12 Surprising Health Benefits of Peppermint
Peppermint is an aromatic herb in the mint family. It is a cross between watermint and spearmint. It is the menthol that gives peppermint its cooling properties and minty scent. The menthol content is also what gives peppermint its many health benefits.
Because of its minty taste, peppermint is known to many as a breath freshener. However, peppermint should not be limited to being only a breath freshener. The natural ingredients found in peppermint tea and in peppermint leaves may be beneficial to your health in several ways. The antibacterial properties in peppermint may cure some of the illnesses and discomfort you have.
Health Benefits of Peppermint
- Freshens breath
- Eliminates bloating
- Relieves migraine headaches
- Could open up sinuses
- May give energy
- Relieves menstrual cramps
- May fight bacterial infections
- Improves sleep
- Aids in weight loss
- Reduces symptoms of seasonal allergies
- Improves concentration
- Reduces stress
1. Freshens Breath
Let's start with the benefits of using peppermint as a breath freshener, since that's what most people know. Because of its menthol content, peppermint is an aroma found in toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, and breath mints. Its minty taste and scent freshen a person's breath. Peppermint also kills germs that cause dental plaque.
After brushing your teeth, apply a drop of peppermint oil on your toothbrush and brush your tongue. You can make your own refreshing mouth rinse by mixing a couple drops of peppermint oil with a pinch of salt in a small glass of water.
2. Eliminates Bloating
Drinking peppermint tea may help eliminate bloating, gas, and relieve other digestive symptoms. It eliminates severe abdominal pain and stomach discomfort, because of its soothing menthol properties.
It can be used to ease stomach pain and improve digestion. To ease gallbladder pain, drink peppermint tea regularly. Rub peppermint oil on the abdomen to help muscles become relaxed and improve digestive symptoms.
3. Relieves Migraine Headaches
Peppermint, in any form, acts as a muscle relaxant and pain reliever. Therefore, you do not have to suffer from tension headaches and migraines. Pain can be reduced within a few minutes of applying a very small dab of peppermint oil to the forehead, temples, behind the ears, and on the back of the neck. That's because peppermint is as effective as 1,000 mg of acetaminophen (found in Tylenol) and other over-the-counter pain relievers.
4. Could Open Up Sinuses
Because of antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, peppermint tea should be a sinus sufferers' best friend. The menthol in peppermint tea helps with the airflow in the nasal cavity. Hot peppermint may help people breathe a little easier. Keep peppermint on hand for times when your sinuses are clogged.
5. May Give Energy
If you often find yourself feeling tired and low on energy, try drinking peppermint tea. The beverage may reduce your tired feeling and give you a boost of energy. For some people, peppermint oil will relieve fatigue and daytime sleepiness.
6. Relieves Menstrual Cramps
Peppermint acts as a muscle relaxant to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps. Peppermint extract capsules are known to be as effective as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to reduce the intensity and duration of abdominal pain. That's because peppermint helps prevent muscle contractions.
Peppermint tea is tasty, and caffeine-free. It has no calories and can be enjoyed hot and cold at any time of day.
7. May Fight Bacterial Infections
Peppermint oil has been shown to effectively kill E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. It has also been shown to prevent the growth of these bacteria in foods. Peppermint is also good for reducing bacteria commonly found in the mouth.
8. Improves Sleep
There is no need to lie awake at night or toss and turn while you're trying to go to sleep. Sipping a cup of peppermint tea will do more for you than a sleeping pill. Because it is naturally caffeine-free, peppermint tea is an ideal choice before bedtime. An added benefit is that it helps you relax before falling asleep.
9. Aids in Weight Loss
If you are trying to lose weight, drink peppermint tea, because it has no calories (unless you add sugar). The beverage, whether hot or cold, helps curb your appetite. Whenever you have a craving for an unhealthy snack, drink a cup of peppermint tea instead.
A drop of peppermint oil on the tongue, or inhaling it from the palm of your hands, will have the same effect. Try drinking peppermint tea or use peppermint essential oil. What do you have to lose, except a little weight?
10. Reduces Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
There has been some evidence that drinking peppermint tea can help reduce symptoms of allergies, such as sneezing, itchy nose, and running nose. Getting relief is as simple as drinking a cup of peppermint tea or inhaling peppermint essential oil.
11. Improves Concentration
Studies performed on college students have found that drinking peppermint tea helps them improve their ability to concentrate and focus on classwork.
They have also discovered that inhaling peppermint essential oil helps them get better grades on tests, because they are more relaxed. Peppermint oil was also found to improve memory and alertness.
12. Reduces Mental Stress
Because peppermint tea is naturally free of caffeine, you can drink it at any time for a naturally calming effect. Try drinking a cup of peppermint tea when you feel uneasy. It will help you relax, especially before retiring for the night.
How to Make the Perfect Cup of Peppermint Tea
- Bring two cups of water to a boil.
- Tear a handful of peppermint leaves into pieces.
- Add the peppermint leaves to the hot water.
- Cover and steep for about five minutes.
- Strain the tea and drink it hot, or save it until it is cold.
- Drink and enjoy.
What Is Peppermint in?
Peppermint is a convenient herb that is available and can be used in many different forms.
- Breath mints are handy and convenient. They can benefit you in more ways than just freshening your breath.
- Caffeine-free tea is often consumed for its pleasant flavor, but it can also provide you many health benefits.
- Eating peppermint candies can reduce some severe pain in the body.
- Peppermint extract is ideal as a pain reliever.
- Peppermint essential oil can be inhaled or rubbed on the body to help with certain ailments.
Sources for Additional Reading
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.