Health Benefits of Peppermint

Health Benefits of Peppermint

March 19th, 2013 by Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, CH, HHP

Health Benefits of Peppermint

Who doesn’t love the exhilarating freshness and coolness of peppermint?  Even though most of are likely to equate peppermint with some sort of candy or even the Christmas season — peppermint leaf, peppermint tea and peppermint essential oil also have some surprising health benefits.

Peppermint is a great source of manganese, vitamin C and vitamin A.  Research indicates that vitamin C and beta-carotene may actually play a role in decreasing colorectal cancer risk. Some studies indicate a link between increased vitamin C levels and a decreased risk for colon cancer, maybe as much as 40%, while other studies have shown that vitamin C intake can help to decrease the incidence of colon tumors. Beta-carotene and other carotenoids have been shown in some studies to decrease the risks of developing both colon cancer and rectal cancer. Vitamin A, which is structurally similar to beta-carotene, may help to decrease risk by preventing excessive colon cell proliferation and tumor formation.

In addition to all of the above health benefits, it turns out that peppermint is a very good source of dietary fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, and calcium, vitamin B2. With high nutrient density and low calorie status, peppermint also provides omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B2, potassium and copper.

Health Benefits of Peppermint

  • increases memory
  • increases alertness
  • improves blood circulation
  • enhances gastric emptying
  • combats bad breath
  • helps indigestion
  • provides stress relief
  • increases immunity
  • helps with headaches
  • antiseptic properties
  • helps with toothache pain
  • helps with hives, rashes, poison oak/ivy
  • helps with irritable bowel syndrome
  • effective for infant colic
  • protects against radiation-induced DNA damage & cell death
  • improves shingles associated pain
  • helps respiratory concerns
  • reduces chemotherapy induced nausea
  • may inhibit prostate cancer growth
  • effective relief for hay fever

Peppermint & Ginger Tea Recipe

Ingredients

2 inches of fresh ginger root, sliced into 1/2 inch long slices
2 tablespoons fresh peppermint leaves or 1 teaspoon dry peppermint leaves
1/2 teaspoon dry lemon balm leaves
Raw honey

Directions

Place 1 Cup of purified water on stove to boil. Place the ginger root & peppermint into a tea ball, or tie them up in cheesecloth. Put the tea ball or cheesecloth into the tea cup.  Pour boiling water over the herbs & let them steep for 5 minutes. Remove herbs & sweeten with raw honey if desired.

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