Food for Thought (Week 4): Peppermint!

Emily the Gardener!

This week, we'd like to feature that great perennial, peppermint!

Fortunately, there are plants like peppermint.  The bunnies have all but destroyed our soybeans and peppers, the hot St. Louis summer has bolted our lettuce (and is working on our radishes).  But then there's peppermint.  Almost weed-like in it's growth (second only to hops, but we'll save that post for another site), peppermint is a great plant for any garden.  It complements many a dish, and has great medicinal value as well.

In Gastroenterology, we often use peppermint oil as a way to help with irritable bowel syndrome and the common digestive complaints that make it up.  Peppermint oil works in many ways.  One is as a natural anti-spasmodic.  What this means is that when the gut wants to contract too much (and cause either cramps or urgency or diarrhea), this can slow it down.  It also helps with pain.  In fact, researchers in Australia have recently shown where it can block pain in the colon, especially that caused by certain foods like pepper and mustard.

Of course, we feature a fantastic source of peppermint oil in our all-natural peppermint tummy drops.  These taste great, are gluten-free, have brown-rice syrup as their sugar base, and can help out with many types of digestive upsets as soon as you take them.

As always, have a great week and thanks for sharing your time with us.

-Helen, Dustin, & Michael

Also, here's some pics of Emily doing some fantastic gardening work!