LoveHasWon Holistic Healing Message ~ Uses of Peppermint Oil
LoveHasWon Holistic Healing Message ~ Uses of Peppermint Oil
By: Tayler of The First Contact Ground Crew Team
Peppermint oil comes from the peppermint plant. It’s been used for many things, such as relieving GI discomfort, easing nausea, and alleviating pain. While some of the proposed benefits of peppermint oil come from anecdotal evidence, research suggests peppermint oil may be beneficial for IBS and other digestive conditions, as well as pain relief.
Peppermint is an aromatic herb in the mint family. It’s a hybrid mint that’s a cross between spearmint and watermint. It can be found naturally in North America and Europe. Peppermint essential oil can be extracted from the leaves of the peppermint plant and is used for a variety of different purposes.
Forms of peppermint oil
Peppermint oil can be found in a variety of forms. Some examples include: essential oils, a very concentrated form that can be used for aromatherapy or diluted and applied to the skin extracts, a more diluted form that can be used to add peppermint flavor to foods capsules, which can be taken as dietary supplement. Peppermint oil has a sharp odor that’s cool and refreshing. Its taste is similar. You may be familiar with the coolness in your mouth after you consume something with a peppermint flavor. The main chemical components of peppermint oil are menthol and menthone.
Peppermint oil has a wide variety of uses. For example, it can be used as:
a treatment for a variety of conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, and other digestive issues, as well as the common cold and headaches. A topical application for relief from itching, muscle pain, and headache. A flavoring agent in foods and in products such as mouthwashes like the one we make with LOVE and sell. Gaia’s oil pulling mouthwash. A fresh, pleasing scent added to soaps and cosmetic products. Records of the use of mint plants for medicinal purposes go all the way back to the times of Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
Some of the most extensive research into the benefits of peppermint oil has focused on IBS. IBS is a chronic gastrointestinal (GI) condition that can involve abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. A recent review of 12 trials examined the efficacy of peppermint oil capsules when compared to placebo in treating IBS. Researchers found that treatment with peppermint oil improved abdominal pain and other symptoms of IBS. The specific ways peppermint oil helps ease the symptoms of IBS and other GI conditions are largely unknown. Some include:
relaxing the smooth muscles of the GI tract
having an anti-inflammatory effect
affecting the types of bacteria that naturally live in the GI tract
decreasing pain sensation in the GI tract
Nausea can often occur after an operation. One small study assessed the effect of inhaled peppermint oil on postoperative nausea. They found that patients rated their level of nausea as lower after inhaling peppermint oil.
However, a recent review of studies examined the effects of aromatherapy on postoperative nausea. Four of the reviewed studies involved peppermint oil compared to placebo. The reviewers found that inhaling peppermint oil had little or no effect on the severity of nausea. Symptoms like nausea and vomiting are also commonly present in the early stages of pregnancy. A recent study in 56 pregnant women looked at how aromatherapy with peppermint oil affected nausea and vomiting. They found no significant difference between peppermint oil and placebo.
A small study looked at the topical application of peppermint oil and the effect that it had on chronic itching. Researchers found that a one percent solution of peppermint oil led to improvements in how long itchiness lasted and the severity of the itch. A second small study examined the effect of applying peppermint oil on the skin to reduce itching during pregnancy. Researchers found that applying a 0.5 percent solution of peppermint oil twice a day for two weeks significantly reduced itch severity compared to the control. Another study in mice compared peppermint oil to minoxidil (Rogaine) and control compounds. The researchers found that a three percent solution of peppermint oil led to growth of thick, long hair in mice after four weeks of treatment, similar to results obtained using minoxidil.
Peppermint oil also has mild antimicrobial properties. Various studies have been performed to determine its effectiveness against different types of bacteria and fungi. The results have been mixed. One study found that incubating peppermint oil with several strains of Staphylococcus aureus, some of which were antibiotic resistant, inhibited the production of an important bacterial toxin. This effect was dose-dependent, meaning that the effect increased with rising doses of peppermint oil. While this result is promising, the antimicrobial activity of peppermint oil may depend on the species of bacteria. Another study found that peppermint oil showed no antimicrobial activity against a species of Streptococcus. Peppermint oil may work against some bacteria, but research is mixed. It’s shown mild anti-fungal properties against certain strains of Candida.
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