Friday, 4 August 2017

Peppermint, a Powerful Herb With Countless Health Benefits

The stimulating aroma of fresh peppermint is a popular flavoring for toothpaste, tea and of course gum.  It also has numerous health benefits from digestion relief and increasing memory to keeping mosquitos away. My garden always has a big patch of mint growing in it for my salad, teas and smoothies. Why should you add some to your daily herb regimen?

Digestion Relief

The key ingredients in peppermint (menthol and methyl salicylate) are antispasmodic, which have a calming effect on the digestive tract.

Has a Soothing Effect

Those two ingredients in peppermint have a soothing effect on the stomach helping the digestive tract to settle down, according to The University of Maryland Medical Center.


Dyspepsia is identified as an upset stomach with bloating, nausea and burping. It was found that peppermint oil, along with caraway oil, gave relief to the symptoms of dyspepsia in a study at the University Medical Clinic, in Bochum, Germany.

Colic in Infants

Research found that peppermint was as effective as simethicone in the treatment of colic in infants.

Nausea Induced by Chemotherapy

The peppermint oil helps reduce nausea created by chemotherapy which is much less expensive than standard drug-based treatments according to research.

Reduces IBS Symptoms

Peppermint oil was found to lessen spasms in the colon of IBS patients—in fact, the research found it reduced the symptoms more than the medication Buscopan.

Effectively Moves Food From Stomach to Intestines

It was found that peppermint oil improved the movement of food called ‘gastric emptying’ which is very helpful for those with digestive tract disorders. Learn about some more Home Remedies for Nausea 

Reduces Breastfeeding Nipple Pain and Damage

It was found that peppermint water helped to prevent nipple cracks and pain in a study of one hundred and ninety-six breastfeeding mothers.

Hair Growth Increased

Those going bald or with thinning hair now can use peppermint oil on their heads.  A study in Korea found it had a positive effect on new hair follicles without any negative side effects.


It was found that when the essential oil of peppermint was inhaled there was a rapid regression of tuberculosis inflammation in the research; they believe it may prevent recurrence of the disease.

Pain Relief

Applying peppermint oil (containing 10 percent menthol) can help relieve pain. As an example in a study, a woman applied it to her skin and got very quick pain relief which remained for 4-6 hours.

Inhibits Prostate Cancer

The menthol in peppermint was found to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer in clinical research.

Relief for Headaches

A combination of peppermint and eucalyptus oil were applied to the temples and forehead to help relieve headache pain in a study at the Neurological Clinic at the University of Kiel, Germany.  They found it reduced headaches.

Good for Teeth

Peppermint oil has been found to inhibit the formation of plaque, which is linked to cavities. Also, it is very useful for freshening the breath and whitening teeth.

Increases Memory

Scientists in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK did a study with peppermint oil and ylang-ylang oil and found that peppermint oil increased memory and alertness whereas ylang-ylang impaired it.

Soothing Skin Irritations

It can be helpful for skin irritations, like poison ivy.

Helps Stop Herpes from Spreading

It has been found in studies to inhibit drug-resistant herpes simplex virus type 1.

Keeps Mosquitoes Away

When they tested Australian bush mint essential oil to see if it would prevent mosquitoes from landing on arms and from biting, they found it to be effective.  It was more effective when there was a concentration of repellent action of the 8 percent essential oil which deterred the mosquitos by 97 percent for as long as 5 hours.  When it was only 6 percent essential oil it did repel all mosquitoes immediately but it went down to 75 percent after 5 hours.
Please Note: It is best not to use peppermint oil (not inhaled, taken by mouth or applied on the skin) for children under 8 years of age.
Peppermint can also decrease the absorption of iron when taken together. Take iron supplements and peppermint oil with at least 3 hours between the two. It also increases the absorption of quercetin, so again allow at least 3 hours between taking them together.
Fresh mint is the best with a greater flavor than dried mint.  When picking the peppermint, make sure the leaves are vibrant, rich green without dark spots or yellowing. Still, dried peppermint is good when you cannot get it fresh. Try to purchase it organically grown so that you can be sure it has not been irradiated.

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