The health benefits of peppermint oil include its ability to treat indigestion, respiratory problems, headache, nausea, fever, stomach and bowel spasms and pain. Due to the presence of menthol, menthone and menthyl esters, peppermint and peppermint oil find wide applications in manufacture of soap, shampoo, cigarette, toothpaste, chewing gum, tea and ice cream.
Peppermint is a cross between watermint and spearmint and is native to Europe. Historically, the herb has been known for its medicinal uses. Hence it is often termed as the world’s oldest medicine.
Unlike many other herbs and essential oils, numerous health benefits of peppermint and peppermint oil have been studied and proved by the scientific community. As a result, peppermint oil is also sold in the form of capsules and tablets.
Peppermint oil is also used as a flavoring agent. You will find very few people who will not find peppermint suitable to their palate.
The health benefits of peppermint oil include the following:
- Indigestion: Peppermint oil is very helpful in digestion. Often people put a few drops of peppermint oil in a glass of water and drink it after their meal due to its digestive properties. It is carminative and therefore helps in removing gas. Peppermint oil is a good tonic for those who have a low appetite. It also helps during motion sickness and upset stomach. Preliminary research has proved that peppermint oil in the combination of caraway oil can be used for treating heartburns.
- Dental Care: Peppermint oil, due to its antiseptic properties, is useful for dental care. It removes bad breath and helps teeth and gums deal with germs. No wonder, it is added in numerous toothpastes. It is also useful for treating toothaches.
- Respiratory Problems: Menthol, which is present in abundance in peppermint oil, helps in clearing the respiratory tract. It is an effective expectorant and therefore provides instantaneous, though temporary, relief in numerous respiratory problems including nasal congestion, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, cold and cough. As a result, it is used in numerous cold rubs. When these cold rubs are rubbed on the chest, they remove nasal and respiratory congestion immediately.
- Nausea and Headache: Peppermint oil is a good home remedy for nausea and headache. Applying peppermint oil in diluted form on the forehead is known to remove headache.
- Stress: Like most other essential oils, peppermint is able to provide relief from stress, depression and mental exhaustion due to its refreshing nature. It is also effective against anxiety and restlessness.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The muscle relaxing property of peppermint oil has been found to ease irritable bowel syndrome. This has been validated through preliminary scientific research though the exact mechanism is still unknown.
- Antispasmodic: Peppermint oil is very effective for gastroscopy, colonoscopy and during double-contrast barium enema. It is applied intraluminally. Further benefits of peppermint oil due to its antispasmodic properties are being studied.
- Urinary Tract Infection: Peppermint oil can be used for treating urinary tract infection (UTI). However, thorough scientific studies are yet to be conducted to confirm this.
- Pain Relief: Peppermint oil can be used externally for providing relief from pain. It is believed that the presence of calcium antagonism in peppermint oil aids in removing pain. It is cooling in nature and therefore helps reduce fever.
- Immune System: Peppermint oil increases your immunity to diseases and therefore helps you in preventing a number of diseases.
- Blood Circulation: It also improves blood circulation.
- Hair Care: Peppermint oil is very useful for hair care as it gives a cooling effect to the head, and removes dandruff and lice.
- Skin Care: Peppermint oil contains Menthol, which is good for skin. It gives a cooling effect. Further it nourishes dull skin and improves oily skin.