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Uses and Side Effects of Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is extracted from peppermint which is a hybrid species of spearmint and water mint (mentha aquatica). The essential oils are extracted by cold extraction method. It contains 60% menthol and around 20-30 percent menthone. There are multiple uses of peppermint oil.

This oil is used in the form of herbal oil. It has been used since ages in European countries. There are historical accounts of the oil being used in Japanese culture and is also a Chinese folk medicine. While the oil has been a part of so many ancient civilizations, it is pertinent to note what makes it such a widely used product in the world.

Uses of Peppermint Oil:

1. Respiratory Benefits:

Peppermint is anciently used for this prime purpose- to cure respiratory problems like sinus and cold. It unclogs the sinuses and also treats scratchy throat. It releases the congestion caused due to mucus and helps in remedying the problem of obstructive breathing. It is best for diseases like common cold, cough, flu, asthma, bronchitis and sinusitis. It has anti-mircobial properties that can cure cough and cold caused due to the action of bacteria.

2. Seasonal Allergy Relief:

Peppermint oil relaxes the muscles in your nasal passages. This property is helpful when you have pollens or muck stuck up your nasal passage that causes you to repeatedly sneeze. The anti-inflammatory property of peppermint oil acts as an excellent agent for relief during an allergy attack.

3. Increases Energy:

Peppermint oil is the substitute for your energy drink minus the toxic components. All you need to do is take a whiff of the oil. It stimulates your brain and keeps you awake. Use this to stay up for the whole night before an exam or to avoid dozing off while driving.

It energizes you thus enhancing your performance. This quality could be used at the gym to enhance your performance at exercise.

4. Drives away Headaches:

Peppermint oil has the quality of relaxing tense muscles and increasing the blood circulation. This helps to cure headaches and provides you with a stress free mind. It acts like a therapy. It is your go-to option for migraines and headaches. Mix peppermint oil with eucalyptus oil for best effects.

5. Improves Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

If you are prone to irritable bowel syndrome and the related problems, peppermint oil is your easy solution. When you have the oil in its oral form, it cures stomach problems. Peppermint oil reduces stomach spasms and relieves colon pain. It also reduces bloating and relaxes the muscles of the intestine.

To treat your Irritable Bowel Syndrome, take 2 drops of peppermint oil mixed in a small cup of water. You will see visible changes in your stomach health.

6. Enhances Oral Health:

The anti-microbial properties of peppermint oil comes to rescue you from your oral problems like cavity which may be caused due to the attack of the bacteria.

It is also used to freshen up your breath. Peppermint oil is used to solve the problem of a bad breath since ancient ancient cultural times. Now we know why this oil is added to toothpastes!

7. Peppermint oil Uses for your Hair:

This oil is has benefits for your hair as well. It nourishes damaged hair. Since the oil accelerates blood flow, it does so in your scalp too. Increased blood flow in your scalp causes the hair to grow long and also makes them strong from the roots thus preventing breakage.

Due to the anti-microbial properties, the oil could inhibit the formation of dandruff on your scalp. It also solves the scalp problems that may be caused due to fungal and bacterial action on the scalp.

8. Peppermint Oil Used as a natural bug repellent:

Peppermint oil smell is not adored by cockroaches, lice, ants, mosquitoes and spiders. This oil could hence prove essential during an epidemic breakout of malaria in the city. Spray this in and around your home to ensure warding off of mosquitoes.

9. Reduces Nausea:

Feeling nauseatic? Inhale peppermint oil. Peppermint oil could be a savior to women who feel nauseatic during their first trimester of pregnancy. Peppermint smells refreshing and if it suits you, you could use this oil regularly to treat your morning sickness in the form of nausea.

10. Peppermint oil uses for Skin:

Is there a part of your body peppermint cannot be useful for? I guess none. Peppermint oil when rubbed on skin clears your skin off the impurities. It has anti bacterial and anti microbial effects that clears your skin off pimples and acne. It is your DIY hack for all kinds of skin blemishes, right from sun burns and tans to pimples and even itching.

11. Relieves Joint Pain:

Rub a combination of peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil on your aching joints. You will feel relaxed from the pain. Your aching body will feel stress free. Peppermint oil is anti-inflammatory that prevent swelling in your muscles and the pain caused due to that .

12. Anti-Cancerous Effects:

Peppermint oil has antioxidants which fight cancer cells in your body and prevent their action on the organs of your body.

Side Effects of Peppermint Oil:

Even the best of things in nature should not be over used or used in a wrong way to avoid its side effects. The following are the side effects of peppermint oil:

1. Pregnant Women:

Peppermint oil has no side effects on people when taken internally. But its safety has not been tested for pregnant women. One cannot assure that consuming peppermint oil is completely safe for your pregnancy.

2. Heartburn:

Peppermint oil consumption can cause heartburn to a lot of people. Those who have frequent heartburn problems must make sure to avoid consuming it in any form.

3. Anal burning:

Though peppermint oil could be useful for IBS, it may cause burning sensations in the anal area. If it does, stop consuming the oil immediately.

4. Headache and allergic reactions:

In rare conditions, peppermint oil could cause headache instead of relieving it. This could be true for persons who are allergic to the scent of peppermint oil.

5. Effect on sensitive skin:

Peppermint oil could have enriching effects on the skin but if you have a sensitive skin, you must check its effect.

It could sometimes lead to redness and burning sensations on your skin if it is sensitive to peppermint oil. Also, this oil is not recommended for skin of small kids. Hence avoid the application of peppermint oil on their skin.

Peppermint oil has benefits to all parts of your body right from head to toe. However check for the clashing of peppermint oil with any of the currently used medications to ensure you do not fall prey to its side effects.

Shabnam Vandeliwala

Venturing into writing is my second most admired hobby after litigating in courts. An advocate by profession, writing gives me immense sense of satisfaction especially in the time that I'm free from other work.

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