Mother Earth Living

Natural Health

Better living through nature

Add to My MSN

5 Health and Beauty Benefits of Peppermint

7/8/2011 3:28:00 PM

Tags: natural health, health, beauty, peppermint, skin, antibacterial, antimicrobial, stomach problems, nausea, digestion, headaches, bacteria, bad breath

Soothing but invigorating, peppermint is just one of many varieties of the well-known mint family. Although spearmint was used more in early Greek and Roman times, peppermint gained notoriety around the 18th century for its use as a stomach aid, and before that, during the Middle Ages, it was used to freshen breath and whiten teeth.

Today peppermint is still used in widely used. Thanks to menthol, the active ingredient in peppermint, this plant can alleviate a number of health and beauty problems.

peppermint plant 

Digestion: Peppermint is most famed for its use in relieving stomach problems. Both a carminative and an antispasmodic, peppermint can help disorders of the digestive system including gas, bloating, nausea, indigestion and cramps. Studies have even shown peppermint effective at relieving irritable bowel syndrome; 75 percent of participants in the study showed a reduction in IBS symptoms after taking peppermint oil capsules for four weeks. Peppermint helps relieve stomach problems by relaxing the smooth muscles in the digestive track. Make a cup of peppermint tea, or chew on peppermint leaves.

Headaches: Another of peppermint’s big “claims to fame” in the health department is its ability to relieve headaches. Peppermint can soothe headaches in two ways. If rubbed on the skin at strategic points, such as your temples, peppermint oil can relax the muscles causing tension headaches. If inhaled, peppermint can relieve sinus pressure and induce calm.

peppermint leaves in a glass bowl 

Colds and Flu: Menthol, the active ingredient in peppermint, thins mucus, helping to reduce sinus and chest congestion and remove mucus from the body. Peppermint can also soothe irritated throats. Add a couple drops of peppermint oil to a humidifier and breathe deeply.

Skin Irritation: Thanks to its cooling properties, peppermint can soothe irritated skin caused by insect bites, burns, rashes, and poison ivy and poison oak. (Like all essential oils, peppermint oil can irritate the skin and should be diluted before applied topically.)

Bad Breath: Because peppermint is also antibacterial and antimicrobial, chewing on peppermint leaves or rinsing with a peppermint-based mouthwash can keep bad breath at bay and prevent dental hygiene problems caused by an overabundance of bacteria in the mouth.

Images: Photos By Zach Bulick/Courtesy Flickr


Susan Melgren is the Web Editor of
Mother Earth Living. Find her on .


Related Content

5 Health Benefits of Cauliflower

Explore the many health benefits of cauliflower, from cancer prevention to digestive support.

9 Beauty and Health Benefits of Yogurt

Thanks to its live cultures, yogurt can balance bacteria in the body, offering a number of health an...

Passive House Design: Energy-Efficient Doors

Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller shares discusses the lack of energy-efficient, in...

Growing Crazy Peppermint Plants

Growing invasive peppermints is not always a bad thing!

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 



Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.