Peppermint oil is just one of the plants native to Europe although the USA now produces more essential oil than any other country, although English plants are said to produce the best quality oil because of our moderate climate.
Peppermint is a cross between watermint and spearmint and due to the presence of menthol, menthene and menthyl esters it's widely used in the manufacturing of soap, shampoo, cigarettes, toothpaste, chewing gum, tea and ice cream.
Unlike many other herbs and oils, numerous health benefits of peppermint oil have been studied and approved by the scientific community. Mentioning Peppermint I automatically think of the boiled sweets or toothpaste, but there are a lot of healthy benefits to this oil. It's very helpful as an aid for indigestion, it is also a good tonic for anybody with a low appetite, motion sickness, nausea and upset stomachs.
Peppermint oil due to its antiseptic properties eliminates bad breath and helps teeth and gums fight off hazardous germs, which is why you will find it in a lot of toothpaste, and chewing gum, not forgetting it tastes good too. As studies have shown Peppermint oil has anti-fungal properties which mean that when applied topically can reduce the chances of fungal infection.
Menthol which is abundantly present in peppermint oil is an effective expectorant and provides instantaneous, although temporary relief for nasal congestion, sinusitis bronchitis colds and flu.
One other reason you will find it in cold rubs and balms, it has been a frequent part of alternative medicine for generations and is highly respected for its use in respiratory issues.
It's believed the calcium antagonism in peppermint oil helps remove pain from the affected areas, it is frequently called an refrigerant meaning that can provide an intensely cold sensation to any affected area. In the healing process applying peppermint topically to the affected area can reduce swelling, relieve pain and eliminate the chance of uncomfortable inflammation.
Peppermint oil is very useful for hair care as it gives a cooling effect to the head, while removing dandruff and lice. Peppermint oil has antiseptic, regenerative, and stimulating effects, which means that it can relieve the scalp of irritation and dry skin, stimulate hair growth and give relatively healthy hair a shiny, fresh look. Peppermint oil can be found in many hair products and alternative solutions for dandruff, and other hair-related conditions. Increasing blood circulation to the scalp can also promote healthy hair growth.
Peppermint oil contains menthol, which is good for the skin because it creates a cooling sensation. Furthermore, it nourishes dull skin and improves the texture of oily or greasy skin. Peppermint blends well with various other essential oils including eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon, marjoram, so many aromatherapists and herbalists commonly use peppermint oil in their medicinal or aromatic combinations.
There are some risks in using too much peppermint oil, including allergic reaction, heartburn and headaches. Basically, the same rules apply to using peppermint oil as to any other alternative supplement or dietary change; speak to a doctor, and if you don’t consult a professional, start with small topical doses or skin patch tests to see how it affects your system.
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