Peppermint, an aromatic plant containing a volatile oil with a fresh, peppery flavor. Peppermint is native to Europe but is cultivated in many parts of the world. It is a perennial plant, one to three feet (30 to 90 cm) tall, with narrow, toothed leaves and a short spike of purple flowers. It reproduces chiefly by means of underground stems and rooting branches.

PeppermintPeppermint is a perennial herb grown for its fragrant oil.

Oil of peppermint, pressed from the leaves and distilled with steam, is used as a flavoring in toothpaste, chewing gum, and candy; as an aromatic in perfume and air fresheners; and as a medicine, to relieve colic in infants. Crme de menthe (French for cream of mint) is a peppermint-flavored liqueur. The flavor and cooling sensation of peppermint oil comes from the menthol it contains. Tender leaves and flowering tops of peppermint are used to garnish and flavor beverages, such as iced tea and a whiskey or brandy highball called a mint julep.

In the United States, the peppermint plant is grown commercially in bog soils in Oregon, Indiana, Idaho, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Peppermint is Mentha X piperita of the mint family, Labiatae.