Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is a plant in the botanical family Lamiaceae (mint), the essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and stems of the plant. Key constituents of peppermint oil are:
1.8 Cineol (Eucalyptol) (2-5%)
Menthyl Acetate (4-10%)
Peppermint oil is a highly regarded digestive stimulant.
Effect of fibre, antispasmodics, and peppermint oil in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis
In a report financed by the American College of Gastroenterology and published in the journal BMJ in 2008, scientists conducted an analysis of previous studies comparing peppermint oil with placebo in about 400 patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). They found that only 26 percent of patients treated with peppermint oil, administered twice daily in capsule form, for a period of one to three months, continued to show symptoms of I.B.S. after treatment, compared with 65 percent of those who were given placebo. The scientists concluded that the evidence was compelling enough that more studies should be conducted, and that in the interim, “current national guidelines for the management of the condition should be updated to include these data.”
The IBS study also states…
“…four studies compared peppermint oil with placebo in 392 patients.w29-w32 The proportion of women in each trial ranged from 40% to 76%. Only one study reported on disease subtype according to stool pattern and recruited 25% of patients with predominant constipation and 75% with predominant diarrhea.
Peppermint oil was superior to placebo, although statistically significant heterogeneity was detected between study results, and only four randomised controlled trials were identified including fewer than 400 patients, so data were more limited than for fibre and antispasmodics. Three of these trials scored more than 4 on the Jadad scale,w30-w32 but the treatment effect was similar when only these studies were included in the meta-analysis, and the heterogeneity observed between studies was no longer detected.”
Fragrant Influence of Therapeutic-grade Peppermint Essential Oil and Further Benefits
The scent of peppermint oil is purifying and stimulating to the conscious mind.
Dr. William N. Dember of the University of Cincinnati found that inhaling peppermint oil increased mental accuracy by 28 percent.
Alan Hirsch, M.D. researched peppermint’s stimulation of the brain’s satiety center (ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus) to curb appetite. When inhaled, it improves/restores sense of taste by stimulating the trigeminal nerve.
Jean Valnet, M.D. studied peppermint’s supportive effect on the liver and respiratory systems.
University of Kiel researchers found that peppermint blocked headache pain in a double-blind placebocontrolled cross-over study.
I’ve used peppermint for 25 years, a drop rubbed on my temples, to get rid of my headaches. For me it is far better than any headache tablet. I usually find my headache completely gone within 15-30 minutes. I swear by it!
Medicinal Properties of Peppermint Essential Oil
Antifungal, gallbladder/digestive stimulant, pain-reliever, curbs appetite.
Jean Valnet, M.D., used peppermint to treat liver and respiratory diseases.
This powerful essential oil is often diluted before topical application.
Peppermint may also be used to enhance the flavor of food and water, refers only to therapeutic-grade.
Peppermint has an approximate ORAC of 373,455 (TE/L). TE/L is expressed as micromole Trolox equivalent per liter.
Peppermint Essential Oil May Also Be Useful For
Rheumatism/arthritis, respiratory infections, obesity, viral infections (Herpes simplex, herpes zoster, cold sores, human papilloma virus etc.), fungal infections/Candida, digestive problems, headaches, nausea, skin conditions (diluted for itchy skin, varicose veins, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis), scoliosis/lumbago/back problems (in a massage with a carrier oil, such as V-6).
8 Tips for Using Therapeutic-grade Peppermint Oil
- Add a drop of peppermint essential oil to herbal tea to help aid normal digestion.
- Massage several drops of peppermint essential oil on the abdomen, place a drop on wrists, or inhale to soothe the minor stomach discomfort associated with travel.
- Rub one drop of peppermint essential oil on the temples, forehead, over the sinuses (careful to avoid contact with your eyes), and on the back of the neck to relieve head pressure.
- Place 2 drops of peppermint essential oil on the tongue and rub another drop of oil under the nose to help improve concentration and alertness.
- Apply peppermint essential oil to the back of the neck and shoulders throughout the day to keep energy up.
- Inhale peppermint essential oil, apply topically to your temples or neck, or put a drop on your tongue or in water to jump-start your morning routine.
- Diffuse or inhale peppermint essential oil mid-morning to curb the desire to snack.
- Inhale peppermint essential oil or rub a drop on to your abdomen to soothe minor stomach discomfort.
How To Use Peppermint Oil
- Dietary: dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid such as goat’s, rice milk, or water. See How to Make Peppermint Ice Cubes Capsule: add 2-4 drops Young Living peppermint essential oil to a “0″ capsule, top off capsule with olive oil for better digestion. Can be taken 1-2 times daily. Note: do NOT use other brands of essential oil as a dietary supplement or for flavoring foods as they are not intended for internal use.
- Aromatic: simply inhale directly from the bottle, or put a few drops on a cotton ball and place in vents of car or A/C.
- Topical: always dilute peppermint oil with a carrier oil, such as V-6 Massage oil. For massage, add 4 drops of peppermint essential oil to 2 TBSP carrier oil/V-6, massage on location – avoiding sensitive skin areas and keep away from eyes.
- Cautions: do not use peppermint oil on open wounds or a hot bath. If pregnant or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Dilution recommended for both topical and internal use. Do not apply neat to a fresh wound or burn. Dilute before using on sensitive areas such as the face, neck, genital area, etc. Keep out of reach of children. Avoid using on infants and very small children.
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Additional Research on Peppermint Oil:
- Gobel H, et al. “Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophys – iological and experimental algesimetric headache parameters.” Cephalalgia. 1994; 14(3):228-34.
- Juergens UR, Stober M, Vetter H. The antiinflammatory activity of L-menthol com – pared to mint oil in human monocytes in vitro: a novel perspective for its therapeutic use in inflammatory diseases. Eur J Med Res. 1998 Dec 16;3(12):539-45.
- Samman MA, et al. “Mint prevents shammainduced carcinogenesis in hamster cheek pouch.” Carcinogenesis. 1998;19(10):1795-801.
- Schuhmacher A, Reichling J, Schnitzler P. Virucidal effect of peppermint oil on the enveloped viruses herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in vitro. Phytomedicine. 2003; 10(6-7):504-10.
- Samarth RM, et al., Mentha piperita (Linn) leaf extract provides protection against radiation induced alterations in intestinal mucosa of Swiss albino mice. Indian J Exp Biol. 2002 Nov;40(11):1245-9.
- Mimica-Dukic N, et al., Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of three Mentha species essential oils. Planta Med. 2003 May; 69(5):413-9.
- Edris AE, Farrag ES. Antifungal activity of peppermint and sweet basil essential oils and their major aroma constituents on some plant pathogenic fungi from the vapor phase. Nahrung. 2003 Apr;47(2):117-21.
- Shkurupii VA, et al., Efficiency of the use of peppermint (Mentha piperita L) essential oil inhalations in the combined multi-drug therapy for pulmonary tuberculosis. Probl Tuberk. 2002;(4):36-9.
- Iscan G, et al., Antimicrobial screening of Mentha piperita essential oils. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jul 3;50(14):3943-6.
- Imai H, et al., Inhibition by the essential oils of peppermint and spearmint of the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Microbios. 2001;106 Suppl 1:31-9.
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