A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Peppermint: The Double Mint

A cross between Watermint and Spearmint, Peppermint proves to be useful as a therapuetic application, taste enhancer in foods and gum, and as a refreshing addtion to soaps and lotions.

Amongst its multiple uses, peppermint is a very common, and great addition in tea.  If you currently drink tea, awesome, keep it up!  If not, you're missing out on many benefits.  Black, green, red, white, and herbal teas all have many benefits to offer.  All of the teas just mentioned can be,(and are) blended with peppermint to further boost their nutrition.

Peppermint can commonly be found, in capsules, oil form, and leaves for refreshing tea.  The following is a list of benefits provided by Peppermint:

·         Indigestion: Peppermint oil is very helpful in digestion. Often people put a few drops of peppermint oil in a glass of water and drink it after their meal due to its digestive properties. It is carminative and therefore helps in removing gas. Peppermint oil is a good tonic for those who have a low appetite. It also helps during motion sickness and upset stomach. Preliminary research has proved that peppermint oil in the combination of caraway oil can be used for treating heartburns.
·         Dental Care: Peppermint oil, due to its antiseptic properties, is useful for dental care. It removes bad breath and helps teeth and gums deal with germs. No wonder, it is added in numerous toothpastes. It is also useful for treating toothaches.
·         Respiratory Problems: Menthol, which is present in abundance in peppermint oil, helps in clearing the respiratory tract. It is an effective expectorant and therefore provides instantaneous, though temporary, relief in numerous respiratory problems including nasal congestion, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, cold and cough. As a result, it is used in numerous cold rubs. When these cold rubs are rubbed on the chest, they remove nasal and respiratory congestion immediately.
·         Nausea and Headache: Peppermint oil is a good home remedy for nausea and headache. Applying peppermint oil in diluted form on the forehead is known to remove headache.
·         Stress: Like most other essential oils, peppermint is able to provide relief from stress, depression and mental exhaustion due to its refreshing nature. It is also effective against anxiety and restlessness.
·         Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The muscle relaxing property of peppermint oil has been found to ease irritable bowel syndrome. This has been validated through preliminary scientific research though the exact mechanism is still unknown.
·         Antispasmodic: Peppermint oil is very effective for gastroscopy, colonoscopy and during double-contrast barium enema. It is applied intraluminally. Further benefits of peppermint oil due to its antispasmodic properties are being studied.
·         Urinary Tract Infection: Peppermint oil can be used for treating urinary tract infection (UTI). However, thorough scientific studies are yet to be conducted to confirm this.
·         Pain Relief: Peppermint oil can be used externally for providing relief from pain. It is believed that the presence of calcium antagonism in peppermint oil aids in removing pain. It is cooling in nature and therefore helps reduce fever.
·         Immune System: Peppermint oil increases your immunity to diseases and therefore helps you in preventing a number of diseases.
·         Blood Circulation: It also improves blood circulation.
·         Hair Care: Peppermint oil is very useful for hair care as it gives a cooling effect to the head, and removes dandruff and lice.
·         Skin Care: Peppermint oil contains Menthol, which is good for skin. It gives a cooling effect. Further it nourishes dull skin and improves oily skin.
Source:  http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/natural-essential-oils/health-benefits-of-peppermint-oil.html

Although peppermint candy is great tasting, you won't obtain the level of nutrients provided when in the form of oil or tea.

There are many brands that offer their own variations of peppermint infused teas, but simply pouring very hot (not boiling) water over dried leaves and letting steep is an easy, cost effective way to enjoy its benefits.  Just be sure to cover your cup while steeping so the volatile oils that contain most of the nutrients do not float away with the steam.  After steeping, strain through a fine sieve or cheese cloth and enjoy.

I love having the ability to benefit from healthy herbs and spices by just letting them brew in hot water for a few minutes and then sipping on the nutrient-rich water that's created.  My day usually includes black tea in the morning, green tea around lunchtime, and herbal teas at night.  You can find bulk tea in loose leaf form at many stores, but if you prefer an easier approach, Celestial Seasonings is a favorite of mine.  They offer all varieties of tea, and I love how their bags are stringless, and boxes are made from recycled material.  I feel better giving a green company some of my own "green." 

If you're new to the tea scene, take a chance, find a flavor you like and take a box home to try.  You just might have a new favorite beverage to start or end your day.

Hope you enjoy a cup (or two or three) and maybe be bold enough to mix different bags for your own creations.

Peppermint on FoodistaPeppermint


  1. I followed you from the foodie blog roll and I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site. I hope you could add this peppermint widget at the end of this post so we could add you in our list of food bloggers who blogged about peppermint,Thanks!

  2. Hi Alisa! Thank you for contacting me, I have added the Foodista Peppermint widget to my post. Hope this enables more views to read about the benefits that peppermint offers.