Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil
The use of Peppermint Essential Oil as a therapeutic medicine dates back to thousands of years. The oil has earned a reputation of being one of the oldest medicines used in ancient history. However, today FDA deems Peppermint Oil, safe, offering several benefits for health.
Peppermint known as Mentha piperita, in botanical terms is a mix of spearmint and watermint. Native to Europe, the plant is now cultivated across the globe, mainly for the oil which is obtained from the plant through steam distillation. Peppermint comprises of fatty acids, including vitamins C and A, including chief esters such as menthol, menthyl and menthone.
Properties of Peppermint Oil
Uses of Peppermint Oil
Peppermint Oil is one of the chief constituents used for flavouring beverages and foods like ice creams, tea, chewing gum, mouth fresheners and toothpaste. In the world of cosmetics too, Peppermint Oil imparts its delicate fragrance to shampoo, soaps skin creams and ointments. Besides this, Peppermint Essential Oil is available in the form of dietary supplements useful for treating several health problems.
Health Benefits of Peppermint Oil
Peppermint Oil consisting of 35 to 45% Menthol helps relieve respiratory distress related to cough, cold, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis and nasal congestion. Therefore, menthol is one of the main elements used in the manufacturing of balms and vapour rubs.
Peppermint Oil is beneficial for treating various digestive disorders ranging from simple stomach upsets to motion sickness, heartburn, nausea, lack of appetite and irritable bowel syndrome. Hence, following a meal, drinking a glass of water combined with a few drops of Peppermint Oil works well to relieve symptoms of gastritis. According to preliminary studies, combined with caraway oil, Peppermint Oil eliminates heartburn providing immediate relief.
As with other oils, Peppermint Oil with its refreshing elements combats depressive symptoms pertaining to restlessness, anxiety, nervous tension and mood swings. However, inhaling the volatile oil elevates mood, improves concentration and cognitive health keeping the mind sharp and alert.
An excellent antiseptic, Peppermint Oil works as a mouth freshener, eradicating halitosis. It also safeguards the gums and teeth from bacterial attack, promoting dental health. Hence, it is not surprising that most chewing gums, toothpastes and mouth fresheners contain this element as one of the main ingredients, to strengthen teeth and keep the gums healthy.
The antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral elements that exist in Peppermint Essential Oil is beneficial for people with lack of resistance to illness because of weakened immune system. Nevertheless Peppermint Oil comprising of carvacrol, menthol and camphor helps resist certain forms of bacteria like staph infections including salmonella and E. Coli.
Possible Side Effects of Peppermint Essential Oil
Although Peppermint Oil is effective for addressing various ailments, it is imperative to use the herbal oil with utmost care and precaution as there possibilities of side effects and drug interactions.
- Avoid during pregnancy/lactation
- Do not use the oil while suffering from Hiatus hernia/GERD (gastroesophegeal reflux disease)
- In children, application of oil on the face may produce spasms causing breathing difficulties.
- Skin rashes may occur with external application
- Mouth sores, flushing and headaches are the other possibilities
- People with Achlorhydria, a stomach condition with inadequate production of hydrochloric acid, must refrain from using this oil.
- The oil has a tendency to aggravate symptoms of Gallstones
- Peppermint Oil may interfere with medications such as antidiabetic, antihypertensive, antacids and Cyclosporine