Peppermint was a favourite home remedy when I was a child in Britain, even though we were unaware of its Ayurvedic properties. My siblings and I all suffered from motion sickness, for which the remedy of choice was sucking on Polo Mints. And our school nurse dispensed peppermint water for everything from stomachaches to headaches to fainting fits to menstrual cramps—and it usually worked!
Here are some Ayurvedic peppermint home remedies:
Stomach soothing tea #1: Mix ½ cup water and ½ cup whole milk (cow or goat). Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add 1 tsp. peppermint and 2 pinches cardamom and steep 10 minutes. Strain, add turbinado sugar to taste.
Stomach soothing tea #2: Steep 1 tsp. peppermint and 1/2tsp. ground fennel seeds in 1 cup boiling water. Strain and drink to relieve acidity, heartburn or colic.
For colicky newborns: Steep 1 tsp. peppermint in 1 cup boiling water and strain. The nursing mother can drink this tea, or stomach-soothing tea #2 to help relieve baby’s colic.
For colicky babies over 3 months: Steep 1 tsp. peppermint in 1 cup boiling water and strain. Cool until it is lukewarm and let baby drink it from a bottle or sippy cup.
Bad breath: Chew fresh mint leaves.
Coughs and colds: Put a few drops of peppermint oil in boiling water. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the minty aroma, being careful that the steam is not so hot as to scald your face.
Coughs and colds: Mix a few drops of peppermint oil in mustard or sesame oil and rub over your chest. (If using mustard oil, test a small drop first on your wrist to make sure it doesn’t burn). Ratio: 10 drops essential oil per ounce carrier oil.
Headache, sinus pain: Mix a few drops of peppermint oil in jojoba oil and apply over the forehead or painful area of face. Ratio: 10 drops essential oil per ounce carrier oil.
Depression, sadness, moodiness: Add a few drops of peppermint oil to your morning beverage, such as rooibos tea. You can also use peppermint oil in a diffuser or burn a peppermint-scented candle to refresh your mood.
Swollen ankles: Mix a few drops of peppermint oil in mustard oil and massage over your ankles. (Test a small or mustard oi first on your wrist to make sure it doesn’t burn). Ratio: 10 drops essential oil per ounce carrier oil.
Menstrual Cramps: Mix a few drops of peppermint oil in sesame or almond oil and massage gently over your lower belly. Ratio: 10 drops essential oil per ounce carrier oil.
Menstrual cramps: Steep 1 tsp. peppermint in 1 cup boiling water and strain. Slowly sip this tea to relieve cramps.
For sleep on hot summer nights: summer bed time tea (see below).
For rehydration as an alternative to sports drinks: Rehydration tea (see below).
Summer bed-time tea
This soothing, refreshing tea can be made with fresh herbs from your garden, in which case increase the quantity of each herb to a tablespoon per cup.
1 tsp peppermint or spearmint
1 tsp Lemon balm
1 tsp catnip
1 cup water
Steep for 10 minutes in boiling water or brew as sun tea for 12 hours.
For use after sweating, sauna, strong exercise or on hot days:
1 quart of filtered or spring water
2 heaping tsp peppermint
1 heaping tsp gotu kola/brahmi
¼ tsp salt
1 small squeeze lime
2 heaping tsp turbinado sugar (optional
Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.
Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!