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Learn about HERBS!

 

 

Peppermint: Good for you and delicious in tea

Youíve probably used peppermint in the preparation of foods, or as a tea. However, you may be surprised to learn just how beneficial peppermint is to your health. 

Peppermint has a large index of health benefits such as: calms digestive spasm; relieves gas; fights bacteria; and acts as a decongestant as well. It is used to 

increase the flow of digestive juices and bile while bringing the digestive muscles to a relaxed state. The menthol, which is a component in peppermint, soothes the stomach and eases pain. In addition, when used in tea it offers relief for mild asthma attacks. 

Peppermint has an antispasmodic effect which can provide significant relief for abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea, and general abdominal discomfort associated with an intestinal condition. In fact, peppermint oil generates this antispasmodic activity and provides relief for liver and gallbladder conditions. You may agree that the aroma itself may aid in improved concentration, relieve headaches, and reduce mental fatigue. In addition, when used topically, it can act as an antiseptic for muscle and nerve pain. Due to its cooling properties, this particular herb eases inflammation to tissue. It has also been known to relieve insomnia, stress, and anxiety. 

Fortified with high levels of manganese, Vitamin C and Vitamin A, peppermint also includes properties such as: fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, omega-3, riboflavin, and tryptophan. Peppermint oil, for example, has been used to reduce colic in babies. It is also known to prevent gallstones. It soothes the lining of the stomach and relieves cramping. This accounts for some of the over the counter medications which have peppermint properties, such as Bengay ointment and lozenges. 

As mentioned earlier, you may be most familiar with peppermint as a tea. Did you also know that you can add tea to your bath to help treat skin conditions? Or you can gargle with tea several times a day to treat a sore throat. The menthol in peppermint has antibacterial, antiviral, and analgesic effects. Peppermint, when used as a mouthwash, can aid in the prevention of gingivitis as well. It also should be note that in laboratory studies, peppermint oil was found to kill bacteria that cause urinary tract infections and the herpes simplex virus. 

You can drink up to four cups a day for treatment of digestive disorders, morning sickness, or to ease congestion. There have been no toxic side effects associated with consumption of peppermint tea, however, and it is always advisable to consult your physician when taking any herb or supplement. 

Peppermint is found in almost everything we eat and drink; from chocolate to ice cream. Most notably used in chewing gum, there are many medicinal qualities which are derived by the use of peppermint, whether used internally or externally. Add this wonderful herb to your garden. Itís a good thing!

Peppermint Overview

Peppermint and Spearmint are the two primary herbs used most often for medicinal purposes, but there are others in the mint family which usually work well in a pinch too. Usually peppermint is the first choice of herbs to use though, so we'll discuss that specifically here.

Peppermint makes a wonderful herbal tea which is delicious either hot or cold. And the great taste makes it an easy medicine to give to small children too. Peppermint is probably most well known for its ability to relieve stomach discomforts. Almost everyone had a great aunt or grandmother who suggested giving peppermint to a baby with colic for instance, and with good reason.

Peppermint is an excellent remedy for treating simple colic in babies, or relieving bloated stomach feelings in both children and adults. It's a great soother for almost any digestive problems, and is particularly useful for relieving stomach pains caused by indigestion.

When either adults or children have stomach pains and discomfort due to gas, peppermint helps there too by forcing the gas to be expelled from the body. Expelling the gas relieves the pressure inside the body, and that pressure is usually what's causing the stomach pain or bloated feelings.

Peppermint can also be used in place of aspirin or aspirin like medications to treat headaches. This is also an excellent herb to use as a coffee alternative, because it acts like a stimulant on the body.

Peppermint is also good to use during the cold and flu seasons, because it helps reduce fevers. Additionally it helps relieve related symptoms such as diarrhea and other gastrointestinal discomforts such as nausea and vomiting.

Other things peppermint can be used for include bronchitis, chills brought on during the flu, general cold symtoms, dizziness, digestion related problems, fevers, stomach aches and bloating, vomiting, and ulcers.

For small children and babies, the easiest way to give them peppermint is by putting a small bit of old fashioned peppermint candy into their bottle with some water. If you keep peppermint tea on hand in tea bag form though, you can simply steep the tea bag for a short while to make a weak tea, then dilute it with water.

Adults can drink the tea full strength or watered down, and of course they can suck on a piece of peppermint candy too.

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