This is a FACT.
Peppermint health benefits have been celebrated by ancient civilizations, including the Greeks, and were first identified by the English in 1696. The herb is scientifically known as Menthe piperita – from the Labiatae family – and its primary component is menthol.
Peppermint oil is extracted through steam installation to provide a liquid substance that is clear with a slight shade of yellow.
Rich in antioxidants, peppermint oil contains manganese, iron, copper, calcium, vitamins A and C, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids.
There have been a lot of conflicting reports regarding the mental health benefits of peppermint but the consensus remains in favor of the herb. There are many physical health benefits of peppermint that many outside the holistic world may be unaware of.
Peppermint oil is…
Brain Boosting with Peppermint
Most people are familiar with candy peppermints but research has shown that drinking peppermint tea, inhaling peppermint via a diffuser, or applying peppermint oil to the skin are actually more effective for boosting mental alertness. Peppermint health benefits are also available in capsule form as a supplement.
But it is the scent of peppermint more than the ingestion of peppermint that is crucial.
Contrary to many articles, the health benefits of peppermint does not “make you smarter.” However, its scent – primarily the menthol component – stimulates the hippocampus area of the brain which controls mental clarity and memory. The odor triggers you to wake up and pay attention.
The University of Cincinnati found that using peppermint in a room of test-takers boosted alertness and concentration.
Wheeling Jesuit University found that drivers exposed to peppermint health benefits were more alert, less tired, more motivated and less irritable. They found that peppermint slowed the release of the stress hormone cortisol and kept drivers calm yet awake.
The limbic system in your brain maintains hormones that affect overall mood. The scent of peppermint travels immediately to this area and helps you feel more refreshed and rejuvenated. Many subjects reported feeling emotionally uplifted in response to peppermint aromatherapy.
Using products such as soaps or lotions that contain peppermint oil have shown similar results.
More than Just Candy
The clarifying effects of this herb are well-proven but there are many other total body health benefits of adding peppermint health benefits to your life.
Sooth Upset Stomach…Even IBS
Harvard Medical School issued a short article in their monthly newsletter outlining the effectiveness of peppermint on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In one Italian study reviewed, researchers saw an improvement of IBS symptoms in 75% of participants given capsules for four weeks.
According to the American Botanical Council, peppermint also aids indigestion, soothing nausea and relaxing the intestinal walls to ease cramps, gas, bloating, the intensity of seasickness and colic.
Ease Those Nasty Cold and Flu Symptoms
The menthol found naturally in peppermint is the most active compound. It is added to many over-the-counter (OTC) products such as muscle creams, throat lozenges and cough medicines.
Applying products topically, such as with chest rubs, helps the effects last longer. When inhaled, menthol clears the respiratory tract, relieves congestion, loosens mucus, and eases fever, aches and pains caused by illness.
Those suffering from asthma, colds, flus, sinusitis and bronchitis respond well to the menthol in peppermint.
Using a room infuser or vaporizer to pump the air full of fine mist, menthol-rich peppermint opens the airways, helps you breathe easier and encourages a more restful sleep.
A Treat for Your Skin and Hair
Many salons use peppermint oil to treat severe dandruff. The oil is added to your ordinary shampoo and then rinsed as usual. It soothes the inflammation that can accompany dry scalp and reduces the itchiness that is common with seasonal dandruff.
It can also be used in place of dangerous OTC lice products. Simply rub the oil into the scalp and cover hair with a shower cap for one hour. Use a nit comb to remove the eggs on the root.
Follow up with a white vinegar rinse or antiseptic mouth wash to further sterilize the scalp and hair follicles. Your hair will feel silky and cleaner than ever before.
Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial, peppermint health benefits in the form of oil is excellent for your skin, especially to treat light acne, bug bites, rashes and small cuts.
Considered Safe, Natural and Effective
Most people experience no side effects, but if you are taking peppermint orally, you must be careful not to exceed the recommended dose. Too much ingested peppermint oil can burn the insides of your mouth and throat.
Also, if you experience a runny nose or light cough after each dose of peppermint, you may have a mild allergy and should discontinue use.