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A perennial herb of the mint family with ovate aromatic leaves, and purple flowers. Oil of peppermint is used in medicine ans confectionery. It's the most common variety grown in Britain.

It grows best in moist soils, but its roots should be restricted or it can take over areas of the garden.

The herb contains menthol and is popular for culinary uses (in British cookery mainly for mint sauce and as a flavouring for new potatoes) - especially in the Middle East, where it's used to flavour tea and in salads.

Peppermint oil is used to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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