Unlock the Power of Peppermint
By Sara Butler
Peppermint is everywhere! You may even have some growing in your backyard that you just can’t seem to get rid of. Peppermint is a very useful plant, and it can be used in a variety of ways to improve how you feel (and smell). Here are just a few of the ways peppermint may be able to help you feel your best.
What is Peppermint?
You can find the peppermint plant growing in some variety on every continent but Antarctica. It’s a plant with dark green leaves that often sprouts white or purple flowers. If you pick a leaf and tear or crush it, there is no mistaking the peppermint smell released.
The leaves and stems of the peppermint plant contain oil, called menthol, and it has been used medicinally for centuries. In modern times it is also used in cosmetics and food.
What You Can Buy
You can find peppermint in the store as a tea, as well as capsules that allow it not to be digested in the stomach so it can be released into the small intestine, and in over-the-counter creams and ointments. If you’re considering taking the pill form of peppermint, you should discuss it with a healthcare professional first just to be on the safe side.
If you’re experiencing gas pains or nausea, peppermint is a wonderfully natural way to help. It works by calming the muscles in your stomach and improving the flow of the bile used to digest fats. This allows food to pass through your stomach faster. Be aware that it will not help if you have acid reflux disease.
Skin Irritation or Itching
If you have an unfortunate encounter with poison ivy, poison oak or hives you can use peppermint to help. Apply the oil to the skin to calm and cool the area.
If you suffer from tension headaches you may want to get some peppermint oil. Research has found that applying it to your temples and forehead can help to relieve the symptoms of a tension headache.
If you have nasal congestion due to the flu or a cold, peppermint can be helpful in the fight to clear your airways. The active ingredient in peppermint, menthol, is an effective decongestant because it thins mucus. It also helps to loosen up phlegm, soothe a sore throat and dry up your cough.
Peppermint is a natural way to help you add a little pep to your step. Discover what it can do for you!