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5 Health Benefits of the Peppermint Herb

Oct 9, 2010

The peppermint herb is loaded with nutrients and provides numerous health benefits. Peppermint is readily available in grocery stores. You can buy its fresh leaves and mix them into salads or soups. Drinking peppermint tea is an easy way to incorporate this nutritious herb into your daily diet. Here are just a few of the ways that peppermint is beneficial to your health:

1. Aids Digestion

Peppermint has been found to ease symptoms associated with indigestion in many cases. This herb has a calming effect on the stomach muscles. It also creates better bile flow, which is critical for fat digestion. When you eat peppermint or drink it in tea form, food moves more quickly through your stomach. Peppermint has also been found to relieve the painful gas that is often associated with digestive issues.

2. Relief for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

If you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you may find relief from taking enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules. The coating on these capsules prevents the heartburn and indigestion that may result from peppermint oil being released in the stomach. Numerous studies show that these capsules relieve symptoms associated with IBS such as gas, diarrhea, bloating and pain. Peppermint relaxes the smooth muscles around the intestines, decreasing the chances of muscle spasms and indigestion.

3. Cold and Flu Remedy

Peppermint is commonly used in cold and flu remedies. Studies have shown that it kills bacteria and viruses. It also has a calming and numbing effect. It dulls the pain of an aching body. The menthol in peppermint effectively thins mucus and breaks up phlegm. It provides relief from coughs and congestion. You will find menthol as a common ingredient in decongestants. It is also a common ingredient in rubs used on the chest to relieve chest aches experienced during colds and the flu.

4. Skin Remedy

Peppermint herb is highly effective in topical creams used to treat a variety of skin issues. Examples include treatments for hives, rashes, poison oak or poison ivy. When applied to the skin, these ointments have a soothing and healing effect.

5. Protection against Cancer

The link between peppermint and anti-cancer effects is still under research. A phytonutrient in peppermint has shown to stop cancerous tumors from growing in animals. These are tumors in the pancreas and liver, which are generally more difficult to cure. Protection against cancer using peppermint in animals has also been observed in the lungs, colon and skin.  

Given its powerful ability to soothe and heal, think about incorporating peppermint herb into your diet and look for it as an ingredient in medicinal remedies. You can find it as a tea or in fresh leaves at the grocery store. Buy peppermint oil or use the coated capsules to relieve digestive issues, as directed. Use it as a chest rub or to heal your skin. When you have a cold or the flu, think of peppermint as a remedy for uncomfortable symptoms.

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