5 Health and Beauty Benefits of Peppermint

| 7/8/2011 3:28:00 PM

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