What Is Peppermint?
Peppermint is among Northern Europe and Asia's oldest and most widely-used herbs. It used just to be known for its sweet smell but has been found in numerous studies to lower people's stress levels and fatigue.
Peppermint is derived from an aromatic flowering plant and contains many different chemical (phytonutrients) compounds. A great tidbit about peppermint: it can lower one's anxiety - which you might notice if you're a tea drinker!
Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians used peppermint thousands of years ago. In the late 17th century, other mints were being cultivated in Germany and England, and people began to understand the requirements for a plant to qualify as a "mint." Until then, all types of mints were classified under one extensive genus.
How to use it
Peppermint can be used in a variety of ways and many forms. One can get it through teas, capsules, or as an extract or oil. Peppermint tea is effective for stomach problems like heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
People who have IBS tend to have more gas and stomach cramps. They may also feel bloated after eating a meal that contains fatty foods. Peppermint capsules have a stronger potency than tea, so one can take this form when one needs something more substantial.
The pills may help with bloating before menstruation or because of increased stress levels due to exam preparation. Ingesting peppermint by mouth is another way of getting it into our system quickly, but it can sometimes cause side effects, such as causing water to build up in the body tissues. It might also kill good and bad cells since it's toxic in large amounts (unless you dilute it for topical use).
Health Benefits of Peppermint
Soothe Upset Stomach
Peppermint has compounds that can relax an animal's digestive tract muscles, improving its gastrointestinal health. Several studies have found that peppermint and other herbal medications can relieve gastrointestinal pain in children.
Still, we need more proof before doctors can recommend it as a treatment for upset stomach ailments. Other research shows peppermint may also help reduce nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. It may be due to its ability to increase gastric emptying time, but further research is needed.
Treat IBS Symptoms
The healing effects of peppermint oil can not be overstated. Peppermint oil has been used to treat various ailments for many years, and modern scientific studies widely believe that these oils can ease side effects surrounding some forms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), namely gas, stomach pain, constipation, and diarrhea.
Help With Headaches
Peppermint oil can help reduce awful migraine headaches. Although there isn't enough information to say it will help you, studies found that peppermint oil reduces pain symptoms in some patients.
Peppermint also treats tension headaches and related symptoms like stiffness and neck pain. One of the possible ways the oil works is by adding cooling effects to specific body parts.
Peppermint for muscle pain relief
Peppermint oil is an effective natural painkiller and relaxation agent. It's a great option for soothing muscle pain and back pain. According to Blatner, this is why athletes choose to use peppermint oil. "It can increase alertness and potentially help with performance." In addition, a study conducted in 2013 found that the smooth muscles of the bronchial duct become relaxed, and brain oxygen concentration increases.
Relaxes Sore Muscles
Peppermint oil contains analgesic, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties that help ease pain and inflammation. It's an excellent method to ease sore muscles after a tough exercise. Massage the peppermint oil onto your skin; it will help warm the skin and circulate blood flow to the area you want to target.
Peppermint oil isn't just good for sore muscles and can ease cramps during your menstrual cycle. When you experience cramps that are so intense, the leg as well as back begin to pain. Apply a few drops of peppermint oil into the areas that cause you to feel the most pain.
Then, put the Sacksythymye hot therapy relief heating pad on. You'll feel much more relaxed and rest overnight instead of waking in the early morning in pain. Peppermint has a high concentration of menthol, which helps reduce muscle spasms and is an effective natural painkiller.
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Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Peppermint oil is often found in pain relief ointments and balms, but it won't be effective for everyone like anything else. Peppermint can slow down the activity of a critical enzyme that breaks down 17-beta estradiol, which shifts more into a part of our body known as the stomach lining to help with menstrual cramps.
Kill Mouth Germs
One usually feels terrible about not having a mint handy when meeting her friends for drinks and appetizers during happy hour. However, using peppermint essential oils for oral care can help freshen your breath and eliminate bacteria. With its natural cooling sensation and strong peppermint aroma, this is a safe alternative to curing bad breath and can fight plaque buildup on the teeth.
Also, it's believed that its antibacterial agent, vitamin C, and eugenol flavoring help to keep gums healthy by fighting against potentially harmful bacteria. This makes a great addition to any good dentists' or oral hygienists' potions!
Ease Stuffy Sinuses
Peppermint's powers help keep the common cold at bay, which can be done in more ways than one. Taking peppermint extract internally improves your immune system by improving white blood cell function. This is because the peppermint leaves contain menthol, which helps stimulate receptors found throughout your body. When enabled, they produce more significant amounts of the hormone that kills germs and viruses or makes you sneeze.
Are you feeling sleepy during the day? Experts aren't quite sure why, but smelling peppermint oil may help ease symptoms of sleepiness during waking hours. Try putting a few drops of peppermint oil on your eye pillow or herbal heating pad before you go to bed and smell it before you drift off to sleep.
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Fight Foodborne Bacteria
The potency of peppermint is still a subject of mainstream debate. Still, it's so powerful to some that it can stop certain diseases. Others even say it can kill bacteria like E. Coli, Listeria, and Salmonella by preventing them from reproducing. It is stopping them in their tracks before they have a chance to multiply!
Here's the best part: Peppermint is so potent that it slows down the growth of Staphylococcus Aureus and has been found to kill the bacteria that cause infections in the skin vaccines (such as pneumonia) and even meningitis.
Curb Your Appetite
Recently, a study by the Scientific Association for Fat Reduction showed that mint oil is effective in helping you achieve fat loss while making smaller food portions easier to stomach. In addition, this chemical has a cooling sensation that may make one feel like they are not hungry; it could help some reach their weight-loss goals.
Calm Seasonal Allergies
It's not fun to be outside when you suffer from allergies. Many symptoms can relate solely to being outdoors - from nasal congestion, nasal discharge, sneezing, and watery eyes. Peppermint has a rosmarinic acid compound that can reduce your body's histamine reaction – making it easier to get outside!
Sharpen Your Focus
Many herbs help you get through the day, some of which include peppermint. Peppermint is a traditional herb whose main benefit to the mind and body is that it helps prevent mental exhaustion by increasing alertness. The smell of peppermint also works to improve memory recall. Consider adding some freshly picked peppermint to your tea or eating a small amount daily on your oatmeal and throughout the day when you need an energy boost!
Peppermint is well-known for its ability to freshen breath and eliminate bad odors. It is often found in chewing gums, mints, and mouthwashes. The menthol in peppermint kills bacteria that cause bad breath and leaves a minty, refreshing taste.
Peppermint's calming aroma and soothing effect on the digestive system can help reduce stress and anxiety. Inhaling peppermint oil or drinking peppermint tea can promote relaxation and ease tension.
Peppermint contains antioxidants that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants may contribute to the herb's anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects.
Peppermint may contribute to oral health by killing bacteria that cause bad breath and plaque buildup. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also help reduce gum inflammation.
Peppermint oil is a great way to alleviate symptoms for people suffering from digestive disorders, like IBS functional dyspepsia, nausea, and vomiting after surgery. Enteric-coated peppermint oil is believed to be safe to use on the body. However, medical professionals only advise using essential oil for aromatherapy and topical use.
A few studies suggest peppermint oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties and can ease itching. However, scientists must investigate these potential benefits more thoroughly.