The peppermint essential oil is extracted through the process of steam distillation of peppermint stems, leaves and flowers. Peppermint, with a scientific name of Mentha piperita belongs to the Lamiaceae family. The peppermint oil is a storehouse of various vital nutrients and minerals and therefore the health benefits of peppermint essential oil are immense. It is grown in abundance in Europe and India, owing to its beneficial factors this herbaceous perennial plant is now being used to treat more ailments than one.
Why is Peppermint Essential Oil Unique?
The peppermint essential oil mainly constitutes of Menthol, Menthone, Menthyl acetate, Phellandrene and Cineole. It also contains compounds like Limonene, Pulegone, Caryophyllene and Pinene. Apart from these compounds, it contains various important nutrients and minerals like manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, copper, folate, omega-3fatty acids and vitamins A and C which in turn add to the health benefits of peppermint essential oil.
Health Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil
There are several health benefits of peppermint essential oil due to the presence of various vital components, compounds, nutrients and minerals. This essential oil is famous for medicinal properties.
Benefits in Digestion : Peppermint essential oil aids digestion. A drop of peppermint oil in a glass of water after a meal will solve all problems related to indigestion. Due to its carminative and anesthetic properties it helps in dealing with problems like flatulence and nausea.
Benefits in motion-sickness : Aroma therapists recommend peppermint oil to be a part of every traveler’s first aid kit. Few drops of this oil in diluted form in tea, water or some other form can work wonders in healing motion sickness and queasiness. Children too can be given few drops of this oil on a sugar cube to cure motion sickness.
Benefits against Gastrointestinal Disorders : It is believed that peppermint oil cures any kind of gastrointestinal disorders. When combined with caraway oil, peppermint oil helps in reducing heart burns. It also helps greatly for people suffering from a low appetite as it helps you in regaining your appetite.
Benefits to Respiratory Tract : One of the major components of peppermint oil is menthol which in turn helps in clearing the respiratory tract and removes any kind of congestion. It acts as a great expectorant and provides you instant relief from cough and cold and also deals with other serious respiratory problems like sinus, asthma and bronchitis. It is an important ingredient in all cold balms which gives respite from nasal congestions when applied on chest.
Benefits to Teeth : Peppermint essential oil possesses antiseptic properties that help in maintaining proper dental care. It fights against cavities caused by germs and prevents them from attacking the gums and teeth. It also enables you to deal with bad breath. Due to these reasons, peppermint oil is a major component in all toothpastes and mouthwashes.
Benefits against Irritable Bowel Syndrome : With the presence of muscle relaxation properties and laxative nature, peppermint oil helps in dealing with irritable bowel syndrome. It has been observed that this essential oil is more effective than any placebo6.
Benefits to Headaches : Owing to its anesthetic property, peppermint oil helps greatly in reducing headaches. An application of peppermint oil on your forehead will give you instant relief from headaches and migranes. It also helps relieve congestion when inhaled.
Benefits against Stress : Peppermint oil, like many other essential oil acts as a great anti-depressant. This feature allows it to fight stress and mental fatigue very effectively, thus leaving you refreshed and vitalized.
Benefits due to Antispasmatic Property : The antispasmodic property of peppermint oil prevents the occurrence of all types of spasms. Therefore it is effectively used during colonoscopy, gastroscopy and while conducting x-rays of the large intestine, colon and rectum.
Benefits to Proper Secretions : Peppermint oil facilitates proper and controlled secretions undertaken in the endocrinal glands and in the liver. Therefore it triggers the secretion of important gastric juices and bile from the liver and also monitors adequate secretion of insulin from the spleen providing you with various health benefits of peppermint essential oil.
Benefits against Pain : With the presence of palliative and sedating property, peppermint oil relieves you from all sorts of chronic and incessant bodily pains like joint pain, muscle pain, nerve pain etc.
Benefits for Women : It helps in regularizing the menstrual cycle of women by clearing the menstrual obstruction. It is also believed to help in curing urinary tract infections.
Benefits to Skin : Menthol, a major component in peppermint oil, is highly beneficial for skin. Apart from providing a cooling effect, it also gives proper nutrition to the dull and oily skin.
Beneficial for Dyspepsia : When taken in mild dose in diluted form, peppermint oil along with caraway oil can help relieve heartburn or dyspepsia, by decreasing the intensity of acid reflux and curing indigestion.
Psychological benefits: Peppermint oil is helpful for people suffering from depression. It is found useful in fighting metal fatigue.
Other Health Benefits of Peppermint Essential OIl
Invitro Peppermint oil acts as a good stimulant. This triggers blood circulation in the body. Peppermint oil constituents is known to posses significant antiviral and antimicrobial roles, it also acts as a strong antioxidant and may have antitumor actions too7. The essential oil also has some antiallergenic potential. It is also seen that peppermint oil helps in curing serious diseases like pneumonia, cholera and tuberculosis.
Precautions while using Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint Oil Deep Breathing !
When used in low concentrations, peppermint essential oil may reap several benefits. However, due to the presence of menthol as its main constituent, oil bears highly volatile and strong characteristics, thus when used in concentrated or less diluted form it can cause local sensitivity in some people. It may cause irritation to the mucus membrane and skin; people may also experience temporary burning sensation when applied in less diluted form. Moreover, thus essential oil should not be used around the eye. Pregnant women too should refrain from using the oil in any form. Peppermint essential oil should not be used in combination with antacids since it may cause allergic reactions and heartburns. It should also be avoided by by those suffering with epilepsy or heart disease.
From the above stated medicinal properties, it is quite evident that there are a number of health benefits of peppermint essential oil. Apart from this, it is also used in various confectionaries, deodorants, toothpastes, mouthwashes and cold rubs. Peppermint essential oil is used in various cuisines for flavoring too. Thus, peppermint oil should be used in various forms so that you benefit from the health benefits of peppermint oil.