How This Medicinal Herb Can Soothe the Stomach and Prevent Illness
When you think of peppermint , you may imagine candy canes at Christmas or your grandfather’s bowl of sweet treats. Did you know that peppermint can also be used as a medicinal herb? Learn more about how this herb can soothe indigestion, quiet headaches and fight infection.
Soothes Upset Stomach
Peppermint has been used for hundreds of years as a home remedy to treat stomach ailments such as nausea, gas and indigestion. It acts as an antispasmodic, effectively smoothing out the muscles of the intestine and preventing painful cramping. This herb is also of benefit to those with irritable bowel syndrome and can be used to treat and prevent motion sickness .
Peppermint contains a natural calcium antagonist that relieves pain by blocking the uptake of calcium into the cells. Placing a few drops of diluted peppermint oil onto the forehead may relieve the inflammation, spasms and pain of a migraine or tension headache. Also, this oil is said to relieve stress and soothe the nerves, which may help relieve the headache that much faster.
Studies show that peppermint has natural antifungal and antimicrobial properties, which can be used to fend off colds, flu and viruses. It has even been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria such as H. pylori, salmonella and the MRSA virus.
Another health benefit of peppermint is its ability to ease breathing due to its menthol and rosmarinic acid content. Applying diluted peppermint oil to the chest and neck helps open clogged breathing passages associated with colds, flu and allergies.
Peppermint can be sipped in a steaming cup of hot tea, added to food, taken in enteric-coated tablets or used as an essential oil on the skin.
Those who suffer from acid reflux, kidney stones or hiatal hernia should not use this herb. Do not use peppermint oil on the skin without first using a dilutant such as vitamin E. Do a test patch on the arm first to test for allergic reaction. If there is any pain, redness or swelling, discontinue use immediately.
As you can see, peppermint is a refreshing herb that can benefit your health in a variety of ways!
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