Mint also is known as Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita) It is used in many culinary dishes, as well as, in soaps and cosmetics for aromatic reasons. It is grown throughout Europe and North America.
Mint has been used for thousands of years for many health purposes. Peppermint leaf is available in teas, capsules, and as a liquid extract.
Today researchers know that it aids in many things.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – A study found that taking peppermint enteric-coated capsules, may help in reducing pain associated with IBS (thought to relieve flatulence, abdominal pain, and distension).
- Digestive problems –Studies have shown that peppermint taken with caraway oil may help relieve indigestion. You can also drink peppermint tea, as many people do for indigestion.
- Asthma and the common cold – cold – Rubbing mint on your forehead, under the nose, and on your chest can relieve bronchial and respiratory disorders from the scent of peppermint. Rosmarinic acid is found in peppermint leaves which are helpful with inflammatory issues with people suffering from asthma.
- Headaches – Peppermint oil is also used topically for tension headaches (applied to the scalp) for fast headache relief.
- Reducing spasm during gastrointestinal procedures – A study conducted as a consequence of its relaxing properties on smooth muscle, peppermint oil has given, via enema, has been examined in two trials as a means to reduce symptoms of gastrointestinal spasm during the administration of barium enema and possibly during colonoscopy.
- Prostate Cancer – Peppermint contains menthol, which may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.
- Stress – Peppermint oil is used in the bath (few drops) or as aromatherapy to have almost instant stress relief.
- Muscle Pain – Rub some peppermint oil on your sore or painful muscles or you can add some to your bath (few drops).
- Nausea – Peppermint oil can effectively help with nausea in general and people undergoing chemotherapy-induced nausea.
Possible side effects of peppermint oil include heartburn and allergic reactions like a headache, nausea, blurred vision and mouth sores. I mentioned above about enteric-coated to reduce the likeliness of heartburn. Do not take with antacids, as the coating on the enteric-coating can break down.
When taken orally peppermint oil appears to be safe in common doses. If you overtake peppermint oil, it can be toxic, so just be careful and make sure you know common doses.
Recommended daily allowance Adults: 0.2 to 0.4 mL of oil three times daily in enteric-coated capsules
Children older than eight years: 0.1 to 0.2 mL three times daily according to American Family Physician.
Like other essential oils, peppermint oil is highly concentrated. When the undiluted essential oil is used for health purposes, only a few drops are used.
Side effects of applying peppermint oil to the skin can include skin rashes and irritation. Peppermint oil should not be applied to the face or chest of infants or young children because serious side effects may occur if they inhale the menthol in the oil.
No harmful effects from studies of peppermint leaf tea have been reported. However, the long-term safety of consuming large amounts of peppermint leaf is unknown.