How to Become Unstoppable!

Warning: When planted, expect vigorous and widespread growth. It’s nearly unstoppable!

Are you afraid of committing, setting down roots, or confused about how to reach your full potential?

Peppermint will give you guidance and wisdom.


The best known quality of peppermint is its ability to maneuver around obstacles and barriers and to spread into new territories. Once planted in the earth, it’s growth can be difficult to contain. It’s persistent and nearly unstoppable.

After years of reading and dreaming about creating an herb garden…I was finally ready in the Spring of 2002, the year after I received my Masters Degree as a Physician Assistant, to set out on an adventure in search of herbs.

I made a long list of the herbs that I was drawn to and set off to explore the herb farms throughout the state.

As I collected my herbal treasures, I could barely contain my excitement. I filled my car with 4-inch pots of the most popular herbs for cooking and for tea…thyme, rosemary, lavender, chamomile, peppermint, spearmint, sage, lemon balm, dill, oregano, lemon verbena, chives, and parsley.

And others that were new to me… borage, mountain mint, tarragon, burnet, marjoram, anise hyssop, bee balm, betony, lovage, echinacea, lemon grass, and vervain.

I came across many varieties of mints, of course peppermint and spearmint, and then there were the mints I never knew existed…mountain mint, chocolate mint, pineapple mint, orange mint, mojito mint, and even banana mint.

With each mint purchase, I received a verbal warning from the herbalist that went something like this… “Be careful where you plant your mint, it’ll spread everywhere.
You’ll have to set up barriers if you want to contain it or it will pop up in areas you never dreamed of. You’re best bet is to keep it in a pot”.

I was planning on mostly container gardening at that time, so it wasn’t an issue. As I contemplate peppermint and the warning that came with it, I realize how afraid I was to commit to anything back then. I moved frequently.

I didn’t know what I wanted or where I wanted to be.

I couldn’t envision a future for myself and was afraid to commit to a starting point to set down my roots. So instead I just kept moving.


Like me, most of my plants moved from home to home. I planted some, but then dug many of them up when it came time to move.

Some I left behind and have had the opportunity visit to see how the sage, thyme, oregano, tarragon, bee balm, and lovage that I planted have flourished over the years.

The ones I had kept in pots and the others that were transplanted again and again are long gone. I never allowed them to be become fully grounded. They missed the opportunity to grow to their full potential.

I finally bought my first home in June of 2008, a small ranch style house on 4 acres in Connecticut.

There was an old apple tree in the front yard, overgrown blueberry bushes along the brook, lilacs that had completed their flowering for the year, and daylilies in full bloom. As I walked up the driveway I was delighted when my legs brushed lightly across the vegetation and I immediately caught the aroma of spearmint filling the air.  


I had finally found a place to settle down and create a permanent garden! Ten years later, my indoor and outdoor tea gardens have flourished. This morning I counted 75 different varieties of plants that can be used for tea.

I have wild plants that have popped up and stayed, like mullein, Queen Anne’s lace, dandelion, red clover, and St. John’s wort. There are annuals that I buy at the local nursery, like basil and parsley and others that readily self-seed throughout the yard, like Evening Primrose, Calendula, and Cornflower.

Some need to be brought indoors for the winter like my Cinnamon, Orange, Kaffir Lime, and Lemon trees, as well as rosemary and lemon verbena. Plus there are the perennials I’ve enjoyed watching grow like elder, rose, lavender, raspberry, lilac bushes and of course the mints.

After spending my 20’s and a good part of my 30’s bouncing around ungrounded, I have found myself at 49, living where all my dreams are being planted.  


I’ve run into my fair share of obstacles along the way. Peppermint is a good reminder that there is always a way around or through them.

An exciting part of growth is the journey of maneuvering through the unknowns and unseens.

The mints now have a home in the ground too. Yes, they do need some healthy boundaries, just as the raspberries and hops do. But, when they pop up in unexpected places, I just laugh and say “good for you! Thank you for teaching me about persistence and becoming unstoppable!”

I still lose plants year to year. Sometimes there’s outright destruction, like the spring that the chipmunk population exploded. They took over the gardens and ate everything in sight. Few of my new plantings made it out alive.

And then there was that hail storm that hit on June 26th 2009 that chopped the branches of all my tomato plants that I had been nurturing from seeds since February. I try to remember to not be tied to the outcome and enjoy the flow. I take notice of the obstacles and maneuver around them. 

