Peppermint Oil is great in terms of its various healing properties. In ancient times, peppermint used to be applied to open, fresh cuts and wounds, undoubtedly it used to burn a lot but it had the qualitiy of healing the fresh wounds, the fastest.
Peppermint essential oil is considered by aromatherapists as one of the more indispensable essential oils. The oil should be a part of every traveler’s first aid kit – it can work wonders for motion sickness and general nausea for some people. It is often taken internally for this; whereas ginger oil can be diluted and rubbed into the abdomen. Medical research has found Peppermint oil to be effective for irritable bowel syndrome (peppermint should be taken in enterically coated capsules). Further, French literature suggests Peppermint for asthma due to its liver strengthening and regenerating properties.
Peppermint oil is steam distilled from the partially dried tops of the plants. Growers will harvest just before the herb goes to flower to bring out the best of the oil’s aroma. When allowed to mature further, the quality of the resulting oil may suffer, with a sharper, less-sweet and complex aroma.
The main constituent of peppermint is menthol, a potent chemical unto itself which causes a quick physical response when inhaled or applied the the skin. Menthol produces a sensation of coolness which the body reacts to by producing its own warming effect, with as blood flowing to the area of application. This physical sensation is responsible for peppermint’s long history of use as medicine.
Today menthol is often found in sports creams and chest rubs, such as the well-known ‘Halls Mentholyptus’ cough drops – the oil is excellent for opening the sinus passages, though should be used with caution in this respect. Even a small amount of the oil coming into direct contact with the delicate membranes inside the nasal passages can result in a temporary burning sensation.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, peppermint oil is relatively safe for most people, but can cause heartburn and allergic responses in others. As explained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, symptoms of peppermint allergy include closed throat, breathing issues, skin rashes and hives. Peppermint oil poisoning is due to accidental overdose of the oil’s menthol ingredient. Symptoms include breathing problems, digestive issues such as -
- flushing of the skin (this is not a complete list). Individuals experiencing such symptoms after ingesting peppermint oil should seek medical treatment.
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