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Peppermint: Folklore, Healing & Magickal Attributes

Updated on:

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)

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Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is a naturally occurring hybrid between watermint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (M. spicata) that was first distinctly cultivated in 18th-century England [2].

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Peppermint, a herb with a rich history dating back to ancient Egypt, has been associated with healing and magical properties for centuries.

In the realm of magic, peppermint is known for its protective qualities and its ability to enhance psychic abilities, making it a popular choice for spellwork and rituals.

Beyond magic, peppermint has a wide range of household uses, from repelling pests to freshening the air, and it can even help soothe headaches when used in aromatherapy.

Peppermint’s healing attributes are impressive, with its essential oil being utilized to alleviate digestive issues, headaches, and even as a natural pain reliever, making it a valuable addition to any herbal medicine cabinet.

Peppermint is now cultivated across Europe and much of North America, and yields a popular flavoring agent.

Peppermint plant (Mentha × piperita) on August 29, 2019 in Santa Rosa, Ca.

An annual plant, peppermint has a square reddish-purple stem and smooth, serrated leaves up to two inches long. It grows between 32 and 36 inches in height, and unlike spearmint, all of the leaves of peppermint are distinctly stalked [6].

Other Names: Red Mint, Brandy Mint

History and Folklore

The genus name Mentha comes from Minthe, a nymph in Greek mythology beloved by Hades, who was transformed into the mint plant by his jealous wife Persephone [6].

Pliny describes peppermint as a common head wreath, table decoration, and flavoring agent for wines and sauces at Greek and Roman feasts.

Folklore AspectDescription
Ancient HistoryPeppermint has a rich history dating back to ancient times. It was used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans for its medicinal properties and aromatic qualities. Peppermint was often associated with hospitality, purification, and spiritual protection in ancient cultures, where it was used in rituals, ceremonies, and offerings to honor gods and goddesses.
European FolkloreIn European folklore, peppermint was believed to ward off evil spirits, banish negative energy, and protect against illness and misfortune. It was commonly used in charms, amulets, and potions for its cleansing and protective properties. Peppermint was also associated with love, luck, and prosperity in European folk magic, where it was used in spells and rituals to attract positive energy and blessings.
Victorian EraDuring the Victorian era, peppermint became popular as a flavoring agent, herbal remedy, and fragrance in perfumes and cosmetics. It was used to freshen breath, soothe digestive issues, and relieve headaches, making it a staple in Victorian households and apothecaries. Peppermint was also valued for its cooling sensation and invigorating aroma, which were believed to uplift the spirits and promote mental clarity and well-being.
Table 1: Peppermint Folklore

There is evidence of peppermint cultivation by the Egyptians, and it is mentioned in 13th-century Icelandic pharmacopeias, although it did not come into general medical use until the 18th-century in England [4]. Mint was a popular medieval flavoring for whiskey in Scotland [5].

According to legend, Peppermint is also associated with Recate, lady of all witches and magical creatures. For this reason, Mint is often used in magical infusions and potions. It is said that the English “green potion” contained several varieties of mint to cure all diseases.

According to folklore, whoever finds a flowering mint plant on a midsummer day will enjoy eternal happiness. Planting Mint in the garden brings wealth.

In France it is said that a bunch of Mint and St. John’s wort give protection against evil spirits and sorcerers.

In Italy, mint was considered a recognized remedy to protect children against evil magic and diseases.

In ancient times, Mint was best known as a symbol of wisdom and virtue. But Peppermint has also been described as a plant of passionate love under the influence of Venus.

When you think of poor Minte this description seems appropriate. English navigators used peppermint leaves to keep water fresh during long voyages. It also seems to be an excellent method for improving the quality of the water used to water the flowers.

According to Greek mythology, it derives from that of a nymph: Minte, loved by Hades, who Proserpina, his wife, transformed into a plant out of jealousy.

Mint refreshes the soul and the mind, but mindful of the seductive qualities of the nymph whose name it bears, it is also one of the magical plants most used in love spells to date;

In fact, don’t think that this tradition has disappeared, the so-called “herbal magic” is still alive and continues the magical-herbal tradition that has seen spices and herbs as a point of reference for millennia.

