Let’s Get Minty!
Begin to Explore and Realize the Benefits of this All-Round Mystifying Oil to Experience Health, Healing, and Happiness
The level of awareness in modern day living has drastically affected the proliferation of alternative medicine. With these alternatives, many have experienced ground-breaking results that defy ‘normal’ medicine explanations. The production of essential oils as a form of alternative medicine has been beneficial to numerous people in many ways, including physical and mental wellness.
Essential oils are generally compounding extracts from different plants. When the production of the oils is complete, the flavor, scent, and general essence of the plant are captured and reflected by the finished product – the oil. Different types of essential oils have different characteristics and functions simply due to the difference in their plants of origin. The unique compounds for each extraction give the essential oils their different characteristics.
When any “essential” oil is said to be obtained through chemical processes, it is not an essential oil. The process production must be as natural as possible. The simple process should include distillation, extraction, and combining them with a carrier oil to produce a finished effective essential oil.
Types and Functions
There is an amazing range of functions performed by the different essential oils. From solving headaches and migraines to stabilizing blood pressure, the essential oils have come a long way from their early days in ancient India.
But this article will not be discussing the general characteristics of all essential oils. It specifically addresses the nature, functions, and benefits of a particular essential oil, the Peppermint.
Many essential oils exist, with each of them having its unique characteristics. Lavender oil, for example, is generally known for relieving stress, although it contains other healing properties. The Sandalwood helps with maintaining focus, while the Bergamot has properties that help with improving skin conditions like eczema. Some other oils have more advanced capabilities, like the Tea Tree, which helps with fighting infections and boosting immunity, as well as the Jasmine, which eases the body and mind during depression, reduces pain during childbirth, and hugely boosts libido.
Peppermint Essential Oil
The unique characteristics ascribed to the Peppermint are aiding digestion and boosting energy. But its unique benefits go way beyond these two.
Peppermint is an herb that has been in use for centuries, with records tracing all the way back to Ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece, and can be found in North America and Europe in present day. As you can already infer, the oil is extracted from the leaves of the Peppermint plant, and it has a wide range of uses and health benefits.
Generally, peppermint gives a cool and refreshing sharp odor and taste. It has a feeling which becomes familiar after multiple experiences and usage. Consuming any item with a peppermint flavor gives a familiar feeling of coolness that you may have experienced with other mint-natured substances.
Peppermint oil is essentially a type of oil. However, the extracted compound from the leaves can still be made into different forms. The first and most obvious form is the essential oil form. It can be extracted and made into a concentrated oil form before use, or diluted and applied to the skin.
Extracts also count as a form of peppermint oil usage. They are more diluted and can be added to meal preparation ingredients as peppermint flavor.
The final form by which we can experience the benefits of peppermint oil is by taking them in form of capsules, as dietary supplements.
The nature of peppermint allows it to be utilized for a diverse range of almost unrelated purposes. Summarizing its general uses into four, these are some amazing and practical uses of peppermint essential oil:
An effective element of facilitating the treatment of certain conditions. They include digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and nausea, as well as other conditions like headaches and the common cold.
Substances for skin surface application, to relieve you from conditions like itching, muscle pains, swelling, and even headaches
A flavoring agent for items such as foods and mouthwash, giving a mint flavor that improves taste and grants fresh breaths.
A pleasing mint scent is added to products like soaps and other cosmetic-related products.
A few of the benefits of peppermint oil have been mentioned earlier at different points in this article. However, this segment elaborates on these benefits in slight detail. Numerous research and study sessions have been carried out to determine the health and cosmetic benefits of peppermint and the extent to which they actually serve these benefits.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
When you feel irritated in the bowel area, you are likely having one of the most uncomfortable experiences of your life. The difficulty in determining the exact problem only makes the situation worse. Thankfully, most of the extensive research conducted on the health benefits of peppermint has been directed towards Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation are different types of IBS conditions. Specifically, the peppermint tackles these conditions in the following ways:
It relaxes the smooth muscles in the bowel and gastrointestinal (GI) tract
It has a general anti-inflammatory effect
It kills the harmful bacteria that naturally tend to live in the GI tract and maintain a healthy balance
It also decreases the pain sensations we feel in the GI tract.
Validating these claims, a series of 12 trials were conducted to determine the efficacy of peppermint in treating IBS. The results showed that abdominal pain and other symptoms were hugely improved in people who used peppermint oil capsules.
General Body Pain
The pain caused by tension headaches, migraines, and other causes can be eliminated by using certain peppermint oil solutions. A small study attempted to confirm this by applying a 10 percent menthol solution to the temple and forehead area of some of the participants. The results showed that they experienced quicker relief compared to other participants, which lasted for longer periods.
Another study was carried out on people experiencing non-cardiac chest pain and difficulty in swallowing. They were given peppermint oil tablets for their condition, and more than half of them reported improvements in their conditions.
Skin and Hair
Generally, peppermint is often used in cosmetic products like soaps, body and hair creams, and soaps. It has some health benefits on the skin and hair including the elimination (or reducing the severity) of itches and other skin irritations. Some peppermint-included products have also been proven to lead to the growth of thick long hair.
It would be quite impossible to exhaust the many uses, forms, and specific benefits of peppermint essential oil in a single article. For example, its use in balancing or unblocking the Fifth ‘Throat’ Vishuddha Chakra works wonders. In Ayurveda, Peppermint is used to decrease or calm the Pitta and Kapha doshas, while still balancing the Vata dosha. As this article has shown, essential oils are more involved in our lives than we may have realized. Peppermint is just one essential oil type and boasts of numerous uses and benefits above. New benefits of essential oils are discovered every day, from health to nutritional and cosmetic benefits. One can only wonder about the benefits and uses of essential oils that are yet untapped and the future of essential oils in modern medicine. Gone are the days when essential oils were merely considered a fad for ‘tree huggers’, ‘hippies’, or diehard herbalists.