Peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and watermint that occurs naturally. You can find it growing wild all over Europe and North America, though historians believe that its origins lie in the Mediterranean region.
Peppermint was used by the Ancient Egyptians and later on by the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Pliny the Elder wrote that both the Greeks and the Romans used peppermint to adorn both themselves and their feast tables. They also used it as a culinary herb, using it to flavor wines and sauces. The Greeks and the Romans valued peppermint for its soothing effects on the stomach.
Both Aristotle and Alexander the Great considered peppermint an aphrodisiac, the latter forbade its use by his soldiers. He felt that consuming the herb would rob them of their will to fight. The Arabs had a similar view of peppermint and served it in beverages meant to enhance the libido.
Icelandic pharmacopeias from the 13th century make mention of the herb.