You may often pop up peppermint candies or relish a cup peppermint tea being unaware of the awesome benefits of this herb. Peppermint has been used to treat a number of common ailments or as condiments since ages. The effectiveness of this herb in curing ailments is well proven making it quite popular among other herbs.
High menthol content along with additional menthol derivatives is responsible for the immense beneficial functions of this herb. Dried peppermint leaves and oil are readily available in stores and therefore are widely used. Though this herb is used for medicinal purposes, care should be taken about the overdose and side effects as well. Overdose may cause headaches or heartburn. Pregnant women and nursing women should be extra cautious while using peppermint oil.
7 Awesome Uses Of Peppermint
Below are listed seven awesome uses of peppermint which you can apply as and when required.
1. Reduces Congestion
If you are suffering from a common cold, rub a few drops of peppermint oil around your nose and over your chest. The pleasant aroma of menthol soothes the olfactory nerves clearing the congested nasal passages. This also provides quick relief from chest congestion enabling you to breathe freely. Inhaling peppermint oil is also helpful in treating nasal and chest congestion arising from common cold.
2. Treats Morning Sickness
Peppermint is very useful in treating morning sickness. During pregnancy, morning sickness is a common ailment. Drinking a cup of peppermint tea or chewing peppermint candy is very effective in reducing the symptoms of this ailment. The potent ingredient menthol does quick magic.
3. Reduces Headaches
When it comes to dealing with headaches, peppermint can be your savior. Whether it is a common stress related headache or caused by sinus or migraine, you can use peppermint oil. Rub few drops of peppermint oil on your forehead and temples and lie down for half an hour. Soaking in peppermint flavored bath water can also give you good result. In case of migraine, soak a soft cloth in peppermint flavored cool water. Squeeze out the water and place the cloth over your forehead. Lie down in a relaxed position till the headache subsides.
4. Helps In Weight Loss
This may sound weird but is a well proven fact. Tea prepared from peppermint leaves is caffeine free and if drunk alternately with green tea helps in shedding extra pounds. Drinking peppermint tea and green tea alternately enhances your metabolism burning more calories. This also reduces your unnecessary food cravings helping you stick to your weight loss diet. Boil water in a pan and add one teaspoon of fresh or dried peppermint leaves. Turn off the heat, and allow the decoction to steep for 10-20 minutes. Strain the liquor and add sugar or honey or any other sweetener as per your choice.
5. Treating Stomach Cramps
Those prone to gastrointestinal disorders often experience stomach cramps, which can be dealt effectively with peppermint. Peppermint relaxes the stomach muscles alleviating the painful cramps quickly. The antispasmodic effect of menthol helps in reducing intestinal cramps. You can take enteric coated capsules or drink warm peppermint tea. This treatment is applicable in case of stomach cramps arising from dyspepsia, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems. GERD patients should avoid this treatment.
6. Relieves Muscular Aches
Spraining muscles is a common event in everybody’s life and peppermint also works wonders in this case. Ideally, massaging a mixture of 2 drops of peppermint oil, 2 drops of sandalwood oil and 2 -4 drops of sweet marjoram oil mixed in 20-30 drops of a carrier oil (almond or coconut oil) over the affected area 2-3 times a day gradually eases off the muscular pain. You can also add few drops of peppermint oil in cold water or ice pack for cold compress if required to treat muscular sprain or injury. Peppermint is also known for its analgesic property which helps in reducing pain and inflammation.
7. Used For Skin Treatment
If you are affected by poison ivy or any insect bite, topical application of peppermint oil can be very useful. This essential oil is well known for antimicrobial properties. Peppermint oil is always available in a concentrated form; therefore, it is always recommended to dilute in a carrier oil (almond, olive or coconut oil) before application. Prepare a natural facial cleanser mixing a few drops of peppermint oil, Aloe Vera Gel, Tea tree oil and honey to beat acne. Wash your face and apply this cleanser gently. Leave it for 10-20 minutes finally rinsing off with water.