I love peppermint! It changes the flavour of Asian cooking, plus it has a whole host of benefits to the system. Did you know that Peppermint is a great source of Vit A, C, magnesium, folate, dietary fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamin B2 as well?
Alongside it’s super tasty properties, the oil of the plant can also help with diseases. Peppermint oil has shown promise for a variety of conditions that involve spasm of the intestinal tract. Most studies have involved irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), for which peppermint oil has shown considerable promise. Peppermint oil may also be helpful for reducing the pain caused by medical examinations of the colon and stomach, as well for decreasing the intestinal gas pain that frequently follows surgery.
Peppermint Oil can be used to treat :
1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
In a 4-week double blind, placebo-controlled clinical study involving 110 participants with symptoms of IBS, taking peppermint oil 3 -4 times per day, there was actually significant improvement in abdominal symptoms by the end 0f the trial, published in Digestive Liver Disease Journal. Read the trial here.
2. Indigestion (dyspepsia)
Peppermint oil is often used in combination with other essential oils to treat minor indigestion .
For example, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study including 39 individuals found that an enteric-coated peppermint-caraway oil combination taken 3 times daily for 4 weeks significantly reduced dyspepsia pain as compared to placebo. 15 Of the treatment group, 63.2% was pain-free after 4 weeks, compared to 25% of the placebo group.
Results from a double-blind, comparative study including 118 individuals suggest that the combination of peppermint and caraway oil is comparably effective to the no-longer-available drug cisapride. 16 After 4 weeks, the herbal combination reduced dyspepsia pain by 69.7%, whereas the conventional treatment reduced pain by 70.2%.
A preparation of peppermint, caraway, fennel, and wormwood oils was compared to the drug metoclopramide in another double-blind study enrolling 60 individuals. 17 After 7 days, 43.3% of the treatment group was pain-free compared to 13.3% of the metoclopramide group.
Note : Metoclopramide works by reducing gastric emptying time (in other words, speeding the passage of food from the stomach into the intestines). Interestingly, some evidence suggests that peppermint oil may have the same effect.
Researchers have shown that peppermint oil holds potential for managing fungal infections, including candida and athlete’s foot, due to its great fungicidal activity.
A 76-year-old woman shingles sufferer experienced almost immediate relief from pain after topical treatment with peppermint oil. Standard therapies had been ineffective in relieving her pain.
5. Anti Cancer
Perillyl alcohol is a dietary monoterpene (phytochemical or phytonutrient) found in the essential oil of peppermint and other plants. Preliminary studies have shown perillyl alcohol to regress pancreatic, mammary, and liver tumors, and has the ability to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
Rosmarinic acid is a phenolic acid found in peppermint and other herbs, which has antioxidant activities stronger than that of vitamin E, helping to reduce cell damage and the risk of cancer.