Peppermint is well-known around the world for being just that, a flavour of mint, associated with toothpaste or chocolate, and maybe a tummy-settling tea. But the truth is peppermint has so much more to offer than simply wonderful flavour.
- Peppermint Can Improve Dental Health
Have you ever wondered why mouthwash and gum is peppermint flavoured? Peppermint itself has antibacterial properties (menthol) that fight the growth of dental plaque, which in turn can improve your breath. Using peppermint hydrosol as a mouthwash is the most effective way to use peppermint as a breath freshener.
2. Peppermint May Ease Digestive Issues
You may have heard that peppermint tea is good to drink after a meal or to settle your tummy, and I’ll tell you why. Peppermint has been shown to relax your digestive system, which reduces spasms in your gut and thus, gut pain. Peppermint oil has been shown to reduce nausea and vomiting, as well as aid in IBS symptoms. Peppermint oil has also been shown to reduce the length, severity, and frequency of abdominal pain in a study done on over 2000 children.
3. Peppermint Fights Colds and Flus
Peppermint is also great for fighting colds and flus, as it has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti inflammatory properties. The menthol in peppermint improves the perception of airflow through your nose when it’s feeling stuffy, so it makes you feel like you can breathe easier. And of course, warm liquids have been shown to temporarily reduce cold and flu symptoms, making peppermint tea a top choice when you’re feeling under the weather.
4. Peppermint may Increase Energy and Improve Concentration
Peppermint oil has been shown to increase energy, reduce midday energy lags, and improve concentration, thanks to its ability to increase blood flow, and its stimulating scent.
5. Peppermint as a Muscle Relaxant
However, as peppermint is also a muscle relaxant, it can be effective in reducing the intensity and length of menstrual cramps. Peppermint oil both inhaled and applied to the temples and forehead has even been proven to reduce tension headaches and migraines.
How can you use peppermint?
There are a few simple ways to introduce peppermint into your daily lives. Peppermint tea is a great option; oil is released from the leaves when steeped, although the quantity from dried leaves is significantly less than in fresh. Peppermint capsules can be found at your local health food stores, or you can try a peppermint hydrosol, also known as floral water.
Hydrosols are the water soluble parts of a plant that is produced when distilling for essential oil. While containing the same properties that make the essential oil beneficial, they are much milder than the essential oil. This means they can be sprayed directly on the skin, or diluted in water for ingestion. As a mouthwash, they can be used at full strength.
Do your body a favour and introduce some peppermint into your life. Or, as a certain girl band once said, spice up your life!