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Peppermint is one of the most important herbs in folk medicine, and Ava always keeps it on hand for her family. In today’s world where herbs are often seen as something that we “take,” as a capsule or tablet from a bottle that resembles a prescription medication, what a joy and comfort to brew fragrant restorative herbs into a tea and know that it is at once safe and health-giving, in line with the healthiest organic produce. (Our whole tea collection was designed with this idea in mind: we only offer teas with a proven track record in folk medicine in terms of safety and straightforward effectiveness for many constitutions.)
We grew the peppermint for this tea ourselves in an organic garden. We harvest our peppermint a few times per growing season, when the stems are strong and substantial, but the plant is not yet in flower. We dry whole stems in a moderately warm, dark drying room to ensure that the plant’s aromatic and highly medicinal components are not injured by excessive heat or strong light exposure. We trim the dried stems into small, attractive pieces, leaving the leaves fully intact.
Strong peppermint tea is used in folk medicine as needed for a wide range of digestive concerns, especially stomach cramps, gas pain, colic, sluggish digestion, fullness or heaviness after a meal, hiccups, nausea, and low appetite. Many Western herbalists consider peppermint an indispensable tea for cleansing and strengthening the entire body and all its systems. The herbalist Alma R. Hutchens recommends several minutes of relaxation with a cup of strong peppermint tea instead of coffee and a painkiller. She calls peppermint “a wise and beneficial herbal tea to replace coffee, as it will strengthen the heart muscles instead of having the digestive hindrance and weakening effect of the so widely accepted coffee habit.” (Indian Herbalogy of North America by Alma R. Hutchens, 1991)