Peppermint is one of the most classic scents of all time, even ranking right up there with vanilla and chocolate in its easy-to-recognize and comforting, uplifting smell. Whether the thought brings memories of York Peppermint Patties (which I’m sure many of us can shamelessly admit we loved), memories of peppermint sticks on Christmas morning, or just reminds you of your favorite chewing gum, peppermint is easily recognized and welcomed by many.
But this incredibly intoxicating smell is made for more than just sensory pleasure – it’s quite healthy for you in more ways than you might imagine.
Peppermint oil can be bought as incense to add a pleasant scent to your home or office or can be bought as a food-grade oil that you can use in hot tea, dishes, smoothies, and desserts. While you might not think to add peppermint oil to many of your foods, you might want to reconsider.
Be prepared, because this nostalgic scent will blow you away with all the benefits it contains!
Reduces IBS Symptoms Big Time
Peppermint oil is one of the most highly recommended natural cures for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) symptoms like indigestion, gas, bloating, pain, and irregularity. It’s also helpful for IBS because peppermint oil reduces stress, which reduces IBS symptoms naturally. IBS wreaks havoc on the gut during times of stress since the nervous system and digestive system work interchangeably together. Even just sniffing peppermint oil has been found to help symptoms, though ingesting the oil or capsules of the oil can help much more efficiently. Peppermint tea is another popular option, though not as strong as the oil itself. Just a tiny drop of the oil in some hot water with lemon and ginger (other digestive aids) is a powerful, natural therapy for an upset IBS tummy.
Source: Michigan Medicine/Youtube
Indigestion is also quickly silenced with some peppermint oil. The condition known as dyspepsia (minor indigestion) can occur due to someone containing inefficient enzymes required for digestion or can occur if an especially acidic, or rich meal is eaten by sensitive individuals. Peppermint oil, along with caraway, fennel, and wormwood oil, have all been found to be three times more effective than a popular drug used to treat the disorder. Peppermint oil works by reducing spasms and gastric acid and relieving pain associated with poor digestion. So before popping a piece of gum after your next meal, try drinking a little water diluted with some peppermint oil instead. Or, opt for a hot cup of peppermint oil tea with your meal as an even more effective method.
Other Uses for Peppermint Oil and What to Look For
Be sure to buy 100 percent pure, food-grade essential oil, preferably organic, for the safest option. You should look for the botanical name in the ingredient list, which will ensure it’s 100 percent pure and derived from true peppermint. The ingredient (botanical name) should be mentha piperita. Also, look for steam-distilled, which will ensure it wasn’t processed with any chemicals that could harm your health.
Source: Aromahead Institute/Youtube
Tips for Usage
Peppermint oil, like all essential oils, is very strong. A little will go a very long way. Dosage recommendations by New York University Medical Center recommend using 0.2 ml to 0.4 ml per day as needed or as a preventative method. Most essential oils come with automatic dispensers that allow you to shake the oil in tiny drops into whatever you like, but some may not, so you’ll need to measure before just pouring the oil into your water, tea, recipes, etc. Don’t make this mistake! It will highly overwhelm your beverages and food, and more isn’t always better with essential oils due to their high potency.
Think Outside the Box
While you can use peppermint in typical recipes like hot tea, think outside the box and try it in a few new ways. Add a tiny drop of peppermint to your next green smoothie with some cocoa powder and cinnamon for a truly delightful, uplifting treat, or make a delicious hot coffee with some cocoa and peppermint oil for a DIY peppermint mocha. You can also use it to make vegan ice cream, raw vegan protein thin mints, a creamy mint chip smoothie, a batch of vegan brownies, raw peppermint chocolate squares, and even hot chocolate!
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