Peppermint oil is considered to be one of the most useful and beneficial oils to have on hand. It can help with a wide variety of ailments. Doctors prescribe it to help treat conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), headaches, upset stomach, a blocked respiratory tract, nausea (including morning sickness), and even heartburn. It can also be used as a natural health supplement because of the vitamins and minerals it contains, such as vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, copper, omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. The reason it can help when it comes to breathing problems is because of the strong amounts of menthol that are found in this oil. Because of the menthol levels, many people also use it to help fight colds, asthma, and even bronchitis, but should avoid it during pregnancy. Other beneficial things it is known for is relieving stress, improving concentration, and a boost to mental clarity.
In Greek mythology it was believed that Hades turned a nymph into the peppermint plant. The scientific name of Mentha Piperita is titled after the nymph. In the scientific world it was believed to have been found in 1753 when Carl Linnaeus was the first to describe peppermint from some specimens collected in England. At first it was treated as a species, but now it is universally recognized as a hybrid of water mint and spearmint. Since it is a hybrid, the plant is usually sterile which means it produces no seeds and reproduces only vegetatively, spreading by its rhizomes. It typically is found in North America and Europe, but it can grow just about anywhere, with a few exceptions, once placed. The oil was used back in Egyptian times around 1000 B.C., as well as in ancient Asian cultures.
In 2007 Italian researchers decided to study how helpful the use of peppermint oil is in the use of IBS sufferers. At the conclusion of the four week trials, 78% of the patients who were treated with peppermint oil capsules reported that their health had increased and their symptoms they had been experiencing largely decreased. In 2011 Iranian studies were done that further confirmed the Italian research results. Also in 2011, it was discovered that peppermint oil provides relaxation and pain relief because the oil flows through a channel called TRPM8 which is an anti-pain channel. It has been a much studied oil over the years. Jean Valent MD tried to find its effect on liver and respiratory systems and Alan Hirsch MD studied its ability to affect the brain?s satiety center.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits other than the medicinal kind? This oil can be a helpful agent to add to cleansing sprays and works well as an insect repellent. It can also be used strictly for the aromatic benefits of having your home smell wonderful.
Are there any benefits for hair and skin? Yes, using this oil can help to keep lice away, as well as prevent dandruff. Because of the menthol properties, it will also help to stimulate the hair follicle, promoting hair growth. If used on the face, it can help to decrease oil production, resulting in clearer skin.
What are the best oils for blending? Peppermint blends best with Sandalwood, Basil, Bergamot, Cajeput, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Marjoram, Niaouli, Pine, Rosemary, Spearmint, Lavender, and Thyme essential oils.