Menthol, manganese, and vitamins C and A (natural compounds in peppermint) help soothe your system, stimulate helpful digestive enzymes, block the growth of bad bacteria, and improve alertness. Try peppermint one of these three ways to heal what ails you:

TEA FOR YOUR TUMMY: Drink one cup of peppermint tea before or after a meal to prevent indigestion. Pour one cup of boiling water over a heaping teaspoon of dried organic peppermint leaves and steep for five minutes, suggests Richard Mandelbaum, R.H. (AHG), a clinical herbalist in New York City.

CAPSULES FOR CRAMPS: If you suffer from the cramping, constipation, or diarrhea that comes with irritable bowel syndrome, take one capsule of whole-leaf peppermint oil extract after a meal. Try Nature's Way Peppermint Leaves (naturesway.com), Nature's Herbs Ginger-Peppermint, or Heather's Tummy Tamers Peppermint Oil Caps (helpforibs.com). Follow label dosage guidelines.

ESSENTIAL OIL FOR HEADACHES: Mix one drop of peppermint essential oil into a teaspoon of almond oil and rub it on both temples to relieve pain and refresh the senses, says Ellen Kamhi, Ph.D., R.N., author of The Natural Medicine Chest (M. Evans & Co., 1999).