Peppermint or mentha piperita is an ancient herb and one of its early uses was to aid digestion. Mentha piperita was traditionally taken as a tea using the fresh and fragrant leaves or the dried leaves. One of the benefits of mint tea is it is caffeine free.

The therapeutic effects of this herb come from its natural organic compounds and volatile oils called menthol which is present in the leaves and stems. Two other natural compounds that produce healing effects are menthone and menthyl acetate.

Menthol has antipruritic, analgesic, and decongestant qualities. It is known for producing a cooling, refreshing and relaxing effect when it is taken internally, inhaled or applied to the skin.

The volatile oils which produce the mint fragrance and flavor is also used for flavoring chewing gums, ice creams and toothpastes. The cooling sensation of menthol obtained from this herb is used in shampoos and exfoliating soaps as well as balms, creams and lotions.

Because of its curative qualities, this herb has been used as a home remedy for many ailments. Here are some of the benefits and uses of mentha piperita.

Benefits and Uses of Peppermint

This herb helps clear sinuses and relieves cold symptoms because of its decongestant properties. You can prepare the mint tea either by simmering fresh or dried leaves in a cup of hot water or steeping the easily available tea bags for a few minutes. Breathe in the steam as you drink the tea. Another option is to get a bottle of the oil, add it to hot water, drink it and inhale the steam.

Home Remedies Using Peppermint 

Peppermint herb is also helpful as a home remedy for irritable bowel syndrome or IBS and diarrhea. If you suffer from symptoms of IBS such as bloating and intestinal gas or have problems with any digestive issues, you can take the oil extract which is available in enteric coated capsules.

Peppermint's antipruritic qualities help in soothing itching and skin irritations caused by insect bites, hives, poison ivy, poison oak and stinging nettles. To help relieve skin irritations, you can rub the oil on your itchy skin. You may also dilute the peppermint oil by adding a few drops of lavender, calendula flower or chamomile oil. Adding a few drops of the mint oil to aloe vera gel is an effective home remedy for sunburn.

This herbal extract is also used as a home remedy to relieve tension headaches. What you can do is rub the oil on your temples and massage slowly. To bring on a faster effect, apply the oil under your nostrils and inhale and exhale deeply.

If you suffer from symptoms of indigestion that is not related to gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, peppermint oil may help reduce or relieve the problem. The active compounds in peppermint will help calm your stomach muscles and improve the flow of natural digestive juices and bile.

The oil is also helpful in reducing stress because it works as a muscle relaxant. Drink this mint tea when you feel tensed and anxious or diffuse the oil in a burner and inhale the scent.

Other benefits of peppermint herb include alleviating nausea and motion sickness, treating coughs and fever and soothing sore throats.


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