What is Peppermint?
Peppermint is a plant native to Europe containing menthol. It can currently be found growing in regions throughout the U.S. and other parts of the world. The leaves and oil of the peppermint plant have many uses. The most common uses include flavoring candies, gums, teas and other foods as well as toothpaste and cigarettes. Peppermint oil is also used as a fragrance and is added to products such as shampoo, cosmetics, soap, lotion and candles.
Medicinal Uses of Peppermint
Because of its calming and soothing effect on the human body, peppermint oil and peppermint leaves are available in capsule form. Peppermint capsules are used for the treatment of digestive problems, such as indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, flatulence, bloating, nausea, morning sickness, motion sickness, cramps of the upper GI tract, diarrhea and upset stomach. Peppermint capsules are also used to treat symptoms of the common cold, such as coughing, sore throat and congestion.
Other uses of peppermint capsules include fever reduction, pain reduction, memory retention and suppressing the appetite to promote weight loss. Peppermint capsules can be swallowed whole or broken apart. The oil inside of peppermint capsules is often extracted and used topically to soothe conditions such as skin itching and irritation, arthritis, headaches, tooth pain, cold sores, fungal infections and muscle spasms. It is also often used as a chest rub to relieve cold symptoms. Peppermint oil can be added to bath water for a soothing and invigorating bathing experience or added to a foot soak solution to sooth sore achy feet.