The 5 medicinal benefits of peppermint

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Peppermint Tea(NaturalHealth365) You may have been drinking peppermint tea for years simply to select a hot herbal beverage and avoid caffeine; however, the fact of the matter is that there are an array of medicinal benefits of peppermint. The plant itself is a cross between spearmint and watermint.

For thousands of years, people have loved the taste and scent of peppermint and have been using it for flavor and also in cleansers. But, how does peppermint actually improve your health?

Eliminate headaches and IBS with peppermint oil and tea

Peppermint can dilate the blood vessels. This vasodilatory effect makes it invaluable for treating headaches and migraines. People have found that when applied to the temples, neck or forehead, a drop of peppermint oil can be quite effective in removing pain.

In addition, studies have shown that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), can be relieved through consumption of peppermint. Try either peppermint capsules or even fresh leaves. Drinking a few cups of tea a day can also work.

This plant can serve to relax the gastro-esophageal sphincter muscle. Be aware though that ingesting too much peppermint can backfire and cause an acidic reaction. Be sure to select enteric coated capsules, as they keep the oil from being released into the stomach.

Use peppermint to relieve physical pain

Due to peppermint’s anti-inflammatory properties, another one of the benefits of peppermint is that it can reduce pain. Try it to relieve everything from muscle pain and arthritis to menstrual cramps. Apply the oil a few times a day and rub it into the skin.

Do you suffer with indigestion?

Ingesting peppermint will improve the flow of bile, allowing your body to digest fats. Since food can pass through the body at a quicker pace, it can help with indigestion. Peppermint can also help with other digestive disorders including nausea, colic, gas, and diarrhea. It has a calming impact and temporarily numbs the smooth muscles.

Peppermint oil can help you overcome the common cold

Researchers have seen peppermint kill bacteria, fungus and viruses in test tubes. As a result, many experts believe it has antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Additionally, since peppermint is a decongestant and expectorant, it can help with congestion, coughs and colds.

Massaging oil directly into the chest can help with coughs, as its menthol also thins mucus.

Peppermint is amazingly versatile and you can easily find it fresh or in oils, tablets or creams at health food stores. Impressively, these 5 items listed above are just a few of the many health benefits of peppermints. It can also help with everything from stress and anxiety, to head lice and acne.

This truly is an amazing plant. Before using peppermint oil on the skin, we recommend that you dilute it with some extra virgin olive oil. You may also want to do a skin test first. And, naturally, if you have any health problem – it’s best to consult a trusted, healthcare provider.

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Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/peppermint-oil-uses-benefits-effects
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/peppermint-000269.htm
http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/HEALTHbeat_073107.htm

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