Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Joys of Peppermint

 
 
 
 
 
 
I love peppermint. Rather it be peppermint gum, peppermint candy or peppermint oil or real peppermint. And I love peppermint with chocolate. Such a great combination. But I never knew the benefits of it till I did a little research. This is what I found.
 
 
     
     
     
     
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Since the late 90's it was discovered that enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules are safe and effective in the treatment of this increasingly prevalent disorder. Most recently, a study published January of this year found that peppermint oil was effective in relieving abdominal pain in diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Colonic spasm – Peppermint oil has been studied as a safe and effective alternative to drugs.
  • Gastric Emptying Disorders – Peppermint has been found to enhance gastric emptying.
  • Functional dyspepsia – A 2000 study published in the journal Ailment Pharmacology and Therapy found that 90 mg of peppermint oil and 50 mg of caraway oil resulted in 67% of patients reporting "much or very much improved" in their symptoms of functional dyspepsia.
  • Infantile Colic: A 2013 study found that peppermint is at least as effective as the chemical simethicone in the treatment of infantile colic.
  • Breastfeeding Associated Nipple Pain and Damage: A 2007 study found that peppermint water prevented nipple cracks and nipple pain in breastfeeding mothers.
  • Tuberculosis: A 2009 study found that inhaled essential oil of peppermint was able to rapidly regress tuberculosis inflammation.
  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever): A 2001 preclinical study found that extracts of the leaves of peppermint  inhibit histamine release.
  • Shingles Associated Pain (Post-Herpetic Neuralgia): A 2002 case study found that topical peppermint oil treatment resulted in a near immediate improvement of shingles associated neuropathic pain symptoms.
  • Memory problems: A 2006 study found that the simple aroma of peppermint enhances memory and increases alertness in human subjects.
  • Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea: A 2013 study found that peppermint oil was found to be effective in reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea, and at reduced cost versus standard drug-based treatment.
  • Prostate Cancer: Preclinical research indicates that peppermint contains a compound known as menthol which inhibits prostate cancer growth.
  • Radiation Damage: Preclinical research indicates peppermint protects against radiation-induced DNA damage and cell death.
  • Herpes Simplex  Virus Type 1: Peppermint has been found to have inhibitory activity against acyclovir-resistant Herpes Simplex virus type 1.
  • Dental Caries/Bad Breath: Peppermint oil extract has been found to be superior to the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine inhibiting Streptococus mutans driven biofilm formation associated with dental caries. This may explain why powdered peppermint leaves were used in the Middle Ages to combat halitosis and whiten teeth.
 
I also will suck on a peppermint candy when I'm nauseous. I find that it settles my stomach almost instantly. It's amazing what the studies have found. I also find it helps me when I have a headache. I use to suffer from really bad headaches (from eating gluten) so I only get them from time to time now. But for some reason, something in the peppermint just helps cure my head. I've decided I am going to incorporate peppermint into my diet from now on. If only for the memory enhancement and to whiten my teeth!
 
I know you may think peppermint is a seasonal thing but don't let it be. Have a little each day and if nothing else, you will always have good breathe!