Overview

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) is a plant in the mint family. It's a natural hybrid of spearmint and wild mint. The leaf and oil are used as medicine.

Peppermint oil seems to reduce spasms in the digestive tract. When applied to the skin, it can cause surface warmth, which relieves pain beneath the skin. It may also help to "cool" the skin and relieve itching.

People use peppermint for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is also used for indigestion, bed sores, tension headache, anxiety, insomnia, memory, and many other purposes, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses.

Don't confuse peppermint with other mint plants, such as English Horsemint, Japanese Mint, Perilla, Salvia divinorum, Spearmint, and Wild Mint. These are different plants.

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