This herb is a cross between two types of mints: water mint and spearmint. The taste and smell you know from things like candies and soaps come from the concentrated oil (essential oil) inside the plant. Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians used mints, including peppermint, as medicine thousands of years ago. But peppermint wasn’t recognized as a distinct subspecies until the late 17th century.
You can get peppermint leaf through tea, capsules, or as an extract. Peppermint oil comes in capsules and liquids. You can apply it to your skin or take it by mouth. It’s highly concentrated, so only use it in a diluted form or a few drops at a time. It can be toxic to take a lot of the oil at once.
Check out the unexpected benefits of peppermint!