Exploring the Benefits of Peppermint
What do you know about peppermint? It smells really good? The taste gives you fresh breath?
You wouldn't be alone. Peppermint is a commonly used fragrance in soaps and cosmetics and flavoring in foods. However, it also can be used to support your body's defenses against a wide array of health problems.
Common Uses for Peppermint
Peppermint oil and leaves have been used since the time of the Roman Empire to alleviate common ailments. These are just some of the uses for peppermint supported by research:
1. Colds -- The decongestant, expectorant, antiviral and astringent properties of peppermint may help soothe sore throats and relieve dry cough and nasal congestion. Peppermint is usually one of the main ingredients in chest rubs used to treat the common cold.
2. Nausea and Vomiting -- Most people have had the feeling of being hopelessly sick. The next time you're endlessly running to the bathroom, give peppermint tea a try. The menthol, flavonoids, azulene and tannins found in peppermint to soothe the digestive tract.
2. Headaches -- Constricted blood vessels are one of the common triggers for headaches and migraines. Peppermint has vasodilatory effects which help open/dilate the constricted blood vessels, keeping blood flowing and stopping the headache.
3. Morning Sickness -- Through aromatherapy, many women find relief from morning sickness using peppermint oil. The very smell of peppermint has been known to ease a queasy stomach and keep them comfortable.
4. Bug Repellent -- Peppermint oil has proven to be a reliable mosquito repellent. A study conducted in 1999 by the Malaria Research Centre in Delhi, India showed 85 percent of subjects who had applied peppermint oil topically where found to be completely protected from the surrounding mosquitoes. The oil can also kill the larvae before they hatch, reducing the mosquito population.
5. Pain and Rashes -- Peppermint oil can also be applied directly to the body for symptoms such as muscle pain, nerve pain, toothache and rashes. However, further research is needed to identify a direct correlation between peppermint oil and the alleviation of these symptoms.
Peppermint for the Treatment of Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a disease that can cause cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. Many IBS sufferers find a way to control their symptoms by managing their diet and taking supplements such as peppermint oil.
Research shows peppermint oil can improve symptoms of IBS such as stomach pain and flatulence. A study conducted by the Taichung Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan found patients who took an enteric-coated peppermint oil formulation three to four times daily for one month had less abdominal distention, stool frequency and flatulence than those who took a placebo. Almost 80 percent of the patients in the study who took peppermint oil also had alleviation of abdominal pain.
What are the side effects?
Research continues to determine the exact effect of peppermint oil in relation to the aforementioned conditions. You should always speak with your doctor first before adding this or any other supplements to your routine, especially if you're currently being treated for a medical condition.
Peppermint shouldn't be consumed by anyone being treated for gastroesophageal disease (GERD) as it's possible to inflame the esophagus. Peppermint oil may cause skin irritation or contact dermatitis when used on the skin, so follow application instructions carefully and test on a small area of the skin first. As peppermint may interact with certain medications causing side effects, such as heartburn, it's important to tell your doctor if you are using peppermint oil.
Another reason not to overlook the familiar. If you think peppermint sounds right for you, give it a try today at eVitamins!
Products you may like:
Now Foods Peppermint Oil
Why you may like this product? This oil has a variety of uses
but's usually used to treat
indigestion, nausea and other
stomach related problems. This
bottle contains 100 percent
pure peppermint oil.
Enzymatic Therapy Peppermint Plus
Why you may like this product? This supplement contains
peppermint, rosemary and
thyme for even greater
benefits within the body. The
specially formulated to pass
through the stomach and
release directly into the
colon for maximum benefits.