It’s funny how peppermint, a herb with cooling properties, is so adored in the winter and is associated with the element of fire. As I sit here sipping on a hot cup of peppermint green tea, I’m thinking about my love of the herb. When I was a kid, my best friend and I used to pick wild mint from the fringes of her property, tucking the leaves under our tongues until they went bland. As a young girl it was exhilarating to search for the spindly peppermint plants. They are actually easy to recognize and safe to eat, but as a kid it felt like we were doing something special; something that tied us to the land. We made a game of forging.
After I bought my house in 2009 I spent some time exploring the property. On the far south side I found some mint growing under a foot bridge. It felt like a good omen, like the land was welcoming me. Every so often, I pick a few leaves from the mint by the bridge and hold them under my tongue like I did when I was a kid.
Peppermint has many metaphysical associations too. The herb is most commonly affiliated with healing and protection. It’s used in rituals to break hexes and disassociate from bad luck. As a healing agent, it crosses into more mainstream territory and is popular in the tea isle of just about any grocery or health food store. It’s used to aid in digestion, reduce stress and benefit the immune system. When added to hot water the steam can be used to sooth sinus infections. A more potent approach is to add a few drops of the essential oil to carrier oil and warm in a heated oil diffuser.
For the witches among us, a spring of peppermint leaves can be warn on the wrist to promote healing. Sprigs can also be used as natural wands especially tuned to dispel negative energy. Rub the sprigs over crystals or jewelry to dissipate negativity as part of a cleansing or purification ritual.
Peppermint’s beneficial properties are no secret either. According to About.com’s Pagan/Wiccan page, peppermint was popular with 13th C. Egyptians and 18th C. Europeans. Monks throughout the middle ages used it to polish their teeth. Ironically, I used it just this morning for the very same thing. Pretty amazing!
Peppermint’s appeal stretches far and is by no means reserved for Pagans and New Agers. It’s been added to cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, lotions, and lip balm.
Are you a fan of peppermint? Share the ways you incorporate this beloved herb in your routine whether it be in magical ritual or as an ingredient in your favorite dish.