Peppermint is more than just a beloved candy. Peppermint is a plant of the mint family. It has dark green leaves and a strong, menthol aroma. For thousands of years people have been using peppermint to alleviate everything from bad breath to upset stomachs.
As more research is conducted on the many uses of peppermint, people are discovering ways to substitute peppermint for over the counter medications or harsh chemical solutions to health and home issues. Peppermint is most easily used as an essential oil, especially when it is being used as a topical application. It is also commonly taken as a tea. Here is a list of some common uses for peppermint essential oil.
This may seem like the most obvious use, because mint is so commonly used in toothpaste, mouthwash, gums and mints. However, people who suffer from severe, chronic halitosis (bad breath) know that a mere stick of mint gum does not alleviate this problem. Peppermint oil is a much stronger and more effective alternative. Peppermint is a bactericidal agent. That means it is not just covering bad breath, but is quite literally killing the bacteria causing bad breath. A few drops of peppermint essential oil on the tongue throughout the day can prove very effective.
We are all familiar with over the counter cold rubs. Many people find these products to be very effective in alleviating congestion due to colds or sinus problems. However, most of the products are not intended for use by young children. You can use peppermint oil to create your own, all-natural, kid safe cold rub at home. Combine a few drops of peppermint oil with eucalyptus oil and rub onto the chest, neck and back. Another comforting remedy is to add the oils to a hot bath and inhale the vapors. The warm steam along with the vapors from the essential oils will begin to have immediate results.
Relieves Stress and Fatigue
Peppermint oil has an almost instant rejuvenating effect on the body when either tasted or inhaled. A drop or two of the oil in a glass of ice water increases the refreshment. You can also rub a few drops onto your wrists and temples before a workout to increase your energy level and stamina. If you are feeling anxious or tired, inhaling peppermint that has either been sprayed or applied to your wrists can give you a quick pick me up. We all need a little boost during the day. Peppermint oil is a great alternative to sugar and caffeine.
Peppermint oil has been found effective for some people in treating moderate acne. However, before you apply peppermint oil directly to skin on your face, you should test a small area to ensure that you will not have a reaction to it. Some people are sensitive to the menthol in peppermint oil and direct application might cause irritation. If you do not react poorly, then apply a small amount of the oil directly to the affected spot.
This is one use that parents find extremely helpful. There is nothing worse than feeling torn between making a sick child feel better and worrying about the over the counter medications you are pumping into him to make him feel better. Especially when you are dealing with very young children the warning labels can be worrisome. Peppermint oil has been found to be a great alternative to many commercial fever reducers for mild fevers. Simply rub peppermint oil onto the bottom of the feet or onto the forehead. Please note: this is only recommended for mild fevers. If your child has an extremely high fever, other symptoms, is unresponsive, or confused due to a fever, you should seek emergency help. High fevers in young children can cause seizures in extreme cases.
The menthol that is naturally found in peppermint oil is used in a lot of over the counter products for muscle pain. Pain relieving, hot/cold creams however, incorporate a lot of other ingredients that can make it a bad choice for children or for people with certain sensitivities. When you use peppermint oil you get the same, if not better, results, without the side-affects. Rub a few drops of the oil into the sore muscle. Some women have also found it helpful to rub peppermint oil onto the abdominal area to relieve menstrual cramps.
Peppermint is especially useful in treating mild to moderate stomach issues, such as indigestion, gas, nausea and diarrhea. When taken in tea form, peppermint can be a comforting affective alternative to some stomach medications. People suffering from nausea can often find immediate relief by either inhaling peppermint or applying a few drops of peppermint oil to their tongue.
Peppermint is a lovely, aromatic herb that can help alleviate a multitude of health issue
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