12 Surprising Health Benefits of Peppermint

Updated on February 13, 2019
revmjm profile image

Margaret Minnicks is a health-conscious person who researches the health benefits of foods and drinks.

Peppermint flowers
Peppermint flowers | Source

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

  1. Freshens breath
  2. Eliminates bloating
  3. Relieves migraine headaches
  4. Could open up sinuses
  5. May give energy
  6. Relieves menstrual cramps
  7. May fight bacterial infections
  8. Improves sleep
  9. Aids in weight loss
  10. Reduces symptoms of seasonal allergies
  11. Improves concentration
  12. 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.

Eat a Peppermint Pattie for a Quick Boost. York Peppermint Patties.
Eat a Peppermint Pattie for a Quick Boost. York Peppermint Patties. | Source

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?

Cup of Peppermint Tea
Cup of Peppermint Tea | Source

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.

Peppermint Candy
Peppermint Candy | Source

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.

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.

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    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      5 months ago from Richmond, VA

      The Sampsons, I am so glad you read and commented on my article about the health benefits of peppermint. I love sharing articles to help others. So, try peppermint for sinuses and headaches and see what happens.

    • LADS Family profile image

      The Sampsons 

      5 months ago from The Ozarks, Missouri

      This is great. Thanks for sharing. I'll definitely go for the sinus and headache uses.

      I have some oil, but just use it with a foot scrub.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      5 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Ellison, I am glad to know that you use peppermint in a lot of your essential oil roller blends, especially for a headache and nausea.

      I love essential oils and use them for many things. I have discovered though that not many people use them.

    • Ellison Hartley profile image

      Ellison Hartley 

      5 months ago from Maryland, USA

      I use peppermint oil in a lot of my essential oil roller blends, It is in my headache blend and also the one I have for nausea. Another good use is to help get rid of mice evidently...though I have never tried it for that,

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      5 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Louise, you are like most people who don't realize the health benefits of peppermint. Most people limit the uses to just being a breath mint.

      Hopefully, you will use your peppermint essential oil for some of the reasons I described.

      As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      5 months ago from Norfolk, England

      I didn't realise peppermint had so many health benefits. To be honest, I'm not a great lover of peppermint tea, but I do have a small bottle of the essential oils.

    • NaturallyInspired profile image

      Jennifer C 

      5 months ago

      I wish I could drink peppermint tea but I can never seem to get through an entire cup. I do love my peppermint essential oil though. Very beneficial for many uses.

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