9 helpful uses of Peppermint Essential Oil
Medicinal plants have been used for centuries in traditional medicine because of their therapeutic value. Mint species have been exploited by man for more than two thousand years. Peppermint itself has been used for more than 250 years. Mentha piperita, (family Lamiaceae) is a species found in Iran and many parts of the world which has an economical value for its flavoring, odor, and therapeutic properties in foods and cosmetic industrial products. In addition, the leaves and flowers of M. piperita have medicinal properties. Essential oils are valuable natural products used as raw materials in many fields including perfumes, cosmetics, aromatherapy, phototherapy, spices, and nutrition. Peppermint (M. piperita) oil is one of the most popular and widely used essential oils, mostly because of its main components, Menthol, and menthone. Previous studies have shown antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antibiofilm formation, radioprotective, antioedema, analgesic, and antioxidant activities of the EO and methanolic extracts of herbal parts and callus cultures of M. piperita. In addition, M. piperita EO has been shown to cause inhibitory effects against radial fungal growth and aflatoxin production by Aspergillus species.
Cold & Flu Remedies
Modern over-the-counter medicine manufacturers know all about peppermint oil and its ability to soothe cold and flu symptoms. You’ve seen their products and more likely than not, you’ve used them at least once or twice for that blissful (if temporary) relief from clogged airways, swollen sinuses, sore throat, or that irritating cough that just won’t go away. Before cold and flu season strikes again, prepare yourself with these all-natural cold and flu remedies using peppermint oil.
The cooling anti-inflammatory power of peppermint oil also has a long history of use to banish tension headaches. Simply massage peppermint oil – diluted or straight – into temples, behind your jawbone, and across your forehead for rapid relief.
Peppermint oil is know for its ability to calm the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. Peppermint oil also improves the flow of bile – the chemical which our body’s use to digest fats. As a result, peppermint oil helps food to pass through the gut more quickly and efficiently. However, note that if your indigestion is related to gastro-esophageal reflux disease (aka GERD) you should avoid this remedy. Peppermint oil will also relax the sphincter that separates the stomach from the esophagus, essentially worsening the heartburn associated with GERD.
Peppermint oil, due to its antiseptic properties, is very useful in dental care. It also eliminates bad breath and helps teeth and gums fight off hazardous germs. Unsurprisingly, these attributes mean that it is added to numerous toothpastes, and it has also been shown to be useful in the treatment of toothaches. At times, the inhalation of peppermint oil vapor can be anti-inflammatory and pain relieving, so it can even be added to postoperative oxygen, particularly after oral surgeries.
The antifungal properties of peppermint oil are well studied, and there is significant research that shows when, when topically applied, it can reduce the chances of fungal nail infection, which affects many people around the world.
The stimulating effects of peppermint oil have been shown to increase blood circulation. Studies have shown that as soon as the essential oil vapor touches the end of the olfactory nerve endings, there is an almost instant increase in pulse rate and blood circulation. The stimulating effect of increased blood circulation helps to oxygenate the body’s organs and increase metabolism, as well as oxygenate the brain. This leads to higher cognitive function and protection against neurally degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Furthermore, increased blood circulation can prevent diabetic patients from complications they are already at risk of due to their glucose level imbalances.
Peppermint oil is a good home remedy to cure nausea. Apply peppermint oil in the diluted form on your forehead or inhale it to eliminate the effects of nausea. This gives a cooling effect, and its anti-inflammatory properties reduce the pain of migraine when applied topically.
Alleviates Stress And Pain
Peppermint oil can alleviate stress and pain after a long and tiring day. Apply some drops of peppermint oil on your body and take a bath. The refreshing properties of this wonderful oil will energize you and its cooling properties will remove body pain.
Peppermint oil gives good results in colonoscopy, gastroscopy and during a double-contrast barium enema when applied topically. This oil also has antispasmodic properties.
A Word Of Caution
Using peppermint oil in small amounts is considered to be safe, but in few people there may be allergic reactions. There may be mild skin irritation like itching or redness. Perform a patch test to find out if you are sensitive to this essential oil before using it.
Since it contains menthol, usage of large quantities can result in skin damage. Pure peppermint oil is highly concentrated, and hence it should be mixed with a carrier oil before applying it to the skin.