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) belongs to the Mint Family, Lamiaceae, which includes many popular culinary herbs such as thyme, sage, rosemary, marjoram, lavender, and basil.

This hybrid of spearmint and watermint and can be identified by its simple, opposite leaves with serrated edges, square stems, purplish tint on the leaves and stems,and wonderfully aromatic menthol aroma.

Peppermint vigorously spreads by underground runners that branch in many directions. New plants are formed by shooting up from the runners.


Mint’s persistence and unbridled enthusiasm can also be observed in its success in commercial uses. It’s found its way into toothpaste, after dinner mints, Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, candy, gum, soap, lip balm, candy canes, shampoos, and in the best selling Girl Scout cookie, the Thin Mint, with 50 million boxes sold each year. By appealing to the needs and desires of human beings it is planted worldwide.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses:

Peppermint is used for gastrointestinal complaints such as indigestion, flatulence, nausea, gastric ulcers, and diarrhea.  It’s also used in the treatment of colds, flu, sore throat, chronic bronchitis, asthmatic symptoms and dry coughs.

See Herbal References


To successfully grow mint, either dig up a runner from a friend or neighbor or purchase a plant at your local nursery. You can plant it either in a container or in the ground.  

Harvesting and Preserving

Pick the leaves or trim the tops anytime during the growing season.


Oven: 170 degrees for 2-3 hours.

Dehydrator: 95-115 degrees for 2-8 hours, depending on the humidity

Hang dry: Cut 8-12 stalks and tie them together at the base.  Hang them upside down in a warm dry room away from direct sunlight. (We typically turn on a dehumidifier since our summers in Connecticut can be quite humid)

Should I grow and harvest Peppermint or buy it already dried?

Try both!  Growing peppermint in a pot is easy.  Cut a sprig (stem with 6-8 leaves) and use it fresh or dry it for later use.  I use fresh leaves in my tea from Spring to Fall here in Connecticut.

If I’ve got too much going on to harvest and dry, I order it online at Mountain Rose Herbs.

Making Hot Tea Infusions:  

Parts Used for Tea: leaves, fresh or dried

Flavor: cool menthol


Place a sprig of fresh mint (stem with 6-8 leaves) or 1-2 tsp dried mint in an infuser. Add 8-10 ounces of hot water (Boil the water and allow to sit for 30 seconds). Steep for 5 minutes. Remove the infuser and enjoy your cup of tea.


Sun Tea:

Place 4-6 sprigs in a 16 ounce canning jar and place it in an area outside that will receive full sun. Allow to sit in the sun for 2-5 hours. Remove the sprigs and enjoy your cup of tea!

Chakra Tea Meditation with Peppermint


The best known quality of peppermint is its ability to maneuver around obstacles and barriers and to spread into new territories. Once planted in the earth, it’s growth can be difficult to contain. It’s persistent and nearly unstoppable.

Symbolism and Messages from Peppermint with Journaling prompts:

Prepare a cup of peppermint tea using fresh or dried leaves.

As your herbal tea is infusing (5 minutes), consider the following questions as you reflect on a goal or desire you’ve been wanting to set into motion:

  • Is there an area in your life in which you are afraid to set down roots and to allow growth to occur?
  • Are you too overcome by the anticipation obstacles to start a project?
  • What’s holding you back from pursuing your goal?
  • Is there something that you’re afraid of?
  • Can you see a way around, through, under, or above your obstacles?
  • If you let go of the exact outcome, are you willing to believe that it may pop up in a way that you didn’t expect?
  • Are you afraid to branch out and try new things?
  • Are you willing to become unstoppable?

Guided Visualization with Peppermint

Enjoy a cup of peppermint tea as you take a journey with peppermint…

How to become unstoppable…Lessons from Peppermint:

  1. Start where you are and commit to a dream or a goal
  2. Set up some healthy boundaries, but still allow plenty of room to grow
  3. Realize that there will be unexpected turns and obstacles. Be prepared to maneuver through or around them.
  4. Don’t be tied to a specific outcome, the destination may be better than you could have imagined.
  5. Be adventurous and explore new paths along the way. You may end up in a place you never dreamed was possible.
  6. Celebrate as you look back to gain perspective on how far you have come
    Keep moving, growing, and exploring.

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