Peppermint, or mentha Piperita, is a herb with numerous uses and therapeutic applications. It’s sharp menthol odor, cooling sensation, and refreshing flavor have found it a home in numerous items including mouthwashes, toothpastes, bath preparations, and ointments. Although peppermint oil is regularly cited as the source of peppermint’s benefits, compounds within the leaf have also proven to be helpful.
1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Peppermint oil capsules have been reported as “the drug of first option” in IBS patients,3 as it securely helps alleviate symptoms and enhance quality of life. Research has shown that it is effective in adults and children alike, with one review showing a 50 percent decrease in “total irritable bowel syndrome score” among 75 percent of patients who tried it.
2. Dental Cavities and Bad Breath
Peppermint oil extract has been appeared to be superior to the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine in inhibiting the formation of biofilm formations connected to dental cavities.18 Powdered peppermint leaves have also been utilized historically to freshen breath and whiten teeth; you can even include one drop or two directly to your toothpaste.
3. Hair and Skin
Try mixing peppermint oil into your shampoo, massage oil, body wash or body lotion. It has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can help remove dandruff (and lice) from your scalp and also help to cool your skin.
Peppermint contains rosmarinic acid (also found in rosemary), which may help to decrease inflammation-causing chemicals in individuals with asthma.
5. Muscle Pain
Peppermint may help to relieve muscle spasms and pain. Try massaging its essential oil onto sore muscles or adding it to your bath water for relief your muscle pain.