What is Peppermint?
Peppermint, known scientifically as Menthpiperita, is a plant that is famous for the flavor it imparts to products such as gum, tea, chocolate, and toothpaste. Most people, however, are unaware of the many benefits to health it provides. It has a calming and numbing nature which makes it useful for conditions such as headaches, upset stomach, skin irritation, nausea, menstrual cramps, and anxiety. It is also a key ingredient in chest rubs that are used to provide symptomatic relief from cold and flu.
The main active components of peppermint are menthol and methyl salicylate. They have antispasmodic properties that provide relief from problems of the gastrointestinal system. In vitro they have also shown anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral characteristics.
Benefits of Peppermint
- Its aroma increases alertness and improves memory
- It is reduces spasms of the stomach and colon and is a natural replacement for the pharmaceutical anti spasmodic drug Buscopan
- It calms stomach muscles and facilitates bile flow. As a result, digestion is improved. However, if indigestion is caused by gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), then peppermint should be avoided
- It relieves flatulence by relaxing stomach muscles
- When applied topically, it soothes skin irritation and itching, such as that caused by poison ivy, poison oak, and hives
- It alleviates headache when applied topically to the forehead and temple area
- It relieves nasal congestion and thins mucus, making it an affective decongestant and expectorant. These properties make it beneficial for soothing sore throats and calming dry coughs
- When consumed in the form of enteric-coated capsules, it has the ability to help treat symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and pain. Peppermint oil can cause heartburn and indigestion in the stomach therefore the enteric coated tablets are essential, as they keep the oil from being released in the stomach
By : Natural Health News