Peppermint

Peppermint

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Peppermint

Peppermint (Mentha piperata) is an herb which has a number of medicinal benefits. It is a hybrid of spearmint (M. spicata) and water mint (M. aquatica). Peppermint oil contains the powerful therapeutic ingredient menthol including menthonse, menthyl acetate and 40 other compounds. The oil is made by distilling peppermint’s leaves and stems which are harvested before the light-purple flowers appear in the summer.

Peppermint has various health benefits:
o It is a muscle relaxant especially in the digestive tract and it reduces inflammation of nasal passages and treats muscle pains.
o Peppermint can be fund in antacid preparations. It is also an ingredient in toothpastes and breath fresheners due to its minty taste.
o Treats headache by mixing peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and ethanol on the
forehead and temples.
o It treats irritable bowel syndrome due to its antispasmodic effect that provides relief for abdominal pain, bloating, alternating constipation and diarrhea and general abdominal discomfort.
o It treats nausea and vomiting by moderately anesthetizing the stomach’s mucus lining.
o It controls flatulence and diverticular disorders because it relaxes digestive spasms.
o Improve digestion and lowers heartburn though its menthol which can increase the flow of all digestive juices, bile included.
o It dissolves gallstones by reducing the size of gallstones and help those inflicted avoid surgery.
o It lowers viral levels of herpes simplex 1 and 2.
o It fights bad breath by killing bacteria and keeping the mouth moist.
o It controls muscle aches and pain. When rub on the skin, it produce cool and soothing sensation and prevents the nerve to pick up pain messages.
o It clears congestion and cough due to colds and allergies by decreasing inflammation on the nasal passages.
o It controls mild asthma by lessening bronchial constriction.
o It fights stress when the aroma of peppermint oil is added to bath water.
o It is substitute to usual medication used to calm digestive system during medical procedures.

Peppermint comes in different formulations such as: tincture, softgel, ointment, oil, dried herb/tea, cream and capsule. Keep in mind the following tips in order to get the most out of the peppermint medicine:

– in irritable bowel syndrome, nausea or gallstones, take one or two enteric-coated peppermint capsules two or three times a day between meals. Each capsule should have .2 ml of oil.
– Stomach upset relief, flatulence, diverticular disorders, digestive complaints, take three to four cups of peppermint tea daily between meals. In diverticular disorders, combine once part peppermint and one part valerian to two parts wild yam. Pour 8 oz. of hot water over the mixture, steep for 10 minutes then strain and sweeten to taste. Take this mixture three to four times daily.
– For heartburn and bad breath, drink three or four cups of peppermint tea spread through the day or place one or two drops of peppermint oil on tongue as needed.
– Muscle aches and pain can be treated by adding several drops of undiluted peppermint oil to 1 tablespoon neutral oil such as almond oil. Apply up to four times in a day.
– For congestion, drink up to four cups a day.
– Mild asthma, take two to three peppermint oil capsules a day.
– To relieve stress, place six to eight drops of essential oil into warm bath.

Never take in pure mentol as this can be fatal. Refrain from using peppermint oil if you have hiatal hernia. Avoid large does of peppermint oil when pregnant or you could undergo earlier labor.