With the holidays approaching, more and more peppermint products are hitting the market. There are peppermint mochas at coffee shops, peppermint candy canes hanging from trees, and peppermint-scented candles wafting through the air. When you’re reaching for a peppermint treat, are you aware of the associated health benefits? Read on for 10 evidence-based benefits of peppermint.
1. Relieves headaches
The chaos and pressure of the holidays may be giving you a few more headaches than you’re used to. If that’s the case for you, peppermint oil could be a good addition for your nightly ritual. Peppermint oil increases blood flow, so when it is applied to your temples, it can help ease headaches (1).
2. Helps you be more alert
If you’re feeling a bit tired, it may be time to light a peppermint-scented candle or sniff some peppermint oil. Peppermint is linked to greater alertness. This is due to peppermint being a natural stimulant of the central nervous system (2).
3. Tackles indigestion
Ever wonder why restaurants pass out peppermints at the end of your meal? It’s not just for your breath - peppermint helps calm down the muscles in your stomach, which makes it easier to pass food and gas.
4. Gives you minty breath
Yes, peppermint is also great for getting rid of those bad breath germs. Plus, peppermint oil can also help prevent cavities. It makes sense why so many toothpastes and mouthwashes are peppermint-flavored!
5. Minimizes period pain
Peppermint is great at restricting muscles, which is a big relief when you’re on your period. Try sipping some peppermint tea to help relax the muscles causing your painful cramps.
6. Curb your cravings
Just the scent of peppermint alone can help you feel less hungry. If you’re trying to stop yourself from snacking right before dinner, try chewing on a piece of peppermint gum. This will help you feel less hungry so you can save your appetite for your meal.
7. Calm your skin
Peppermint works well for fighting inflammation, too. If you have a rash, you can use peppermint oil to help soothe your skin.
8. Say bye to bugs
The smell of peppermint oil deters bugs, like mosquitoes and ticks, from getting near you. Plus, you’ll get to smell nice when you put it on.
9. Fight nausea
As we’ve learned, peppermint can help relax muscles. By smelling peppermint oil when you have the urge to throw up, you will help relax the muscles. This way, your stomach muscles cannot contract, which means you won’t throw up.
10. Clear your sinuses
The scent of peppermint can help clear your sinuses, which is particularly helpful as cold and flu season comes upon us.
11. Catch some Zs
Peppermint tea is a great choice to have as you wind down for bed. Peppermint tea, is caffeine-free, so there is no fear that you will be kept up all night from the drink. Since peppermint also relaxes your muscles, it can help your body relax before bed. Warm drinks naturally help you relax, too, so a warm, peppermint tea is the perfect recipe for relaxation.