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It flavors the candy canes you hang on the Christmas tree, puts the cool in your breath mints and makes for a darned tasty toothpaste; but peppermint is more than a yummy flavoring. It doesn't say so on your tube of Crest, but this famous herb was once believed to warm a cold liver, stir up bodily lust and heal the bite of a mad dog. And you thought you were just fighting cavities.

While peppermint is best known as a flavoring, it's also one of the most popular therapeutic herbs, used for everything from seasonal colds to stomach troubles. Here, the inside scoop on adding peppermint to your family's natural medicine chest.

Caution: Peppermint can sometimes cause a choking reaction in very young children. So to be on the safe side, don't give it to kids under 5.

Try Peppermint if:

How to make it: Couldn't be easier, now that peppermint tea bags are available at supermarkets and health food stores. You can also use 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried peppermint leaves per cup of boiling water, steeping for 10 minutes.

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