Peppermint Oil

From Mrs. Cog's Corner

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Care for an after dinner mint? Peppermint is an excellent aid in digestion and soothing the stomach. Not only is peppermint the oldest known cure for indigestion and gastro problems, but it has amazing qualities that aid respiratory problems that come with colds and coughs. As is the case with most essential oils, it has many other uses and applications, some of which can be found below.

And.. OH m' gosh! Whatever you do... don't plant peppermint right in your garden unless it has plenty of room because... it grows like a weed. By the end of last summer, all my carnations smelled like candy canes lol.

The botanical name of peppermint is mentha piperita. Extracted from the herb by steam distillation, the oil of peppermint is clear with a slight tinge of yellow. Its main constituent is menthol, which imparts the famous heady, minty aroma and the remarkable “cooling sensation,” when tasted or touched. Peppermint oil comprises vitamins A and C, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals including potassium, manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, and copper. The numerous health benefits of peppermint oil include its ability to treat several health problems.

The entire plant contains menthol, an organic compound with local anesthetic properties which provides a wonderful cooling sensation while it naturally alleviates discomfort. It also has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, insecticidal, antispasmodic and carminative properties.

When selecting peppermint for your own use, the fresh leaves will impart a superior flavor to dried leaves (such as for use in tea). Look for fresh leaves that are green in color without any dark spots or yellowing. In addition to using fresh mint leaves in tea, you can add them to soups, fruit salad or gazpacho. Peppermint essential oil is also widely available, as is peppermint extract in supplement form. The essential oil is ideal for muscle and chest rubs, headache pain, dental care and aromatherapy. You can even add it to your homemade cleaning supplies for extra antimicrobial power and natural fragrance.

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