What is Peppermint Oil? Peppermint oil is the essence of the peppermint plant (M.balsamea) that has been extracted via the process of distillation. It is sold in various forms for medicinal use or simply as a flavouring agent. These products include :-

Peppermint Oil
Peppermint Caps/Tabs
Peppermint Tea
Peppermint Toothpaste
Peppermint Shampoo
Peppermint Hair Conditioners
Peppermint Skin/Foot Creams
Peppermint Candy

The peppermint plant is actually a hybrid between the spearmint plant and watermint plant. However, it is a not a man made hybrid but rather a hybrid that is naturally occurring in the wild. When it was first discovered in the 1800's, it was thought to be a species on its own. They were only found in various parts of Europe but are now cultivated throughout the world for human consumption. It grows to about thirty inches or less and it has leaves that are somewhat hairy. During summer, the plant produces purple flowers. Because it is a hybrid, most wild forms do not produce seeds as they are sterile. Instead, it reproduces vegetatively, which is a type of asexual reproduction method available to some plants.

The peppermint plant is usually only found in damp areas in moisture rich surroundings. These areas are typically near streams, rivers and even drains. A very hardy plant, they will grow almost anywhere. As such, it is sometimes seen as a pest. The nutritional profile of the plant is good, with vitamins B, A and C found. Minerals found include calcium, iron and magnesium. Peppermint oil has long been extracted for its medicinal properties. Some studies suggest it may have been used as far back as nine thousand years ago. Today, Mintec peppermint oil is one of the most widely searched for brands when it comes to health supplements. Their most popular products are peppermint oil 50mg capsules.

Colpermin peppermint oil is another popular brand to go for. Just the scent of the peppermint has been found to aid in memory functions. Because of this, it is sometimes used by students undergoing examinations. Due to its high menthol value it finds use in various modern food items. These include candy, ice cream and various confectionary. It is also a prime ingredient in toothpastes. Of all the mint variations used for confectionary, peppermint is by far the most popular one. Peppermint oil has a cooling sensation when used on the skin, which is why there are various types of shampoos, conditioners and body washes on the market with the ingredient. Strangely enough, using peppermint via beauty and health products has been shown to help those with insomnia. Besides being a popular flavouring agent, it also helps with digestive problems. Those suffering from Irritable bowel syndrome can use peppermint capsules to help reduce the condition drastically. It is also a pain reliever, doing it by reducing pain sensing fibres.

Peppermint oil irritable bowel syndrome treatments are not yet mainstream but could very well be with further studies. Consuming peppermint oil will reduce abdominal pain that is created due to irritable bowel syndrome. However, peppermint oil can be an irritant to our stomachs. The trick is in finding a capsule with a slow release mechanism. Adding a few drops of peppermint oil to a glass of water or a beverage of your choice can aid in digestion. It helps with colon spasms and dyspepsia. Also touted as a way to deal with heartburn, it can help relax the stomach muscles which ultimately helps with indigestion. The flow of bile is also improved which also helps with cases of indigestion. For headaches, simply rub some peppermint essential oil on to the temples and forehead areas. There are other promising areas that peppermint oil could be of use. Cancer patients may benefit from the use of peppermint due to some radioprotective properties.

In fact, in some studies conducted with animals, it was found to prevent the growth of specific types of cancers. This is due to the presence of perrilyl alchohol, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of breast cancer in vivo and in vitro. Its menthol properties has ensured it is widely used in the lip balm industry. Cases of sunburn, irritation and inflammation can also be treated by applying it. For those with respiratory issues such as sinus and bronchitis, breathing in the aroma of the peppermint oil can bring some respite. Again, this is due to the menthol ingredient. The most popular product on the market to use it for respiratory conditions is Vick Vapor Rub. Toxicity studies on peppermint has brought mixed results however. There are studies that have found good liver protection capabilities especially against heavy metals. However, some quarters have reported that it may increase the chances of contracting liver disease. The toxicity will vary from one plant to the next depending on region.

Peppermint side effects include heartburn, vomiting, rashes and abdominal pain. Strangely, there is another area being looked at with this substance, peppermint oil mice. Some people have been using peppermint oil to get rid of mice with mixed results. There is no guideline to using it as the process is rather vague at best. In light of this, many people have been using them for years with no ill effects. Only those that have allergic reactions towards peppermint oil should never use it. Those that purchase peppermint oil use them for digestion aid, aromatherapy and for pain relief.

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