Peppermint is a cross between spearmint and water mint. When many think of peppermint, they think of the refreshing peppermint smell and taste that can almost seem invigorating. But peppermint oil also has the ability to treat some medical ailments and contains a variety of nutrients that are beneficial to one’s health.
Peppermint is used to flavor foods and is also used to make peppermint candies. Peppermint is also put in teas and other drinks. Peppermint oil has menthol in it, which causes this oil to be used in a variety of different products such as soap, shampoo, cigarettes, toothpaste, chewing gum and candy, according to Organic Facts. Peppermint oil has a smell that is considered pleasant by many, so the peppermint is often used in candles, incense and body care products.
Peppermint oil has nutrients such as manganese, iron, folate, calcium, potassium, magnesium and copper. Calcium is good for the bones, hair and teeth. Iron helps remove carbon dioxide from the blood. Potassium fights high blood pressure, according to Nutri-Herb. Copper is necessary for making red blood cells. Manganese helps with the metabolism of food and with memory. Magnesium helps reduce stress.
Peppermint oil is used to treat a variety of medical ailments such as colds, nausea, indigestion, headaches, muscle pain and nerve pain, according to Organic Facts. Peppermint is mildly antiseptic, so it is good for the teeth. Some report that peppermint helps with depression and stress.
Peppermint oil can be consumed in liquid form, but the liquid has to be a small quantity. Peppermint oil is sometimes put in a capsule form. Peppermint oil is also often applied to the skin, though it must be diluted, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Scientific research has shown that peppermint oil really can treat irritable bowel syndrome, according to the National Institutes of Health. Peppermint oil and caraway oil combined might be able to treat indigestion.
Some people have an allergy to peppermint oil should not take it. Some people will also receive heartburn from taking peppermint oil, which is the seeping up of stomach acids above the esophagus, according to WebMD. But the capsulated forms of peppermint oil are less likely to cause heartburn.
Those who take too much peppermint oil can end up hospitalized with activated charcoal treatments, breathing support, IV fluids and stomach pumping, according to the National Library of Medicine. Overdosing on peppermint oil can lead to a slow heartbeat, shallow breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, blood in the urine, convulsions, dizziness and depression.