The many uses of peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is an extremely versatile oil that is commonly found in many holiday-themed products, whether it be candies, candles, or shower gels. But even before people associated this oil with the holiday season, the Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans were using it for its medicinal properties.

Recently, public interest in peppermint oil has increased due to the countless studies proving its various health benefits, which are due to the presence of different biological compounds. Among these, is the main active ingredient called menthol. Some of the benefits that can be enjoyed from using peppermint oil include the following:

  • Boosts energy — Studies have shown that peppermint oil significantly improves physical and mental energy and performance in just five minutes. It works by improving your breathing capacity and increasing your oxygen levels so that your organs and muscles get the supply they need to function properly. Instead of going for energy drinks, just add a single drop of peppermint oil to a tall glass of water and drink up. Alternatively, if you’re scared of what it might taste like, you can choose to just inhale the scent directly — it will still provide you with the same benefits.
  • Relieves pain — Whether you’re experiencing muscle pain or joint pain, peppermint oil can help you feel better in no time. This is because of its menthol component, which has anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects. It also provides some additional help by increasing your pain tolerance. To use peppermint oil, just add a few drops of it to olive or coconut oil and apply it on the affected areas.
  • Kills microorganisms — Previous studies have shown that peppermint oil works against more than 22 strains of disease-causing bacteria and fungi. Just apply a few drops to the infected area or take peppermint oil capsules with the appropriate dosage, as recommended by a healthcare professional.
  • Improves skin — If you’re having breakouts, just place a drop of peppermint and jojoba oil on the areas that you’re concerned about two times per day. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint oil will work their magic and your acne will be gone in no time. Spent too much time under the sun? Not to worry, a bad case of sunburn is no match for the cooling and anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint oil.
  • Freshens breath — Peppermint oil is a common ingredient in oral care products that give you minty fresh breath. This effect is due not just to the inherent scent of peppermint oil but its potent antibacterial properties as well since bacteria are known for causing foul odors. To avoid toxic chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate and triclosan in commercially available oral care products, make your own breath spray by just adding a few drops of peppermint oil in a cup of water. Furthermore, you can produce your own breath mints by combining peppermint and coconut oil.
  • Clears a stuffy nose — If you’re finding it hard to breath because of your colds, try diffusing peppermint oil throughout your home. This will reduce the bacteria in the air that contribute to mucus congestion and relieve inflammation in your sinuses.
  • Reduces cancer risk — The menthol component of peppermint oil prevents tumor growth by inducing cancer cell death. Moreover, it also protects against radiation so that it can’t cause cell mutations.
  • Promotes good digestion — Digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome and flatulence can be remedied with peppermint oil. It works by relaxing the walls of the digestive tract and reducing inflammation. To achieve these effects, you can opt to take peppermint oil in capsule form or mix it with a carrier oil and rub the mixture on your abdomen. (Related: Peppermint oil – Powerful oil for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).)

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