Propagation

Peppermint, like its parents spearmint and watermint, thrives best in rich, moist soil and full sun to partial shade, although it is hardy enough for a variety of climates [3].

Peppermint should be grown from root divisions and cuttings, as the seeds are sterile. Leaves should be harvested just before the plant begins flowering [6].

Magical Attributes

Nicholas Culpeper associated all mint plants with the planet Venus [1]. Other sources associate peppermint with the signs Virgo or Aquarius, and the element of air.

Peppermint has aphrodisiac powers; therefore, it can be used in various spells and love potions.

Magickal AttributesDescription
PurificationPeppermint is associated with purification and cleansing in magickal practices. It is believed to clear negative energy, dispel harmful influences, and create a protective barrier against spiritual impurities. Peppermint can be used in smudging rituals, purification baths, or as an ingredient in floor washes to cleanse and sanctify a space or person.
Psychic AwarenessPeppermint is thought to enhance psychic awareness, intuition, and spiritual perception. Its invigorating scent and stimulating properties can help sharpen mental focus, heighten sensory perception, and facilitate deeper meditation or divination practices. Peppermint tea, incense, or essential oil can be used to awaken psychic abilities and connect with the spiritual realm.
Luck and ProsperityPeppermint is associated with luck, prosperity, and abundance in magickal traditions. It is believed to attract positive energy, blessings, and opportunities into one’s life, enhancing prosperity and success. Peppermint leaves or essential oil can be carried as an amulet, placed on an altar, or used in spells and rituals to manifest wealth, good fortune, and financial abundance.
Table 2: Magickal Attributes

Peppermint, being under the influence of Mercury, clears the mind and helps concentration.

It has excellent protective powers and is often used in healing spells. It can be used for purification, helping to clear the air of negative and stagnant energies. Furthermore, peppermint attracts money and abundance.

  • According to tradition, burning a handful of mint leaves wards off diseases and promotes healing. Keeping a bunch of mint at home ensures its protection and attracts favorable energies. To remove negativity from a room, proceed as follows: after taking a glass basin, fill it with water and add a handful of coarse salt inside.
  • Collect a bunch of herbs consisting of mint, wormwood and rosemary and use it to sprinkle water in the room you intend to purify.
  • Mint essential oil is used to raise positive vibrations in environments, encourage dialogue and conflict resolution.
  • To release low energy after coming into contact with problematic people, make an infusion of mint leaves and add it to the bath water together with a handful of coarse salt and three spikes of lavender.
  • Use it for protection, attract love, protect sentimental bonds, ward off negativity, encourage dialogue, support physical vigor and memory, recharge energy in adversity, overcome unconscious fears, promote well-being, awaken sexual desire .

Household Use

A jar of mint kept in the house freshens the air and keeps flies and mice away. Traditional folk believe that a mint sprig in milk will keep it from souring and that if crushed mint is rubbed on a new beehive it will keep the bees from deserting [5].

Healing Attributes

Peppermint has a long history as a digestive tonic. It relieves nausea, gas, stomach cramps and spasms, and is a recognized treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) [6].

Peppermint may be applied directly to bee stings, burns, and even toothaches to relieve pain, and peppermint infusions or compresses relieve headaches [3].

Caution

People with a sensitivity to menthol should avoid peppermint. Peppermint can aggravate heartburn under some circumstances, and should not be consumed alongside heartburn drug cisapride (Propulsid) [2].

Culinary Use

The most famous culinary use for mint is mint sauce, an accompaniment to lamb. It is also lovely combined with chocolate in various ways. Peppermint makes a tasty infusion that was very popular in Scotland before the introduction of tea [5].

Bibliography

Culpeper's Colour Herbal
Culpeper's Colour Herbal
present-day uses of herbs; real value of each plant; useful and harmful
$11.85
Sale
Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies
Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies
Used Book in Good Condition; Balch CNC, Phyllis A. (Author); English (Publication Language)
$18.96 Amazon Prime
National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs: The World's Most Effective Healing Plants
National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs: The World's Most Effective Healing Plants
Hardcover Book; Kiefer M.D., David (Author); English (Publication Language); 400 Pages - 03/06/2012 (Publication Date) - National Geographic (Publisher)
$38.40 Amazon Prime

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About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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