Peppermint Herb

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Peppermint

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigation Jump to search For other uses, see Peppermint (disambiguation).

Peppermint (Mentha × piperita, also known as Mentha balsa-mea Wild.) is a hybrid mint, a cross between water mint and spearmint.Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East,the plant is now widely spread and cultivated in many regions of the world.It is occasionally found in the wild with its parent species.

Although the genus Mentha comprises more than 25 species, the most common one used is peppermint.While Western peppermint is derived from Mentha piperita, Chinese peppermint, or “Bo-he” is derived from the fresh leaves of Mentha haplocalyx.Mentha piperita and Mentha haplocalyx are both recognized as plant sources of menthol and menthol and are among the oldest herbs used for both culinary and medicinal products

Health benefits and risks of peppermint

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Peppermint is an aromatic plant, created from the blending of water mint and spearmint.

It is used to add flavor or fragrance to foods, cosmetics, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and other products, and it may have some medicinal uses.

Peppermint (Mentha perinatal) leaves can be used dried or fresh in teas.

Originally from Europe, peppermint today is cultivated all over the world.

This article is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods.

Fast facts about peppermint

  • Peppermint is a hybrid of water mint and spearmint.
  • It is available in the forms of leaves, capsules, and oils.
  • Peppermint has shown health benefits for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, skin conditions, headaches, cold, and flu.
  • It can interact with medicines and is not advised for people with gastrointestinal problems.

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Forms of peppermint

Peppermint can consist of fresh or dry leaves for use in food or as a tea. Peppermint essential oil is used in tinctures, chest rubs, and creams.

It can also be taken in enteric-coated capsules for swallowing. This allows the peppermint to pass into the intestine.

Peppermint essential oil is a concentrated oil that is extracted from the peppermint plant by steam distillation. The whole fresh or partly dried plant is used before it starts to flower.

Like other essential oils, peppermint essential oil should not be taken orally and must be diluted with a carrier oil before applying to the skin.

Possible health benefits

Peppermint is a popular traditional remedy for a number of conditions.

It is believed to have calming effects.

It is used to treat flatulence, menstrual pains, diarrhea, nausea, depression-related anxiety, muscle and nerve pain, the common cold, indigestion, and IBS.

Indigestion

Peppermint calms the stomach muscles and improves the flow of bile, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM). This makes it suitable for people who have indigestion.

However, it should not be used by people with gastrointestinal reflex disease (GERD), which has different causes.

12 Science-Backed Benefits of Peppermint Tea and Extracts

Peppermint (Mentha × piperita) is an aromatic herb in the mint family that is a cross between water mint and spearmint.

Native to Europe and Asia, it has been used for thousands of years for its pleasant, minty taste and health benefits.

Peppermint is used as a flavoring in breath mints, candies and other foods. Additionally, many people consume peppermint as a refreshing, caffeine-free tea.

Peppermint leaves contain several essential oils including menthol, menthol and limonene

Menthol gives peppermint its cooling properties and recognizably minty scent.

While peppermint tea is often drunk for its flavor, it may also have several health benefits. The tea itself has rarely been studied scientifically, but peppermint extracts have.

1. May Ease Digestive Upsets

Peppermint may relieve digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating and indigestion.

Animal studies indicate that peppermint relaxes your digestive system and may ease pain. It also prevents smooth muscles from contracting, which could relieve spasms in your gut

A review of nine studies in 926 people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) treated with peppermint oil for at least two weeks concluded that peppermint provided significantly better symptom relief than a placebo

In one study in 72 people with IBS, peppermint oil capsules reduced IBS symptoms by 40% after four weeks, compared to only 24.3% with a placebo

Additionally, in a review of 14 clinical trials in nearly 2,000 children, peppermint reduced the frequency, length and severity of abdominal pain

Furthermore, capsules containing peppermint oil reduced incidence and severity of nausea and vomiting in a study in 200 people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer

While no studies have examined peppermint tea and digestion, it’s possible that the tea could have similar effects.

2. May Help Relieve Tension Headaches and Migraines

As peppermint acts as a muscle relaxant and pain reliever, it may diminish certain types of headaches

The menthol in peppermint oil increases blood flow and provides a cooling sensation, possibly easing pain

In one randomized clinical study in 35 people with migraines, peppermint oil applied to the forehead and temples significantly reduced pain after two hours, compared to a placebo oil

In another study in 41 people, peppermint oil applied to the forehead was found to be as effective for headaches as 1,000 mg of acetaminophen

While the aroma of peppermint tea may help relax muscles and improve headache pain, there is no supporting scientific evidence to confirm this effect. However, applying peppermint oil to your temples may help.

3. May Freshen Your Breath

There’s a reason why peppermint is a common flavoring for toothpastes, mouthwashes and chewing gums.

In addition to its pleasant smell, peppermint has antibacterial properties that help kill germs that cause dental plaque — which may improve your breath

In one study, people who had undergone spine surgery and had received a rinse made with peppermint, tea tree and lemon oils experienced improvement in bad breath symptoms, compared to those who did not receive the oils

In another study, schoolgirls given a peppermint mouth rinse experienced an improvement in breath after one week, compared to the control group

While there is no evidence from scientific studies that drinking peppermint tea has the same effect, the compounds in peppermint have been shown to improve breath.

4. May Relieve Clogged Sinuses

Peppermint has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, peppermint tea may fight clogged sinuses due to infections, the common cold and allergies

Additionally, research demonstrates that menthol — one of the active compounds in peppermint — improves the perception of airflow in your nasal cavity. Therefore, steam from peppermint tea may help you feel as though your breathing is ease

Furthermore, warm liquids, such as chicken broth and tea, have been shown to temporarily improve symptoms of sinus congestion, likely due to their vapors

Though peppermint tea has not been studied for its effects on nasal congestion, evidence suggests that it may be helpful.

