The use of peppermint has varied for centuries. Although it is known for its strong favor and taste, peppermint can be used as a source of treatment for a wide range of medical condition. Recently, it has been discovered that peppermint can be used to help induce relaxation. (Sloan Kettering, 2011)
The usage of peppermint is most commonly associated with treating irritable bowel syndrome. Although the cause of irritable bowel syndrome is unknown, it can be a very serious condition that irritates the large intense, causing pain. (Mayo Clinic, 2011) Peppermint is successful in relieving the pain because it moves and reacts “through a specific anti-pain channel” to help decrease the pain fibers. (University of Adelaide, 2011)
Peppermint has also been successful in treating chronic headaches due to the high amounts of methanol, which onset “cooling effects”. Methanol can be applied to the forehead in hope of relaxing the muscle and reducing the tension. (Selke, 2011) The cooling effect of methanol also helps treat skin irritations and rashes. (UMMC, 2011)
There are some minor side effects of peppermint. The University of Maryland Medical Center has found usage of peppermint has been linked to heartburn. In this case, the peppermint relaxes the sphincter causing acid to build up. (Roberts, 2010) Peppermint is extremely unsafe to use on infants as it may interfere with their breathing patterns. (UMMC, 2011)
- Mayo Clinic. “Mayo Clinic.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 29 July 2011. Web. 18 July 2012..
- Roberts, Holly. “Side Effects of Peppermint Oil Capsules.” LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 3 May 2010. Web. 18 July 2012. .
- Selke, Lori. “Peppermint Oil & Migraine Headaches.” LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 1 June 2011. Web. 18 July 2012..
- Sloan Kettering. “Integrative Medicine: Disclaimer.” Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 July 2012..
- University of Adelaide. “How peppermint helps to relieve irritable bowel syndrome.” ScienceDaily, 19 Apr. 2011. Web. 9 Jul. 2012.
- “UMMC.” University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 July 2012..