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| What to Do with Peppermint I’ve Grown |
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Julie Opalniuk
Posted on: September 22, 2003
I’ve grown some peppermint. Now what do I do with it?
Peppermint makes a wonderful, health-giving hot tea beverage. After a heavy meal, or whenever the stomach is a little "off", a cup of hot peppermint tea sweetened with honey or sugar will settle the stomach quickly. Although peppermint’s main essential oil has refreshing and stimulating properties, the fact that peppermint tea can ease stomach and digestion woes actually makes it easier to get a restful night of sleep.
The tea can be made with fresh or dried leaves, but I prefer the dried leaves for tea. I find that the fresh leaves have a "grassier" taste than the dried leaves. Drying, done properly, will concentrate the oils and make the flavour stronger and cleaner.
To dry, gather the leaves on a sunny morning after the dew has evaporated away. Strip the leaves from the stems and spread the leaves on a sweater dryer or similar device. The leaves should be kept out of the sun or strong light in an airy place. In a few days, depending on temperature and humidity, the leaves will be dry. When the leaves crumble in your fingers you know that they are sufficiently dry. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
To make peppermint tea, steep one to two teaspoonsfuls of dried leaves per cup of water for five to ten minutes. Strain and add sweetener to taste.