Thursday, January 12, 2012

Peppermint under Micoscope

Peppermint is made up of Mentha and Piperita - it is a hybrid mint that is a combination of watermint and spearmint. The plant, indigenous to Europe, is cultivated throughout the world. Peppermint was first described in 1753 by Carolus Linnaeus from specimens he had collected in England.

The peppermint plant grows 12-35 inches tall, with smooth stems, square in cross section. The leaves are dark green with reddish veins.

Peppermint image courtesy of Aleksa Lukic.

Peppermint has a long tradition of medicinal use. With a high menthol content, it is often used as tea and for flavor in confections, gum and toothpaste. The aroma of peppermint has been found to enhance memory.

Mentha Piperita (peppermint) image captured using a Jenoptik CT3 microscope camera.