The first things we all think of when it comes to peppermint is breath mints and gum, toothpaste and candy canes.
But there’s much more to this refreshing herb than just a minty flavor.
You may be surprised at all the valuable ways peppermint can be used in your everyday life. Not to mention the fact that it also offers some important health benefits.
Peppermint is one of those all-natural ingredients that people have been using for centuries – if not thousands of years. The plant, which is actually a hybrid of spearmint and water mint, was even found in Egyptian tombs.
The reason peppermint has so many uses is because it can act as an anti-inflammatory, a disinfectant, has anti-fungal properties and sedative properties. Here’s a closer look at how you can use it.
1. For More Comfortable Digestion
Whether it’s a simple stomachache or a more serious digestive issue – peppermint may be able to give you the relief you need.
Research has shown it can be an effective remedy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). That’s because peppermint seems to reduce spasms in the digestive tract.
Many of the medications that have been developed in an attempt to treat IBS have been a disappointment. Most health experts agree that older remedies like peppermint oil and increasing fiber intake can work much better for those with IBS.
Peppermint is also good for general digestion support and can relieve symptoms like stomach cramping, gas pain and heartburn. It improves bile flow and helps food move easily through your system. We eat those after-dinner mints for a good reason. They help settle our stomachs as well as cover up garlic breath!
Even kids 8 years and older can safely take enteric coated capsules containing peppermint oil.
2. For Easier Breathing
If you or someone in your family is having a hard time breathing because of asthma, bronchitis or even a cough from the common cold, peppermint may be able to help open up their respiratory system.
You’ve probably noticed there’s often a minty aroma in medicinal chest rubs. Another effective ways to take advantage of peppermint for breathing problems is using steam inhalation.
You can do this by placing a few drops of peppermint essential oil in a bowl containing 6 to 8 cups of very hot water. Then cover your head with a towel and put your face over the bowl – inhaling the minty steam. It should relax and reinvigorate your lungs while acting as a natural expectorant and decongestant.
Peppermint may even be able to help people dealing with tuberculosis and provide allergy relief for those with hay fever.
3. For Headache Relief
One of peppermint’s greatest strengths is the ability to sooth and calm, which is why it’s quite popular in aromatherapy.
It actually acts as a vasodilator – which means peppermint can widen and relax narrow and restricted blood vessels – a common cause of headaches.
Placing a few drops of peppermint essential oil in a room diffuser can promote a relaxed state while relieving headaches and migraines throughout the day. You can also apply diluted peppermint topically. Gently massage it on your forehead and/or temples.
This remedy may knockout headaches and even migraines faster than typical painkillers. One UK study on peppermint discovered that 95% of participants felt an effect in two minutes or less, and the same amount said their headaches were completely gone within 30 minutes.
4. For Muscle & Joint Pain
Whether you’re dealing with arthritis pain, sore muscles after a workout, tired feet or tension in your back – peppermint can come to your rescue.
Drugstore products like IcyHot and BenGay provide a menthol aroma and cooling minty sensation. But they can also contain ingredients you don’t want to rub on your skin.
You’d be wiser to choose a more natural muscle rub or joint cream that includes peppermint as ingredient along with eucalyptus and other beneficial herbs and oils. Peppermint massage oil is another refreshing and relaxing way to relieve tense muscles.
5. For Nausea
Feeling a little queasy? Some peppermint oil diffused throughout your home or office may help you stop that sick to your stomach sensation. You can also place a few drops of essential oil on a towel or handkerchief and inhale the scent periodically.
Peppermint can be an effective way to reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea, and for pregnant women to relieve the nausea of morning sickness.
However, pregnant women should consult a healthcare professional before using peppermint supplements or oil because it can stimulate menstruation, which may increase the risk of miscarriage. The amount of peppermint in food products is considered safe. So you can always try peppermint tea or breath mints instead.
6. For Skin Issues
Yet another way peppermint can sooth is when your skin gets itchy and irritated.
In fact, even difficult skin problems like shingles can be improved using peppermint oil as a way to relieve discomfort.
The oil can be added to liquid lanolin and applied to sunburned skin to cool the pain. Because peppermint is an antiseptic, it can be massaged into your scalp as a way to get rid of dandruff.
Peppermint may even be able to keep you from getting pimples. It can balance your skin’s pH level to avoid oily skin and keep breakouts away. Plus, it’s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties can help reduce the appearance of acne.
7. For an Alert Mind
A big whiff of a strong minty scent is a surefire way to wake you up.
Peppermint has the potential to boost mental clarity – even enhancing energy levels. That may be because it can improve blood flow to your brain.
A 2006 study involving peppermint found it may have the ability to improve memory. It’s believed there are components of peppermint that can trigger the brain’s limbic function. The limbic system controls emotions as well as long-term memory.
Symptoms of depression, such as apathy (aka not caring about anything) could be improved with a bit of peppermint. Some suggest that mixing a drop of peppermint oil in a glass of ice-cold water can almost immediately perk up your mind and your mood.
Where Can You Get Peppermint Health Products?
Natural Healthy Concepts carries a wide variety of peppermint products in our online store. All of them are available with free shipping to any address in the United States.
What You Can Find at NHC:
- Peppermint Supplements
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Peppermint Aromatherapy
- Natural Breath Mints
- Peppermint Toothpaste and Mouthwash
- Peppermint Shampoo and Conditioner
- Peppermint Digestive Aids
- Peppermint Tea
- And Much More!
CLICK HERE to start shopping for natural peppermint products at Natural Healthy Concepts and discover all it can do for you.
How do you like to use peppermint? Tell us about it in the comments section below!