Mentha piperita, or peppermint, is hearty & will take over any garden space given the chance. It's extremely easy to grow & find. Perhaps this is why it's so commonly found in the home for both culinary & medicinal purposes. Rich in volatile oils, it has a antimicrobial property making it extremely useful in fighting infections of the sensory organs (ears, nose, throat, & eyes). As it has an astringent quality, the mentha family is able assist in the fight against harmful bacteria, particularly where the lymphatic system is involved. A drop of essential oil on the nostril, inhaled, or applied to the chest helps clear mucous from the system & clear nasal passages or relieve the aches & pains caused by the flu.
Mint is also very helpful in issues involving the digestive system by "...relaxing the stomach muscles, increasing the peristalsis of the intestine, & reducing the production of gas in the system." As a carminative "They thus support the the movement of material through the system & relieve distension due to gas." (The Complete Herbs Sourcebook). A small amount of its essential oil rubbed on a forehead will relieved headaches & as it's a rubefacient, it stimulates circulation when applied to a congested or inflamed area.
In short, peppermint "...is an anticatarrhal, an aromatic, an antimicrobial, a carminative, a diaphoretic, an emmenagogue, a febrifuge, a nervine, & a stimulant." (mucous fighting, pleasantly smelling, digestion supporting, pathogenic microorganisms destroying, toxin eliminating, perspiration promoting, menstrual flow normalizing, fever fighting, nervous system supporting, physiological system stimulating).
Mint is extremely versatile in that it can be used as an essential oil, infusions, ointments, compresses, in tinctures, teas, dried, fresh, or frozen. It grows indoors or out. Can survive cooler weather & is a perennial. Mint is also a common ingredient in many dishes & is easily accessible in common grocery stores.
Available every Spring Equinox season.