The benefits of peppermint have been known for centuries and it’s not out of style now. Feeling a little nauseated? Need an afternoon pick me up? Skip the caffeine and reach for this power-packed affordable herb. There’s power in the plant!
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A blend of spearmint and water mint, peppermint is made for much more than your convenience store chewing gum. When the plant itself is utilized-whether fresh, dried or even in a concentrated high quality essential oil, its benefits come full circle.
5 Must-Have Peppermint Benefits
- Headache and migraine fighter. When used in the essential oil form, peppermint has been shown to relax muscles and the tingling sensation reduces pain. In one study, 35 people who used peppermint oil had reduced pain after two hours compared to a placebo oil. Peppermint is often my own first line of support for headaches here at home.
- Support for digestive upsets. Nausea, bloating, diarrhea, and indigestion may all be eased with a bit of peppermint. Sipping on a freshly brewed tea is a great option (recipe to follow) but the essential oil applied to the abdomen is also helpful. Need proof? Check out this study where over 2,000 children used peppermint to manage abdominal pain. Keep in mind that peppermint oil does have side effects, so make sure it’s okay with your doctor to use the oil before you pick any up and dilute it heavily with a carrier oil before applying it to children-and never on babies younger than 3 months old.
- Afternoon energy boost. Peppermint has been shown to support energy levels throughout the day. Typically more from the oil than the tea, breathing in the smell of mint can help put a little pep in your drowsy step.
- Bacterial infection fighter. Peppermint oil has been shown to fight E.coli and Staphylococcus-a bacteria that causes some cases of pneumonia.
- May reduce seasonal allergies. Specific to the mint family is a compound called Rosmarinic Acid which helps reduce symptoms of allergies like runny nose, itchy eyes and even asthma.
What about peppermint oil? Aren’t they all the same?
They aren’t all the same unfortunately. That’s why I recommend purchasing yours from a reliable source. No Wal-Mart oils please. Many are diluted with additional oils, additives and chemicals and if you are going to ingest them or put them on your body they need to be pure.
This is the brand I use (affiliate link) from Plant Therapy. I also love Young Living oils but if you are looking for a one-time purchase, this is the way to go.
How to make peppermint tea
This could not be simpler.
- Boil 2 cups of water.
- Add 15 to 20 fresh mint leaves. I like to rub them a bit in my hands to get the oils flowing first.
- Turn off the heat, and steep 10 to 15 minutes or until desired strength is achieved.
- Strain leaves (or chew them if you don’t mind the texture and they are small) and serve warm with a drizzle of honey and squeeze of lemon.