Description : The Latin name for peppermint is Mentha × piperita. It is actually a cross breed between Water Mint and Spearmint.
Where it’s Produced : Peppermint is a perennial plant found in Europe, Asia and North America. Although there are over 25 species of peppermint produced by these areas, the majority of peppermint is produced in the United States.
Uses : Peppermint has several dietary uses and health benefits:
Coughs & Colds – Peppermint is a remedy for the common cold and for coughing symptoms that often accompany a cold. The oil from this plant has a soothing effect for coughing symptoms and can calm certain common cold ailments. It can also help build a stronger immune system and has both antimicrobial andantioxidant qualities. Liquid Peppermint oil can be inhaled as a vapor. This manner of peppermint use can create an effective at soothing cough and cold symptoms.
Mouth & Sinuses – Peppermint has been frequently used as an agent that reduces inflammation of the mouth or throat. Sinus inflammations and infections can be remedied by inhalation of the plant essential oil. Menthol is the main active ingredient in peppermint and is the reason for its ability to help clear congestion and help make breathing easier. . The herb can be used topically or in a tea to alleviate common respiratory symptoms such as congestion, coughing and difficulty breathing caused by obstructed or inflamed passages.
Digestive Issues – Peppermint can help with a number of painful digestive problems including gas, bloating and nausea, morning sickness and stomach cramps. Additionally, it can help ease the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. One study showed that 75% of participants who took a capsule of Peppermint oil daily saw a significant decrease in their IBS symptoms, in comparison with 38% who took a placebo capsule.
Menstrual symptoms – Painful cramps and nausea caused by a woman’s natural cycle can be eased with the help of peppermint. Peppermint acts as a muscle relaxer and therefore reduces the pain caused by a woman’s cramps.
Pain Relief – Headaches, nerve pain, toothaches, inflammation of the joints, and general body aches and muscle pain are all thought to be relieved by the use of peppermint. The main ingredient in peppermint, menthol, creates a cooling sensation when applied to the skin. As a result it can temporarily reduce minor levels of pain associated with athletic injuries, overuse or muscle pain.
Headaches – Topical application of Peppermint oil can reduce certain types of minor headaches. Peppermint oil, diluted with another oil, can be applied directly to the forehead or upper sinus areas. In fact, a German study showed Peppermint to have the same power as 1,000 milligrams of acetaminophen.
Skin – Peppermint oil diluted with water can be used as a wash capable of alleviating skin problems such as rashes and dry skin. Also, it can be used as a hair rinse to soothe both dry and oily scalp. Infections, itchiness, allergic rashes and bacterial infections have all been remedied with peppermint herbal supplements.
Energy – The scent of peppermint is energizing and inhaling its scent can result in heightened levels of energy. Drinking peppermint tea, as well as using peppermint oil in a diffuser or in a candle are ways of using peppermint as a stimulant.