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Use peppermint oil to get relief from pains, allergies and more

Peppermint oil can open your airways, clear mucus and reduce congestion. © Shutterstock

Peppermint oil is a versatile essential oil that promotes overall wellbeing as it is effective against many common ailments. Read on to know more.

Written by Juhi Kumari |Published : July 24, 2019 6:20 PM IST

An aromatic herb from the mint family, peppermint oil is known for its health and beauty benefits. Extracted from the leaves of the peppermint plant, this essential oil is very common in Europe and North America. It has a cool and refreshing flavour. This oil owes its benefits to two main chemicals, namely menthol and menthone, present in it. Peppermint oil is considered to be one of the most versatile essential oils available in the market today. It can be used topically, aromatically and internally as well to address a number of concerns ranging from muscle aches to allergy. It is one of the oldest European herbs used for medicinal purpose.

Let's know how peppermint mint oil actually keeps your health on track.

Relieves pain associated with muscle and joint

Known as a natural painkiller, peppermint oil can provide relief from pain linked to fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome due to its analgesic properties, says a study published in the Indian Journal of Anaesthesia. Not only this, it can alleviate your headache because of its cooling, invigorating and anti-spasmodic properties.

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How to use it: Simply apply 2 to 3 drops of this essential oil topically on the affected area three times daily. You can also add 5 drops to your warm bath water. Moreover, you can combine peppermint with lavender oil and use it for a body massage.

Improves respiratory functions

Acting as an expectorant, peppermint oil can open your airways, clear mucus and reduce congestion. Inhaling this oil can help to unclog your sinuses and get relief from a scratchy throat. It is considered to be one of the best essential oils for cold, cough, flu, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, compounds found in peppermint oil have anti-microbial, anti-viral and antioxidant properties. This makes it very effective against infections associated with symptoms involving the respiratory tract.

How to use it: To use peppermint oil for respiratory benefits, mix it with coconut and eucalyptus oil and inhale the mixture.

Provides relief from seasonal allergy

Due to its expectorant, anti-inflammatory and invigorating properties, peppermint oil can be one of the best essential oils for allergies. It can effectively relax muscles in your nasal passages and help to flush out the pollen from your respiratory tract during the allergy season. According to a study published in the European Journal of Medical Research, menthol present in this oil has therapeutic properties. These help in treating chronic inflammatory disorders like allergic rhinitis, colitis and bronchial asthma.

How to use it: To use it for this purpose, diffuse peppermint and eucalyptus oil at home. You can also apply 2 to 3 drops of peppermint oil topically to your chest and back of neck for better results.

Improves performance during exercise

To check the effectiveness of peppermint oil in this regard, scientists conducted a research in which they enrolled 30 healthy male college students. They randomly divided them into experimental and control groups. Those in the experimental group were given a single dose of peppermint essential oil orally. Then, the researchers measured them on physiological parametres and performance. The scientists then noticed significant improvements in students from the experimental group. They showed an incremental and significant increase in their grip force, standing vertical jump and standing long jump. This study was published in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine.

How to use it: If you also want to boost your performance during exercise, take 1 to 2 drops of this oil internally with a glass of water. You can also apply 2 to 3 drops topically to your temples and back of neck.

Improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

If you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and want to treat this condition naturally, opt for peppermint oil. If you take it internally through a capsule, it can effectively treat irritable bowel syndrome, says a study published in the journal The BMJ. This essential oil works by reducing spasms in the colon, relaxing the muscles of your intestines and reducing bloating and gas. In another study published in the journal Digestive and Liver Disease, scientists enrolled 57 people and gave them peppermint oil capsules twice a day for four weeks. The experiment found that 75 per cent of people among them had a 50 per cent reduction in IBS symptoms. There was reduction in abdominal bleeding, abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, constipation and urgency at defecation.

How to use it: You can take this essential oil in capsule form twice a day to get relief. But you must first consult your doctor before doing this.

Good for oral hygiene

The cool and fresh flavour of peppermint oil can potentially freshen your breath. This oil can kill bacteria and fungus associated with cavities or infection, says a study published in the Journal of International society of preventive and community Dentistry. Various other studies also found out that peppermint oil's anti-microbial properties are effective against oral pathogens. The pathogens include Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans.

How to use it: You can either add a few drops on your toothbrush or add a drop under your tongue before drinking a glass of water.

Promotes hair growth

Peppermint oil can naturally nourish your damaged hair and make them thick. It stimulates the scalp and energises your mind. Menthol, an important compound present in it, is a powerful antiseptic agent, that can remove germs buildup in your hair. This compound is also used in anti-dandruff shampoos. A study published in the Toxicological Research, shows that peppermint oil is effective for hair growth after topical application. It does so by increasing the dermal thickness, follicle number and follicle depth.

How to use it: To promote your hair growth and nourish your hair, just add 2 to 3 drops of peppermint oil to your shampoo and conditioner.

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