By now, many gardens in the North Country are blooming in abundance with peppermint plants. Peppermint is likely to evoke cool, uplifting thoughts of its sweet, menthol aroma. Peppermint also calls to mind the refreshing flavor of chewing gum, breath mints, toothpaste and mouthwash. The most common uses of freshly grown peppermint are as a flavoring in ice tea, fruit salad and chocolate-mint deserts. In addition to use in recipes, peppermint and peppermint essential oil, have a long history of medicinal use.
One of the most common medicinal uses of peppermint is for digestive support. Peppermint teas are used around the world to calm queasy stomachs and to subdue indigestion. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, peppermint calms the muscles of the stomach and improves the flow of bile. The body uses bile to digest fats. As a result, food passes through the stomach more quickly. For digestive support, peppermint can be taken in tea or softgel form.
Essential oils are the highly concentrated, aromatic essences of plants – or to put it simply, they give herbs and flowers their scent. Peppermint essential oil has been shown to aid in headache relief. According to the Prescription for Herbal Healing, when applied topically, 100% pure essential oil can relieve a headache. The Prescription for Herbal Healing states that researchers at Christian-Albrechts University in Germany found that peppermint oil, when applied to the forehead, has the same pain relieving effect as acetaminophen. Applying peppermint oil to the temples can also relax muscles and decrease tension. Even Dr. Oz agrees! Dr. Oz recommends applying pure peppermint essential oil to the hairline for tension headache relief.
At The Mustard Seed Natural and Organic Food Store, many customers purchase peppermint essential oil for natural pest control. In some cases, peppermint essential oil has been found to repel spiders and mice. The essential oil can be sprinkled around the home where pests are common. Peppermint products can be purchased at The Mustard Seed Natural and Organic Food Store. The Mustard Seed is the North Country’s #1 source for natural and organic food and supplements. The Mustard seed is located at 969 Arsenal Street in Watertown.
Prescription for Herbal Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC
This article is for educational purposes only. The products mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any dietary supplements.