Peppermint mochas, mint cookies, peppermint back, mint tea – the month of December is filled with all things mint and here are some surprising benefits that mint has to offer – sans the sugar filled treats.

Six Awesome Health Benefits of Mint

Who doesn’t know mint? It’s used in flavorings, syrups, scents, and so much more. Yet, ACTUAL mint, has some pretty awesome benefits. Here are some amazing things that you can use peppermint for.

1. Peppermint Helps With Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Many studies have shown that taking one to two enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules reduces abdominal pain, distention, flatulence, and bowel movements with irritable bowel syndrome (1). Peppermint oil is concentrated, however, I would imagine peppermint tea could be beneficial as well.

2. Peppermint Helps Reduce Nipple Pain

Tender breasts and cracked nipples are an issue that many breastfeeding moms have to struggle with. Applying peppermint oil topically on the skin has shown to result in less cracked skin and reduced pain in the nipple area (1).

3. Peppermint Oil Can Reduce Symptoms of Dyspepsia

Taking oral peppermint oil daily along with carawy oil can help reduce the symptoms of non-ulcerative indigestions including reducing the feeling of fullness (1).

4. Peppermint Can Reduce Migraine Severity

In a small clinical trial, using a 10% menthol solution topically at the onset of a migraine and once again thirty minutes later helped to reduce the severity of migraines. Two studies have also shown that applying peppermint oil can help to relieve tension headaches as well (1).

5. Peppermint Aroma Can Enhance Mood

Need a mental boost? The aroma of peppermint can enhance memory and alertness as well as decrease levels of stress (1,2).

6. Peppermint Can Improve Your Breathing

Mint related scents have been a long term home remedy used for improving nasal congestion – Vick’s Vaporub anyone? While the hard science is limited, anecdotal evidence suggests that inhaling mint can improve nasal airflow and also reduce congestion and coughs, symptoms of the common cold (1,4).

I hope you enjoyed these small yet interesting tid-bits about peppermint. The next time you’ve got a headache, need a mental boost, or need you’re congestion cleared, consider something minty.

Sources:

1. N.a. “Peppermint.” Natural Medicine. Therapeutic Research Center 17 June 2015. Web. 6 December 2015.
2. Hewitt, S., Moss, L., Moss, M., Wesnes, K. “Modulation of Cognitive Performance and Mood By Aromas Of Peppermint and Ylang-Ylang.” The International Journal of Neuroscience. January 2008. Web. 6 December 2015.
3. Eccles, R., Jawad, MS., Morris, S. “The Effects Of Oral Administration Of (-)Menthol On Nasal Resistance To Airflow and Nasal Sensation Of Airflow In Subjects Suffering From Nasal Congestion Associated With The Common Cold.” The Journal Of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. September 1990. Web. 6 December 2015.
4. Grattan, TJ., Higgins, KS., Marshall, AE., Morice, AH. “Effect Of Inhaled Menthol On Citric Acid Induced Cough In Normal Subjects.” Thorax. Octbober 1994. Web. 6 December 2015.