Benefits of Peppermint the Herb
Peppermint herb is one of the oldest and best-tasting herbal remedies to calm a queasy stomach and to quell indigestion. In fact, the after-dinner mint evolved from ancient times where it was used after feasts to soothe the stomach.
Its cousin - spearmint was the original medicinal mint, but nevertheless they both are believed to have similar effects. But of the two, peppermint it is said to be more potent.
Peppermint is an aromatic plant with a distinctive minty scent with a fresh and pleasant taste. It is a native to Europe, but it is now grown throughout North America.
Although peppermint is best known for its stomach-soothing qualities, it also has other unique non-medicinal benefits as well. The herb peppermint is a popular flavor in candies, and it adds a cool refreshing taste to toothpaste and mouthwash.
In addition, it is used as a cooling, soothing ingredient in aromatherapy, and in bath, lotion, and cosmetic products. It's even used in cigarettes.
Benefits of Peppermint Herb
The benefits of peppermint the herb owe its value in healing to its aromatic volatile oils, primarily the powerful therapeutic ingredient menthol, as well as menthone, menthyl acetate and some 40 other compounds. In short, the chief component of peppermint volatile oil is menthol. However, peppermint also contains flavonoids.
Peppermint appears to relieve spasms of the smooth muscle of the digestive tract, making the herb especially of value for a variety of stomach ailments and digestive complaints. It can also reduce the inflammation of nasal passages and it harbors bile-stimulating, gas-relieving, pain-killing, and antiseptic qualities.
Specifically, peppermint herb is commonly used and may help to:
Alleviate irritable bowel syndrome.
Ease nausea and vomiting.
Counter indigestion, flatulence, and gas, including chronic gas-causing conditions.
Improve digestion and reduce heartburn.
Fight bad breath.
Soothe muscle aches and control chronic pain (topically).
Soothe itchiness from insect bites and hives (topically).
Clear congestion and cough related to colds and allergies.
Ease menstrual cramps.
Fight stress (aromatherapy).
In addition, it is thought to harbor mild antiseptic qualities which may be beneficial to help soothe a mild sore throat when used as a gargle.
How to Take Peppermint the Herb
Peppermint herb comes in every form imaginable. It's available as softgel, ointment, oil, dried herb/tea, cream, and capsule.
To prepare the tea, pour 8 ounces of hot (not boiling) water over 1-2 teaspoons of dried peppermint leaves, cover and steep for 10 minutes, and then strain. Side note: Make sure it's covered to prevent the volatile oil from being released.
Side Note: For tinctures, follow the package guidelines for use because the strength varies.
The following are just a few tips……….
Irritable bowel syndrome, nausea or gallstones - Take one or two enteric-coated peppermint capsules containing .02 ml of peppermint oil two or three times a day between meals.
Muscle aches and chronic pain - Add several drops of undiluted peppermint oil to 1 tablespoon of a neutral oil, such as almond oil. Apply as necessary to the affected areas, up to four times a day.
Bad breath - 1 or 2 drops of peppermint oil to the tongue – Anymore than this could cause heartburn and digestive disturbances.
Congestion - Drink up to 4 cups of tea daily, as needed. A tincture can also be used.
Digestive problems- Take an enteric-coated capsule containing .02 ml of peppermint oil an hour before meals.
Stress - Add 6-8 drops of peppermint oil in warm bath water.
Cold Sore and Fever Blister - Crush a few fresh peppermint leaves and apply directly to sore. Don't put leaves in hot water because heat can worsen the cold sore or fever blister.
Precautions on the Herb Peppermint
Pure menthol must always be diluted because it can be fatal if ingested in its pure form. In addition, some people may have an allergic reaction when applied to the skin or mucus membranes even when the mint oils are diluted. If symptoms such as a headache, rash, or flushing develop, stop using the herb peppermint immediately.
Consult your physician before using peppermint if you have gallstones and it should be avoided altogether if you have any other type of gallbladder disorder.
If you suffer from chronic heartburn or if you have a hiatal hernia, avoid this herb.
Do not take peppermint oil capsules if you are on felodipine for high blood pressure or you are taking the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin. Peppermint oil may increase the drug's effectiveness and side effects.
If you suffer from a health condition or are any prescription medications, consult a physician before taking the herb peppermint.
Women that are pregnant or nursing should always consult a physician before taking any dietary supplements.
Although rare, enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules may cause heartburn and skin rash.
In general, peppermint herb in recommended doses appears to cause no side effects, even over long periods of time.
For your convenience we added a link to our herbal guide web-page should you have an interest in learning more about different types of herbs and their therapeutic powers!
We hope this webpage discussing peppermint herb was useful to you!
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One last comment about peppermint herb. Should you decide to purchase peppermint herb capsules, make sure it's purchased from GMP compliant facilities. They adhere to strict regulations. Also, make sure its enteric-coated standardized capsules and that you speak with a healthcare professional before talking any peppermint herb supplements.
To Your Health!
Much more than Peppermint Herb can be found at our Herbal Guide web-page