard Farmer