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Peppermint Oil Health Benefits, Properties, and Uses

Peppermint Oil

Properties: Anti-fungal, Antibacterial, Anti-viral, Anti-microbial, Digestive stimulant, Anti-itching

What is Peppermint Oil?

Peppermint is an herb cultivated for commercial purposes and commonly used as a flavoring agent. The plant is a natural cross of spearmint and white mint, but it was not recognized as its own mint until the 1700s. The volatile oil, or essential oil, is present in the leaves and flowers of the plant and can be cultivated to be used in herbal medicine. Peppermint oil has a pleasant scent and can be used as a fragrance in cosmetics such as soap. It’s also available in liquid or capsule form and used to treat a variety of health conditions.1,2

Peppermint Oil Uses and Health Benefits

Peppermint oil has been used to treat everything from headaches to gastrointestinal problems. One of the most prominent peppermint oil uses is in aiding in digestion. It’s also said to help with more serious digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome and upset stomach. This is due to its menthol content, which can help reduce smooth muscle spasms.1,3 

Peppermint oil benefits also include positive effects on the respiratory system. It acts as a decongestant and may help patients fight tuberculosis. When used in aromatherapy, it may help relieve nausea and vomiting during labor. It’s also beneficial for treating herpes, relieving stress and nervous disorders, and promoting dental health. Peppermint oil acts as a natural pain reliever, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiviral.3,4 Other peppermint oil benefits include for:

  • Headache - Inhaling the scent of peppermint oil through aromatherapy techniques can help reduce headache severity.
  • Muscle Fatigue - Topical use of peppermint oil may help in reducing muscle fatigue.
  • Post-Nasal Drip - Inhaling peppermint oil can help ease post-nasal drip symptoms, such as excess mucus.
  • Snoring - Inhaling peppermint oil while you sleep may help open up the airways and prevent snoring.
  • Skin Abscess - Peppermint oil compresses are thought to help treat skin abscesses.

Peppermint Oil Side Effects and Precautions

Peppermint oil is generally considered safe to use, but it’s important you follow the precautions listed on the product label. Peppermint oil overdose can occur when too much is swallowed, resulting in the following peppermint oil side effects:

  • Slow heart rate
  • Shallow breathing
  • Slow or rapid breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the urine
  • Dizziness
  • Unconsciousness

If any of these peppermint oil side effects occur, seek medical attention immediately. Do not give peppermint oil to infants. Applying this oil to a child’s face can cause facial spasms that affect breathing.6 Talk to your doctor about other herbs or medications you’re taking to avoid interactions.

 

References

  1. http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_peppermint.htm
  2. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/peppermintoil
  3. http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/peppermint-oil.aspx
  4. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/aromatherapy
  5. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002685.htm
  6. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/peppermint

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CuresDecoded worldwide community recommends Peppermint Oil for:

Fungal Infection Highly effective See comments
Athlete’s Foot Highly effective
Ringworm Highly effective
Snoring Effective
Skin Abscess Effective
Muscle Fatigue Effective
Post-nasal Drip Effective

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