Mint is one of the most versatile medicinal plants that you can find. Researchers from the Tufts University – Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging – state that the benefits of mint are owed especially to the phenolic compounds (rosmarinic acid), flavonoids (luteolin, and hesperidin) and menthol essential oils (35-45%), as well as menthone (10-30%).
In vitro studies have shown that mint has strong anti-microbial, antiviral, antioxidant and antitumoral effects.
Experiments on animals have also demonstrated relaxing effects on gastrointestinal tissues, analgesic and anesthetic effects on the central and peripheric nervous system. Mint also has immunostimulatory and chemopreventive properties.
Dr. Axe says that every family should have peppermint oil in the medicine cabinets found in their homes. The health problems where it cannot help are few. It is especially useful against stomach pains, bad breath, headaches, poor attention span, breathing difficulties, lack of energy and stressed muscles.
Applied on skin, it has a calming and cooling effect that helps relieve muscle pain. Studies recommend peppermint oil against nausea and muscular spasms in the colon and stomach area.
Practical uses of peppermint oil
Peppermint oil is used for medicinal purposes since the year 1000 BC. Statements about its uses have been found to go as far back as the ancient Egypt. Here are a few health problems it can help with.
- It can clear your sinuses and soothe an irritated throat. Peppermint oil can be inhaled for this purpose. It has expectorant effects, making it useful for coughs and colds, sinusitis, asthma, and bronchitis.
- Muscle pain. The oil has strong calming effects when applied externally. It reduces back pain, muscle pain and tension at the head level. It can be used in combination with other essential oils, such as eucalyptus.
- Joint pain. Peppermint oil can be used together with lavender oil. It has an effect that is just as calming as an ice compress.
- High appetite. Inhaling this oil reduces appetite and helps bring satiety quicker. Use a few drops in aromatherapy or massage them on your temples and chest. Our you can simply inhale the scent from the bottle.
- Allergies. To reduce allergy symptoms, use peppermint oil in combination with eucalyptus and clove oil in aromatherapy. It helps relax your nasal cavity and clear the allergens.
- Fever. Due to its cooling effects, this oil is effective against fever, especially when it comes to children. Mix it with coconut or other vegetal oil and massage it into the neck and feet.
- Skin inflammation. A combination of peppermint and lavender oil helps reduce the effects of eczemas and psoriasis.
- Cancer. Clinical studies suggest that menthol, an active compound found in peppermint oil, inhibits the growth of cancer in the colon and protects against DNA damage and cell death induced by radiation. As of today, there are more than 300 studies done on peppermint oil and more than 2200 on the menthol compound.
These are just a few health problems that peppermint helps battle. No matter what your health condition is like, you owe it to yourself to have its oil in your cabinet. You never know when its impressive benefits come handy.