Peppermint: Uses + Benefits
As an herbalist, I am not a doctor and do not intend the following as any way to treat or diagnose any disease or sickness.
I’ve wanted to work with plants for a long time because in all honesty – I’m, for lack of better words, a bubble-girl. All my life I’ve had year-round allergies and my immune system is also for lack of better words, absolute shit. Western medicine offers me temporary relief and seems to further weaken my immune system. After years of taking western medicine for every cold, every allergy, and just about every other ailment – my body has grown a dependency and tolerance. My problem with this is the fact that my body is now dependent on substances that aren’t naturally occurring, and in most to almost all cases, harmful to my body. So why not utilize the natural and healing gifts that the Earth has to offer?
My Top 5 Uses & Benefits of Peppermint
Sinus Care – When inhaled or even applied topically to the temples, over the sinuses (avoid contact with the eyes!), and the back of the neck, peppermint can help to unclog your sinuses. It generally acts as an expectorant and decongestant which can provide relief for the common cold, allergies, asthma, and sinusitis!
Boost Your Energy – My second favorite use for peppermint is to use it as a natural energizer. Put a few drops of peppermint oil into the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together and put them over your mouth and nose to take a deep inhale. It’s feels amazing. Then try putting one hand with your palm up, and use your other hand to place an open fist directly on top of your palm. Inhale with your mouth at the top of this open fist. Repeat a couple times and you’ll feel revitalized and energized in no time!
Soothe Sore Muscles and Joints – If your muscles and joints are sore from a workout, from arthritis – anything really, peppermint oil can work to ease the pain. It has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, so use ’em!
Ease Digestion and Reduce Bloating – These anti-inflammatory properties are also great for reducing bloating and easing your digestion. Make a tea with peppermint leaves! This will help to relax the muscles which can help with digestion, bloating, and gas. Yes, gas.
Wake Up, Clarify the Mind – Adding a couple drops to your shampoo can help to energize you first thing in the morning! The peppermint will help to stimulate the scalp while the aroma will help to improve clarity, alertness, and energy levels. As an antiseptic, it can also help to reduce dandruff!
Why I Love Peppermint
That’s that – I love peppermint. I just got a brand new peppermint plant and I can’t wait to extract some fresh peppermint oil from that little cutie! Peppermint oil is an amazing decongestant and expectorant when applied topically – which is wonderful for me – the girl with a consistently stuffy nose!
Fun fact – my awesome and super-Filipino dad thought it was funny to call me “sipon girl” growing up, which in Tagalog, means essetially, “mucus girl.” But more in his terms, it really meant “the snot girl.” It’s one of those horrible childhood nicknames, but goes to show that I truly am a victim to the sniffles. I laugh at it (kinda) now that I’ve gotten generally good at taming this problem, but at least it entertains my pop and that’s all that matters.
That’s besides the fact though – peppermint also has great energizing, antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties amongst many others!