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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Peppermint: More than just a popular flavor

Peppermint: More than just a popular flavor

Refreshing, and slightly sweet, peppermint is a favorite food additive, used in everything from candies and schnapps to toothpaste and cough drops. More than just a flavor enhancer, though, peppermint can be incredibly beneficial for your health. Peppermint acts as a regulator and has a relaxing or invigorating effect, depending on the circumstances under which it is used. Here are just a few of the everyday health benefits peppermint oil can offer you and your family:

  • Rubbing peppermint oil on the temples can provide relief from migraine headaches.
  • Chewing on peppermint candy can soothe a nagging cough or irritated throat. Menthol, a substance present in peppermint, is an effective decongestant.
  • For a therapeutic bath, put some drops of the diluted peppermint oil into tepid water to relieve stomach problems, nasal congestion, headaches, or cramps.
  • For insomnia or anxiety, drinking a cup of peppermint tea, or placing a tissue treated with a few drops each of peppermint oil and lavender oil, will provide a calming effect.
  • Drinking peppermint tea or sucking on real peppermint candy can also relieve an upset stomach and/or gas.
  • To soothe tired, sore, aching feet, try soaking in a tub of warm water containing few drops of peppermint oil. The essential oils can also help to heal dry, cracked skin.

Peppermint is generally easy to grow. In addition to a emitting a pleasant scent, growing peppermint leaves can provide a natural herbal insect repellent, helping to discourage ants, flies, and mosquitoes from lingering near your home and garden.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.