Peppermint is an accidental product, which in all likelihood originated in England in the 17th century. Since then, because of its high content of essential oils, it has been appreciated almost all over the world as a tea or remedy.
Peppermint is a cultivated plant
In the wild, peppermint is almost not found. It is grown exclusively as a cultivated plant on herb farms, in gardens and on balconies. Only near gardens the plant spreads by runners or more rarely by seeds.
The origin of peppermint, which we like to use today as a tea or spice, is in England. There it was discovered in the 17th century. It appeared near large plants where different varieties of mint were grown. As “mothers” of the mint are considered:
- Round-leaved mint
- Brook mint
- Green mint (also called spiked mint)
What distinguishes peppermint from other types of mint?
Peppermint has a menthol content that is higher than that of other types of mint. In return, the accidental cross contains less of the essential oil carvone.
In taste peppermint differs from other mints quite sharp aroma. This gave the new crop the nickname “pepper”.
Mint is found on all continents
The fact that England of all places is the origin of peppermint is due to a coincidence. Mint exists in hundreds of different varieties almost everywhere in the world.
Even in ancient times, mint was used as a medicinal herb for many ailments. That is why the herbs were often grown in large herb gardens.
This is what happened in the English town of Mitchum, where the first peppermint with its pungent, refreshing aroma developed from three varieties of mint. It is no coincidence that the oldest peppermint variety is called Black Mitchum.
Triumph around the world
The new cross quickly found widespread use due to its unique blend of essential oils. Today it is planted in gardens and herb farms on every continent.
Tips & Tricks
Peppermint is sold in Europe almost exclusively under the generic term (Mentha x piperita). There are numerous varieties, which differ in appearance and especially in taste. For peppermint lovers, a look in specialized seed and plant shops is worthwhile.