A cross between two mints; water mint & spearmint, peppermint is an aromatic herb found in North America & Europe often used as a mouth freshener & as an essential oil. Although, there are some potential health benefits that you can get from peppermint leaves. Want to know those benefits? If yes, then keep reading!
Peppermint is a fast-growing plant that was first discovered in 1753 as a separate species. However, later it was agreed to be a hybrid herb used both in food and medicine.
In ancient times, peppermint was used by Greeks, Romans, & Egyptians for its medicinal properties, and now modern science has backed those benefits. Read on and discover the benefits of peppermint leaves.
- Sharpen concentration power
Peppermint oil is seen to improve focus & concentration and prevent you from getting mentally tired quickly. The pungent smell of peppermint can increase alertness and keep you focused for an extended period. As per a small study, people who were given peppermint oil capsules performed better at the cognitive test than the others.
- May improve seasonal allergies
The compound rosmarinic acid present in peppermint might help to reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies like itchy eyes, runny nose, etc. However, scientists are not sure about the amount of rosmarinic acid present in peppermint to be enough. Some tests have seen improvement in seasonal allergies.
- Boost energy
Some people feel tired and sleepy during the daytime. Peppermint tea might help to reduce tiredness and boost energy levels. While there are no specific researches conducted about it, some studies have seen peppermint’s positive impact on energy and fatigue levels.
- Relieve stuffy nose
Menthol present in peppermint can help to improve airflow in the nasal area. Also, it has anti-viral properties that might help to open clogged sinuses and fight the common cold. Although there is limited evidence in its context, warm beverages with menthol may help to breathe better.
- Give minty & fresh breath
Peppermint is quite effective to kill bad breath. It gives a minty and cool breath and also helps to kill bacteria in the mouth that causes dental plaque. That’s why it is present in toothpaste, chewing gums, mouthwashes, etc. It will give your teeth their white pearly shine with fresh breath.
- Release tension & relieve migraine
Peppermint oil is popularly used in aromatherapies as an essential oil. It helps to calm tight muscles and relax the throbbing head. It provides a cooling sensation. As per a clinical study, peppermint oil when applied to the forehead was found to be effective for migraines.
How to add peppermint to your diet?
- It is quite easy to add peppermint to your diet.
- You can add fresh leaves to your tea or buy peppermint tea bags from the market.
- You can use it in sweet & savory dishes. It will give your food a minty aroma and fresh taste.
- During summers, you can make refreshing drinks like iced teas, lemonades, mocktails, etc. with peppermint.
Who should avoid peppermint oil?
- If you have glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.
- If you are on certain medication as it has certain enzymes that break down some medications.
- Infants & young children should be kept away from peppermint oil as menthol present in it can harm them.
The Bottom Line
Peppermint is an effective essential oil, which is beneficial for digestive health, IBS, pain relief, skin, hair, etc. Since it is caffeine-free, you can have it any time of the day. However, it is advisable to consult the physician before using peppermint as taking large doses can have side effects.