It’s not just the peppermint candy you pop into your mouth when your mouth is dry or in order to refresh your breath. Peppermint tastes great in candy but did you know that it could also settle your stomach? Here is the skinny on this pungent plant.
Peppermint can be found in everything from tea to candy to medicines. Peppermint itself is a plant called “Mentha piperita” in botanical terms. Including spearmint, peppermint is the mint most often used in aromatherapy, medicinal and commercial products.
When you use peppermint, it can be in plant form, as an essential oil or in balms. This particular mint contains lots of menthol. This is the component that makes you breath feel cool when you inhale after eating peppermint candy or drinking peppermint tea. If you’ve ever sniffed peppermint at full strength, the result is watery eyes and opened nasal passages that you could drive a train through.
It is the high level of menthol that makes peppermint such a great resource for stomach aches. Its antispasmodic properties calm a rumbling tummy. For the same reason, peppermint preparations are great for menstrual cramps and headaches.
Before reaching for over-the-counter remedies when your stomach hurts, give peppermint a chance. Dried leaves can be used to make a hot or cold tea. Just breathing in the steeping cup will help provide mental clarity. Drinking your remedy can bring quicker relief than taking pills.
But, that is not all that peppermint is good for. If you have access to the essential oil, you have a medicine cabinet in your hand. Essential oil of peppermint is used in aromatherapy preparations. It can be rubbed on the temples to help relieve headaches. Using the oil on your chest and under your nose helps to open nasal passages.
Rubbing this essential oil on sore muscles can relieve aches and pains. Inflammation is reduced and circulation is stimulated as you massage the oil into your body. The menthol helps to cool the body as well as it is soothing your pain.
It is not recommended that peppermint oil be ingested. People can have adverse reactions from using it internally. If you have problems with digestive issues, peppermint can be taken in capsule form. For irritable bowel syndrome, using enteric-coated peppermint keeps them from breaking down in the stomach but passes them on through so that the peppermint can work in the bowel.
Peppermint is a hearty plant that anyone can grow outside or in indoor herb gardens. The menthol contained within this plant makes it ideal for relieving the symptoms of upset stomach, but that’s not all. Peppermint, in essential oil or capsule form, has been used to combat nausea, colds, sinus congestion, muscular aches and headaches.
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