Australian Native Peppermint Gum is much like peppermint you might be used too and the native version has the same amazing digestive properties as well as a super-dooper minty smell and taste. Like next level minty.
With a strong, sweet mint aroma and taste, peppermint gum leaves have been used in Australia for centuries as a flavouring and also for their fragrant smell. The minty fresh leaves are said to improve concentration, enhance liver function, and calm the digestive system.
Australian Native Peppermint gum grows in the woodlands and forests of South Eastern Australia and has peppermint flavoured leaves which are glossy grey to grey-brown. The peppermint gum (also known as Eucalyptus Radiata) is commonly found in south-eastern parts of Australia and grows to about 30 metres in height.
◎ Common Name: Peppermint gum
◎ Scientific or Latin Name: Eucalyptus radiata
◎ Comparison: Peppermint
◎ Seasonality: All year dried
◎ Region: Rainforest
◎ Taste Profile: The essential oils in the leaves smell like Peppermint and Eucalyptus gum and taste slightly minty. Use in sweet and savoury dishes for an aromatic minty kick.
◎ Types: We offer Peppermint Gum as a spice, dried and ground ready to add to your pantry.
- The leaves of the peppermint gum contain antioxidants and its aromatic menthol properties may help as a decongestant, an anaesthetic, a cough suppressant and expectorant, and is even used to fight bad breath.
- Peppermint gum helps with indigestion, calming the digestive tract, and alleviating gas and cramps.
- Peppermint gum helps calm the nervous system, relieving stress and anxiety, and promotes restful sleep.
- Eucalyptol, the essential oil present in the peppermint gum leaves, is known for its antibacterial properties and has high anti-inflammatory, analgesic, aromatic and antiseptic qualities. Indigenous Australian used eucalyptus as a natural remedy against wounds, infections, aches and colds.
- Traditionally used as tonics for gastro-intestinal symptoms, the gum can be mixed with water and taken internally to calm the stomach. It’s also used as a health tonic.
- Indigenous Australians also used the leaves to make tea to treat fevers.
Traditional Aboriginal Food and Uses
Indigenous Australians used peppermint gum as a tonic for gastro-intestinal symptoms. When mixed with water, the gum was taken internally to calm the stomach and used as a health tonic. The leaves were also used to make tea to treat fevers.
Aborigines used several species of Eucalyptus as tonics for gastro-intestinal symptoms, with the peppermint gum being well known. The properties of the locally available Eucalyptus species afforded antiseptic, or astringent qualities, which were effective in treating wounds such as cuts and sores.
Western & Modern
Its strong sweet, mint flavour makes it the perfect feature flavour in desserts, cakes and savoury dishes, as well as sauces, pastries and biscuits. A little goes a long way with this robust herb, so it is recommended to start with a small amount, and add more according to the desired flavour. Try adding it to salad dressings and marinades, jams and preserves, and glazes and syrups. It also adds a wonderful flavour to poultry stuffing and meat-based dishes.
Peppermint gum lifts the profile of alcoholic beverages such as gin, vodka, white rum, Cointreau and tequila. It adds a refreshing minty taste to soda, tonic, mineral waters and lemonade.
Eucalyptol, the essential oil present in the leaves, has also been used as an antiseptic, to treat parasitic worms and even to reduce blood pressure. The oil within the leaves also makes a beautifully aromatic essential oil.
Only 2% aromatic oil is extracted from the leaves and this is used as anticattarahal, antiseptic, expectorant and decongestant.
It can be used as an anaesthetic and a cough suppressant, as a decongestant and expectorant and even to fight bad breath.
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Warndu Products featuring Peppermint Gum
Note: The term 'Bush Tucker' and 'Bush Food' are not Warndu's preferred terms for Australian Native Ingredients or Australian Botanicals.
Images: © Luisa Brimble