Spring Teas – Peppermint
The peppermint originated as a naturally occurring hybrid of water mint and spearmint. The exact date of this union is unknown, but the ancient Egyptians and likely, the Greeks, did use it. In Europe, the peppermint appeared in John Ray’s book Methodus Plantarum Nova in 1682 and was listed in the London Pharmacopceia in 1721. From there, the peppermint’s popularity skyrocketed. The Colonists used the plant as a medicine and in various confections and early candies. Today, peppermint holds a duel identity as a medicine for upset stomach, anxiety, and the common cold and is the center piece of candies from the peppermint patty to drops.
A Bit of History
The hot-blooded hibiscus tree is of the mallow family – a relative of the marshmallow plant. Hibiscus originated in lands close to the Equator where explorers discovered and brought it to Europe and other parts of the world. More than a beautiful flower, the hibiscus is high in Vitamin C and antioxidants and enjoyed for its medicinal qualities as well as its flavor. To make hibiscus tea, just add a few teaspoons to taste to a teapot, fill with boiling water, and let sit for four or five minutes. You can also use hibiscus in a variety of cold drinks and cocktails. It pairs well with spearmint and lemon, among other flavors. Have extra flowers? Why not use them in recipes and decorations?