Does your body feel sluggish? Is your digestion slow? Then Peppermint essential oil could be just the natural remedy you need.
One of the most universal essential oils, peppermint has been used to ease everything from headaches, menstrual cramps, arthritis, mental exhaustion, flatulence and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Peppermint has been used for centuries and can be traced as far back as ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. It began to gain recognition for its medicinal benefits in Western Europe in the mid-18th century.
Peppermint - The Ultimate Internal Body Workout.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is a flowering plant that grows throughout Europe and North America. The scientific name for peppermint is derived from the name Mintha, a Greek mythological nymph who transformed herself into the plant, and from the Latinpiper meaning "pepper." Peppermint is believed to be a cross (hybrid) between spearmint and water mint.
This universally loved plant has worldwide acceptance and it is widely cultivated for its fragrant oil. It is refreshing and stimulating, tones and settles your digestive system, and reduces spasms. It also helps tone your stomach, liver and intestines while strengthening and toning the nervous system. It is the ultimate internal body workout.
Benefits of Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil has been used historically for numerous health conditions, including1:
- Stomach disorders
- Gallbladder disease
- Halitosis (bad breath) and gingivitis
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Menstrual cramps, muscular aches and pains
- Relieves dermatitis and itching associated with eczema
- Antiviral - peppermint has anti-viral properties, including the herpes virus.2
- Intestinal disorders
- Liver fatigue
- Gas pain and cramps
- Detoxification - activates lymph flow and drainage
- Bronchitis, dry cough and asthma
- Helps emotional tolerance
The compounds of peppermint oil reduce spasms of the colon and intestinal tract, and, due to the presence of thymol and eugenol, balance oral and intestinal flora, thereby reducing fermentation of undigested food.
The antispasmodic action that makes peppermint oil useful in soothing menstrual cramps has also proven to effectively treat IBS. In a 1996 German double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 45 subjects with IBS were treated with a combination of peppermint and caraway oils (90 mg to 50 mg) given as enteric-coated capsules.
IBS Pain symptoms, which were reported as being moderate to severe, significantly improved in 89.5 percent of the test group.3
Sources of Peppermint
The United States is a principal producer of peppermint, and the largest markets for peppermint oil are manufacturers of chewing gum, toothpaste, mouthwash, and pharmaceuticals.
In fact, peppermint is so popular that you can find it in almost any personal care product and in many processed foods, like cookies and ice cream. Unfortunately, most of the products on the market are full of sugar and chemicals that can create toxins in your body.
Instead, consider growing peppermint in your garden and drying the leaves for tea or adding them as garnish a summer salad or perhaps a glass of delicious Young Coconut Kefir!
Peppermint oil is available in bulk herb oil, enteric-coated capsules, soft gelatin capsules, and as an essential oil.
Essential oils are potent because they are 70 times more concentrated than their plant counterparts.
At Body Ecology, we have long recommended the use of essential oils for your natural health and relaxation needs. The best essential oils are 100% pure; however, labeling laws allows companies to SAY they are 100 % pure and be extended with artificial chemicals by up to 50% (even those bought in health food stores) - SO BE VERY CAREFUL OF THE BRAND OF ESSENTIAL OILS YOU CHOOSE!
How to use Peppermint Oil
Peppermint essential oil is a wonderful natural remedy and can be used in several ways, including:
- Diffuse peppermint oil overnight to ease discomfort and help you breathe easier. You can do this with a diffuser and a small amount of essential oil. A diffuser allows the essential oil to permeate your room, filling the air with a delightful smell and allowing you to get peppermint oil's many respiratory benefits.
- Apply 3 - 5 drops peppermint oil per 1 Tablespoon organic unrefined almond oil, olive oil or your favorite unrefined oil that does not have a strong scent. This creates a carrier oil, which allows you to dilute the oil and carries it into your skin.
- Use this mixture of peppermint oil and your favorite organic unrefined oil for a massage oil or replacement for lotion.
- This mixture can be smoothed over your skin to relieve headaches and itchy skin. Massage it over your lower abdomen to ease digestive distress, on your lower back to relieve back pain or all over to stimulate lymph flow.
Reach for Your Health
Next time you want to freshen your breath, relieve a headache or ease digestive distress, instead of reaching for a candy or pill, reach for peppermint. Whether you drink peppermint tea or use soothingpeppermint essential oil, you'll be giving your body a natural remedy that has withstood the test of time.
Stay tuned for an upcoming article about how to use peppermint and lemon essential oils as part of a natural liver cleanse!
- Peppermint. Medline Plus.
- Peppermint. University of Maryland Medical Center.
- Siegel-Maier, Karyn. Peppermint: More Than Just Another Pretty Flavor! http://herbalmusings.com/Peppermint.htm
Want more articles like this?
Sign up to receive weekly articles. You'll also receive a 15% off coupon, weekly articles, and tips from Donna and her team.