5. May Improve Energy

Peppermint tea may improve energy levels and reduce daytime fatigue.

While there are no studies on peppermint tea specifically, research demonstrates that natural compounds in peppermint may have beneficial effects on energy.

In one study, 24 healthy young people experienced less fatigue during a cognitive test when given peppermint oil capsules

In another study, peppermint oil aromatherapy was found to reduce the incidence of daytime sleepiness

6. May Help Relieve Menstrual Cramps

Because peppermint acts as a muscle relaxant, it may relieve menstrual cramps

While peppermint tea has not been studied to that effect, compounds in peppermint have been shown to improve symptoms.

In one study in 127 women with painful periods, peppermint extract capsules were found to be as effective as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug in reducing the intensity and duration of pain

It is possible that peppermint tea could have similar effects.

7. May Fight Bacterial Infections

While there are no studies on the antibacterial effects of peppermint tea, peppermint oil has been shown to effectively kill bacteria

In one study, peppermint oil was found to kill and prevent the growth of common food-borne bacteria including E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella in pineapple and mango juices

Peppermint oil also kills several types of bacteria that lead to illnesses in humans, including Staphylococcus and pneumonia-linked bacteria

Additionally, studies indicate that peppermint reduces several types of bacteria commonly found in your mouth

8. May Improve Your Sleep

Peppermint tea is an ideal choice before bed, as it’s naturally caffeine-free.

What’s more, peppermint’s capacity as a muscle relaxant may help you relax before bedtime

That said, there is not much scientific evidence that peppermint enhances sleep.

In one study, peppermint oil lengthened the sleeping time of mice given a sedative. However, another study found that menthol did not have a sedative effect

9. May Aid Weight Loss

Peppermint tea is naturally calorie-free and has a pleasantly sweet flavor, which makes it a smart choice when you’re trying to lose weight.

However, there is not much research on the effects of peppermint tea on weight.

In a small study in 13 healthy people, taking a peppermint oil capsule resulted in reduced appetite compared to not taking peppermint

On the other hand, an animal study showed that mice given peppermint extracts gained more weight than the control group

10. May Improve Seasonal Allergies

Peppermint contains rosmarinic acid, a plant compound found in rosemary and plants in the mint family

Rosmarinic acid is linked to reduced symptoms of allergic reactions, such as runny nose, itchy eyes and asthma

In one randomized 21-day study in 29 people with seasonal allergies, those given an oral supplement containing rosmarinic acid had fewer symptoms of itchy nose, itchy eyes and other symptoms than those given a placebo

While it’s unknown whether the amount of rosmarinic acid found in peppermint is enough to affect allergy symptoms, there is some evidence that peppermint may relieve allergies.

In a study in rats, peppermint extract reduced allergic symptoms, such as sneezing and itchy nose

11. May Improve Concentration

Drinking peppermint tea may help improve your ability to concentrate and focus.

While studies on the effects of peppermint tea on concentration are unavailable, two small studies have researched this beneficial effect of peppermint oil — taken by ingestion or inhalation.

In one study, 24 young, healthy people performed significantly better on cognitive tests when they were given peppermint oil capsules

In another study, smelling peppermint oil was found to improve memory and alertness, compared to yang-slang, another popular essential oil

12. Easy to Add to Your Diet

Peppermint tea is delicious and easy to add to your diet.

You can buy it in tea bags, as loose-leaf tea or simply grow your own peppermint.

To make your own peppermint tea:

  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat and add a handful of torn peppermint leaves to the water.
  • Cover and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain the tea and drink.

Because peppermint tea is naturally free of caffeine, you can drink it at any time of day.

Enjoy it as a post-meal treat to aid digestion, in the afternoon to boost your energy or before bed to help you relax.

Peppermint

We flavor our toothpastes, chewing gums, and breath fresheners with Mint’s fresh and cooling fragrance. There are over 600 varieties of Mint all have a square stem, opposite facing leaves, with jagged or serrated edges and a terminal flower. The species name Mentha comes from Roman Mythology. Minthe was a lovely young nymph who caught the eye of Pluto, the ruler of the underworld. When Pluto’s wife Persephone found out about his love for the beautiful nymph, she was enraged. She changed Minthe into a lowly plant, to be trodden underfoot. Pluto couldn’t reverse Persephone’s curse, but he did soften the spell somewhat by making the smell that Minthe gave off all the sweeter when she was tread upon.

What is Peppermint Used for?

Peppermint has been the subject of research for its effects on the gastrointestinal system, it’s properties in relation to bacterial growth, respiratory function, and topically for use in liniments. The Essential oil constituents; menthol and menthol have been the focus of much of the research. The oil demonstrated a relaxing effect on the digestive system. The use of peppermint in Aperitifs points to the traditional knowledge of it’s benefits for aiding in the heavy feeling after a large meal. There has also been a fair amount of research done on the Menthol constituents due to their use in the tobacco industry.

Peppermint herb nutrition facts

Peppermint has been one of the favorite herbs known since antiquity for its distinctive aroma and medicinal value. The herb has a unique, refreshing cool breeze sensation on taste buds, palate and throat when eaten, and on nasal olfaction glands when inhaled. This unique quality of mint herb is because of the presence of menthol, an essential oil in its fresh leaves, and stem.

Botanically, the herb belongs to the Lamiaceae family, in the genus; Mentha, and botanically named as Mentha piperita. It is actually a natural cross hybrid between the water mint (Mentha aquatics) and spearmint (Mentha spicata).

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