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
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
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.