Peppermint has a long history of medicinal uses and is more than just a flavoring in your after dinner mint. Peppermint essential oil should be a staple in your medicine cabinet as it can relieve the pain of headache and migraines, calm irritated bowels and soothe nausea.
One of the active ingredients which makes peppermint such an excellent calming agent is menthol. With anesthetic and counterirritant qualities, menthol makes peppermint a powerful natural medicine. Both topically and internally, the menthol in peppermint can calm just about any form of irritation.
Here is a list of 8 surprising health benefits of peppermint that are sure to put you in mint condition:
1. Muscle Pain Relief
Instead of reaching for that pill bottle, try massaging tense or tight muscles with peppermint essential oil the next time you’re feeling sore. With anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, peppermint oil will calm the nerves surrounding muscles and minimize the pain of spasms and cramps.
Recent studies show peppermint oil is more effective in treating the nausea that results from chemotherapy than the common practice products. Even the scent of peppermint can calm and stave off nausea.
3. Sinus and Congestion
Diffused peppermint oil acts as an expectorant and decongestant when inhaled, breaking up the mucus that can get trapped in your lungs and sinuses from pollutants in the air.
4. Natural Energizer
Those after dinner mints are not just for freshening your breathe. As it turns out, peppermint is a great stimulant and can wake you from a post meal sluggishness. A quick whiff of peppermint essential oil is a great energy boosting alternative to caffeine or toxic energy drinks.
5. Skin Health
With it’s soothing and cooling menthol, peppermint works wonders on dry and itchy skin. It makes an excellent substitute for dandruff shampoo as it can remove excess dry skin and soothe irritated hair follicles. Furthermore, with powerful antimicrobial components, peppermint oil makes an excellent topical treatment for acne.
6. Headaches and Migraines
Peppermint is a natural stimulant which can improve circulation in the body. Migraines are commonly the result of increased pressure and tension in blood vessels in and around the brain, and peppermint is proven to relax arteries and improve blood flow helping relieve pain.
7. Indigestion and IBS
Studies have shown peppermint oil taken internally can reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome by up to 50%. The calming properties of menthol help reduce the frequency of spasms in the colon and minimize bloating caused by gas.
8. Natural Bug Repellant
The chemicals of store bought insect repellents are powerful but extremely toxic. Humans may love the taste of peppermint, but insects despise it and lucky for us it can actually be healthy to use on our skin.
Peppermint herb can be purchased as a whole food in your grocery store or even planted in your garden for a year round bounty. It is hearty and abundant and adds flavor to hot teas and cold drinks that is sure to boost your mood and your health.