Classically peppermint oil was used solely as a digestive aid, an anti-nauseant and to counteract halitosis (bad breath) until the 16th century when physicians began to experiment with it more broadly.
Therapeutic Properties Described In The Aromatherapy Literature
Analgesic, Anesthetic, Antibacterial, Antiseptic, Antiphlogistic, Antispasmodic, Astringent, Carminative, Cephalic, Cholagogue, Decongestant, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Febrifuge, Hepatic, Nervine, Stimulant (digestive), Stomachic, Sudorific, Vasoconstrictor, Vermifuge.
The main constituent of peppermint is menthol, a potent compound which unto itself causes a quick physical response when inhaled or applied the the skin. It produces a sensation of coolness which the body counteracts by increasing blood flow to the area of application, producing a warming effect. Menthol is often found in sports creams, chest rubs, and cough drops for this reason.
- Awakening and enlivening
- Combats depression
- Strengthening, soothing and stimulating
- Improves concentration, focus and mental acuity
- Increases choleric activity (stimulates the liver and gall bladder)
- Inhibits muscle spasms in the intestines
- Encourages smooth muscle (intestine) peristalsis and may be beneficial for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Relieves dyspepsia, nausea, stomach pains, and diarrhea
- Quells effects of food poisoning
Muscles & Joints
- Eases arthritic pain
- Soothes muscle tightness and stiffness
- Opens and clears congested airways
- Combats asthmatic symptoms