HealthShlok
Benefits of Peppermint
Peppermint is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint.

1. Peppermint
Peppermint(Mentha piperita)is a sterile, hybrid plant, created from the blending of watermint(Mentha aquatica)and spearmint(Mentha spicata). Peppermint is used for adding flavor or fragrance to several foods, cosmetics, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and other products it is also popular for medicinal purposes.

2. Description
Mint is the glorious plant that gives the candy of the same name its cool burst of flavor. While there are about 25 different species of mints, peppermint is actually a natural hybrid cross betweenMentha aquatica(water mint) andMentha spicata(spearmint). Peppermint has greenishpurple lanceshaped leaves while the rounder leaves of spearmint are more of a grayish green color. The taste of both peppermint and spearmint bear a flavor that can be described as a cross between pepper and chlorophyll, with peppermint being a bit stronger and spearmint being a little more cool and subtle. In addition to peppermint and spearmint, other plants in the Mentha genus include apple mint, orange mint, water mint, curly mint and Corsican mint.

3. History
Mint is an ancient herb used since antiquity for its culinary, medicinal and aromatic properties. The origins of mint are honored in a Greek myth that tells the tale that the plant was originally a nymph (Minthe), who was transformed into a plant by Persephone, who was jealous of the affections that her husband Pluto was showing to Minthe. While Pluto could not reverse the spell that his wife cast, he did impart Minthe with a sweet smell, so when she was walked upon in the garden, her aroma would be delightful to the senses.

4. Peppermint for irritable bowel syndrome
A study carried out by researchers atMcMaster University3, Ontario, Canada, and published in theBMJ (British Medical Journal)concluded that doctors should recommend peppermint oil, fiber, and antispasmodics as firstline treatments for irritable bowel syndrome. After looking at four trials involving 392 participants, lead researcher, Dr. Alex Ford and team found that peppermint oil was the most effective treatment when compared to antispasmodics and fiber.

5. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil is a concentrated oil made from the peppermint plant. Peppermint oil can be bought or made at home. The oil is extracted by steam distillation from the whole fresh or partly dried plant before it starts to flower. According to an article in the scientific journal Natural Product Communications2, the chemical components of peppermint oil are menthol (40.7%), menthone (23.4%), as well as menthyl acetate, 1,8cineole, limonene, betapinene and betacaryophyllene.

6. Peppermint for skin conditions
Although a large number of people swear by peppermint oil for soothing their skin, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support or challenge this belief. Do not give peppermint to an infant or small child. Peppermint oil applied to the face of infants can cause lifethreatening breathing problems. In addition, peppermint tea may cause a burning sensation in the mouth. For digestion and upset stomach in older children: 1 2 mL peppermint glycerite per day.

7. Peppermint for headaches and migraines
Alexander P. Roussos MS and Alan R. Hirsch MD, from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, Chicago, reported in the journalHeadache7that for people with alliaceousmigrainesNose plug and counter stimulation with peppermint prevented the onset ofheadachesand associated symptoms. Alliaceous migraines are those caused by onions, garlic and other alliums (usually the odor).

8. Peppermint for treating colds and flu
Menthol, the main chemical component of peppermint, is a very effective decongestant. Decongestants shrink the swollen membranes in the nose, making it easier to breathe. Menthol is also an expectorant. Expectorants loosen and bring up mucus from the lungs. Expectorants help people with coughs.

9. Peppermint for treating nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
Although many pregnant women with morning sickness say they have experienced benefits from using peppermint in various forms, studies have either been inconclusive or contradictory. Researchers from the Fatemeh Zahra Fertility and Infertility Health Research Center, Iran, reported in the journal Iran Red Crescent Medical Journal10 that according to their study, peppermint essential oil does not have any beneficial effects on the symptoms of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

10. Peppermint for chemotherapyinduced vomiting
Cancerpatients onchemotherapycommonly experience nausea and vomiting. Some studies have found that peppermint helps alleviate symptoms. A study published in Ecancermedicalscience11 concluded that peppermint oil is safe and effective for antiemetic treatment in patients, as well as being cost effective.

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Benefits of Peppermint

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