Peppermint is believed to be a hybrid species that evolved from spearmint and watermint. However, peppermint has been around so long its genealogy is obscure. It has been reported as a stewing herb by ancient Hebrews and it has been found in 3000 year old Egyptian tombs. 2000 years ago the Japanese cultivated peppermint as a source of menthol. Peppermint is a primary ingredient in remedies used in the relief of gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, and local aches and pains. Because of it's bright, pungent flavor, peppermint is often used to mask the unpleasant taste of various medicines. Peppermint tea is made from both the leaves and the flowers. As a hot tea it is cool and refreshing, as an iced tea the menthol content produces a pleasantly chilling taste sensation.