What Is Peppermint?
Peppermint is one of the oldest and most widely-used herbs from Northern Europe to Asia. 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 it contains many different chemicals (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, in Germany and England, other mints were being cultivated, 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 they need something more substantial. The pills may help with any bloating before menstruation or because of stress levels that have gone up 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 course of treatment for 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, although further research into this area 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 it is widely believed by modern scientific studies that these oils hold power to ease side-effects surrounding some forms of irritable bowel syndrome, namely gas, stomach pain, constipation, and diarrhoea.
Help With Headaches
Peppermint oil can help reduce awful migraine headaches. Although there isn't enough information to say that it will help you, studies found that using peppermint oil reduced pain symptoms in some patients. Peppermint is also used to treat tension headaches and other related symptoms like muscle stiffness and neck pain. One of the possible ways the oil works is by adding cooling effects to specific body parts.
Kill Mouth Germs
When meeting your friends for drinks and appetizers during happy hour, usually one person will feel bad about not having a mint handy. However, using Peppermint essential oils for oral care can help freshen breath and bacteria elimination. With its natural cooling sensation and strong peppermint aroma, this is not only a safe alternative to curing bad breath but can fight plaque buildup on the teeth. Also, it's believed that its antibacterial agent, vitamin C and eugenol flavouring helps to keep gums healthy by fighting against those potentially harmful bacteria. We think 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 positively affects 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 they are 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 a while before you drift off to sleep.
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 involved in breaking down 17-beta estradiol, which shifts more into a part of our body known as stomach lining to help with menstrual cramps.
Fight Foodborne Bacteria
The potency of peppermint is still a subject of mainstream debate. Still, to some, it's so powerful that it can stop certain diseases in their tracks, and others are even saying 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! Now here's the best part: Peppermint is so potent that it slows down the growth of Staphylococcus Aureus and has been found to ultimately 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 might prove effective in helping you achieve fat loss while also making smaller food portions easier to stomach. This chemical has a cooling sensation that may make one feel as though 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 are suffering from allergies. There can be many symptoms related solely to being outdoors - from nasal congestion, nasal discharge, sneezing and watery eyes. Peppermint has a compound called rosmarinic acid that can cut down on your body's histamine reaction – making it easier for you 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 how it helps prevent mental exhaustion by increasing alertness. The smell of peppermint also works to improve memory recall. Consider adding some freshly-picked peppermint in your tea or eating a small amount every morning on your oatmeal and throughout the day when you need an energy boost!