Peppermint and the herb in the mint family that is a cross between watermint and spearmint. Nowadays peppermint is used in everything from toothpaste, to cakes and biscuits to breath mints and as a tea. Whilst the tea is normally drunk because of it's cool peppermint flavour, aromatic taste and it's easy on digestion, there are many other benefits to the green herb.
Here are 4 benefits of peppermint that you may not have known existed
1. Helps with digestion and nausea
Peppermint and peppermint oil has been shown to easy digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, indigestion and reflux. As peppermint is a natural relaxant, it prevents the smooth muscles in your gut from contracting helping to easy pain and will help sooth your gut at the same time.
A study of 200 people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer shows that taking peppermint oil reduced the incidence of both nausea and vomiting compared to those only taking a placebo.
2. Helps with tension headaches and migraines
As peppermint is a muscle relaxant and natural pain reliever, it can help diminish and reduce certain types of headaches. The different types of menthol - menthone and limonene - that are found in the plant act as a coolant and anti spasmotic and helps to increase blood flow around the body.
One study of 35 people suffering from migraines and headaches found that peppermint oil applied to the forehead and temples significantly reduced the pain and throbbing sensation after 2 hours compared to a placebo oil.
3. Helps with PMS and muscle cramps
The same with muscle cramps can be said as for tension headaches. The anti-spasmodic and muscle relaxant properties of peppermint can help to relieve the pain, bloating and cramps that many women experience as PMS symptoms on a monthly basis.
4. Helps with sleep
The calming effect of peppermint has been shown to help promote better sleep quality. If you are stressed and anxious after a busy day at work, your mind is going to be racing a million miles an hour so will undoubtedly be hard for you to get to sleep or stay asleep. Having a cup of peppermint tea before going to bed will help reduce the load and stress on your nervous system and adrenals so you're not laying in bed for hours trying to will yourself to sleep.