Peppermint: 5 Things You May Not Know

Peppermint is everywhere, from toothpaste to gum to even holiday drinks, but did you know it has some pretty impressive properties and where it comes from? Keep reading to find out!

Originally grown in London in the 1700s, peppermint, or Mentha piperita, is a hybrid of water mint and spearmint.

Black mint and white mint are the two types of peppermint grown in North America and Europe. Black mint has a high oil content, while white mint has a mild taste.

Orally, it has been shown to relieve IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating.

Peppermint oil capsules may relieve abdominal pain by relaxing the stomach and digestive tract. It’s also known as a carminative agent, which can reduce gas and bloating. Both are common symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Medicinally, it can reduce pain and postoperative nausea.

Peppermint isn’t just beneficial for digestion issues, its ability to ease pain in the body has been shown to improve overall quality of life. Various studies have shown inhalation of aromatherapy after having an operation reduced their symptoms of nausea.

Topically, it can be a quick solution for headaches.

Carrying around a solution with 10% peppermint oil with you is not a bad idea if you have headaches. Try applying a thin layer on the front of your head every 15-30 minutes up to 3 times total.

Beware if you have heartburn or indigestion.

Research is inconclusive as to whether peppermint can help or hurt heartburn. People with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) already have a loose lower esophageal sphincter (AKA the door at the bottom of your esophagus that opens and closes to let food into the stomach). The relaxing properties of peppermint can actually loosen this door up more, causing stomach acid to go back up the esophagus. On the other hand, peppermint’s relaxing properties can also accelerate digestion of food passing through the stomach and reduce GERD symptoms. If you have any indigestion or heartburn, it’s best to take an enteric coated capsule of peppermint oil at least an hour apart from antacids, and see how you feel.

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This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.


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  6. Things You May Not Know About Peppermint June 25, 2018By Angie Kuhn, MS, RDN