At this time of year, merchants make quite a mint—literally—selling peppermint-flavored candies, cookies, cakes, lattes, milkshakes, and more.
But, as always, I urge you to skip those ultra-processed, sickly sweet confections.
Instead, treat yourself to the cool, refreshing taste and smell of REAL peppermint during the holiday season…and I encourage you to make peppermint a regular part of your wellness routine all year long!
That’s because this powerful Christmas herb can help ERASE six common health woes.
Fast, natural relief for SIX common health problems
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) is a delightfully fragrant herb that belongs to the mint family. (It’s actually a hybrid of watermint and spearmint.) And people have been using it for thousands of years in their cooking and as a natural remedy.
There are many ways to enjoy REAL peppermint, including…
- Adding chopped peppermint leaves to your fruit salads, smoothies, vegetable dishes, meat dishes, yogurt bowls, dips, and sauces.
- Making a simple cocktail with club soda, rum, muddled peppermint, lime, and ice.
- Enjoying a steaming cup of tea with the leaves (or with some organic peppermint tea bags).
- Taking peppermint as a dietary supplement.
- Adding food-grade, organic peppermint extract to your cooking and baking.
- Diffusing—or topically applying—the plant’s concentrated essential oils.
No matter how you choose to enjoy REAL peppermint, just enjoy it as often as you can. That’s because science shows it can help with these six areas of your health…
Six health benefits of peppermint
1.) Eases GI problems. Peppermint is perhaps best known as a safe, simple remedy for common gastrointestinal (GI) problems. It seems to help relieve stomach upset by:
- Reducing inflammation
- Supporting the GI microbiome, the environment in your gut where billions of healthy bacteria thrive
- Relaxing the walls of the GI tract
- Reducing pain sensations
In fact, in a recent review of 12 clinical trials, people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who took peppermint supplements experienced a significant improvement in symptoms compared to those who took a placebo.
2.) Zaps nausea in minutes. One might experience nausea for a variety of reasons, including after surgical procedures that require anesthesia and pain drugs. But in a recent clinical study, patients who inhaled essential peppermint oil reduced their feelings of nausea by almost 50 percent within two minutes!
3.) Naturally soothes migraines. People who suffer from migraines often try drug after drug to find relief. Here again, peppermint may help! In fact, in a 2015 study, 25 people applied menthol (which is in peppermint oil) to their skin at the onset of a migraine. It turns out, they experienced a “significant improvement” in the severity of their migraines within two hours after application.
4.) Relieves chronic skin itching. Many people with Type II diabetes and other serious conditions commonly suffer from chronic skin itching (pruritus). But in a 2016 study, researchers asked 25 people with pruritis to apply either essential peppermint oil or petroleum jelly to their skin for two weeks. And guess what? People who used peppermint oil experienced a “significant improvement” in skin itching…while the people who used petroleum did not.
5.) Wipes out staph infections. It used to be that you could only pick up a staph infection (Staphylococcus aureus) primarily at a hospital. But today, you can pick one up just about anywhere. Thankfully, in a 2011 study, researchers found that peppermint oil worked well to thwart staph bacteria in a dose-dependent manner. (In other words, the more concentrated the peppermint oil, the stronger the effect against staph.) The oil also blocked the production of a dangerous bacterial toxin.
6.) Helps you get a “long winter’s nap.” More people than ever report having trouble falling and staying asleep in the age of coronavirus. But using peppermint oil (together with chamomile, lavender, and orange essential oils) can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night.
You can apply these essential oils to your skin and/or diffuse them. Both methods work well to induce sleep and relaxation because they both rely on the olfactory nerves of the upper nasal passage, which lead directly into the brain. (You can learn more about essential oils in the April 2020 issue of my monthly newsletter, Insiders’ Cures [“April showers bring pain-relieving plant oils”]. Not yet a subscriber? Click here to become one!)
So, this winter, if you don’t have some peppermint tea next to your stove or some peppermint oil on your bedside table, I suggest you “remedy” that situation right away. It’s also a great idea to keep a peppermint plant in your kitchen year-round, and in your garden seasonally, to keep those leaves handy for occasional bouts of GI upset—or to use as a simple, tasty garnish.