Peppermint Oil

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Peppermint Oil

You will find many articles online dealing with this subject matter, but I will present here a suggestion that is not discussed in many articles. It can be very useful for people who are athletes or just regular people like me that like to go to the gym on a regular basis.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Plant

It is a herbaceous perennial plant and can grow as tall as a meter. It is found in Europe and also in the Middle Eastern regions. However, peppermint itself is a natural hybrid of watermint and spearmint plants. Its main content is menthol an organic compound. Menthol is responsible for triggering the cold receptors in the skin and hence the cooling sensation when we apply it on the skin, inhale or take it internally.

Spiders and mice hate peppermint. So if you hate spiders and mice, love peppermint. You must have heard the age old adage; The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Menthol itself is derived from the microscopic sacs that contain this potent chemical of

Peppermint Oil Sacs

Peppermint oil sacs as seen under a microscope

nature and are usually extracted in the form of oil by means of steam distillation. The oil derived from the leaves is so potent that one drop is equivalent to 45 cups of peppermint tea!

Peppermint used in Ancient World

Peppermint is believed to have originated in Northern Africa and also the Mediterranean and in ancient Egyptian medical text dating way back to 1150 BC. Mainly used for calming stomach pains. Sometimes such plants were valued so highly that they were used as currency. At some point in time, it was used as currency similar to Frankincense. Used as a remedy for treating all manner of ailments from sores, venereal disease, colds and headaches.

Nutritional Properties

Peppermint contains the following vitamins

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • B Vitamins
  • Folate
  • Pantothenic Acid

And the following minerals

  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc

Remedies used in Ayurveda

Used in ayurvedic aromatherapy, when inhaled, reaches the brain in a matter of seconds having a calming and refreshing effect on the body. Mint clears stagnation in the stomach, the gallbladder, in the lymph nodes, blood, and the lungs. Applied topically, it also alleviates itching skin. An ayurvedic treatment for indigestion. As a carminative (discomfort of gas in the digestive tract), it facilitates the release of gas. As an antispasmodic, mint relaxes muscles, thus relaxing the body. It prevents spasm of the blood vessels, leading to vasoconstriction and potentially tissue ischemia and necrosis. Usually in the case of bronchitis, people experience difficulty in breathing due to a contraction of smooth muscle in the walls of the bronchi and bronchioles. Peppermint can relax these smooth muscles alleviating the symptoms.

Other Uses

One drop of this oil is sufficient to eliminate bad breath and keeps gums healthy. It alleviates a headache when applied to temples.

Add a drop of peppermint oil to a glass of water to get rid of

  • Flatulence
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Peppermint is very beneficial for treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), due to its intrinsic muscle relaxing property.

Enhancing Athletic Performance

What I would love to add here is an important study pertaining to peppermint essential oil that is not very well known;

Enhancing athletic performance is a great desire among the athletes, coaches and researchers. Mint is one of the most famous natural herbs used for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant, and vasoconstrictor effects. Experiments were carried out to show that after the oral administration of peppermint essential oil, there was a significant increase in performance, power and energy levels of the athletes. This research has been published in US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and can be found here for further reading (for those who dare to read it).

 

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