By PAT DIAL
Some months ago, this column carried an article on mint. The article treated mint as a folk medicine but did make some reference to peppermint oil.
In this offering, we will be dealing with approximately 20 uses of peppermint oil and although the uses identified are different from each other, the peppermint treatment tended to be much alike. We would, however, not try to consolidate the treatments but would deal with every use and its treatment individually.
Peppermint is derived from a species of herb, Mint, which has over 20 varieties but the two varieties most known are Peppermint and Spearmint.
The main important component of these Mint species is menthol and peppermint oil is extracted from the peppermint plant.
Peppermint oil was used for thousands of years and was known among the Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Indians.
Indeed, it is still an important item in modern Chinese pharmacopeia. Two Chinese produced peppermint-based products, Shilling Oil and Tiger Balm, are well-known and widely used in Guyana.
In the 19th century, though peppermint oil was known and used in western countries even in producing other medicines, it was only in the last few generations that intensive research on it had been done.
Such researches found that peppermint oil could bring relief to several kinds of ailments including digestive problems; bacterial infection; inflammation; fatigue; muscular soreness; congestion; allergies; headaches; halitosis and bad breath.
Below we list a number of ailments and their peppermint oil treatment.
(These were taken from a reputable publication on Alternative Medicine.)
Boosting of Energy:
To improve mental and physical energy and clarity levels, inhale scent of peppermint oil throughout the day. This may be done by an inhaler or merely sprinkling a few drops on a kerchief.
Getting rid of Dandruff:
Peppermint oil possesses anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties which allows it to combat dandruff effectively.
Relieving Muscular Pain:
The menthol in peppermint oil has significant anti-spasmodic and anti-painkilling effects and a few drops mixed in coconut oil and massaged or rubbed on the muscles would bring relief.
Sore joints and sore muscles are treated the same way with mixing a few drops of peppermint oil in coconut oil and rubbing the affected joints.
Smelling the peppermint oil directly or inhaling the vapour from a few drops mixed in very hot water could reduce allergy symptoms such as drainage and coughing.
Relieving Rashes and Itching:
A few drops of peppermint oil in olive oil or coconut oil rubbed on the affected area would bring quick relief.
A few drops of peppermint oil in olive or coconut oil and rubbed on the exposed parts would repel mosquitoes and other bugs.
A few drops of peppermint oil in olive oil rubbed on the affected area would allow the anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties of the oil to act.
A few drops of the oil rubbed on the temples, neck and shoulders.
Relieves Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Bloating:
The relief of bowel pain, distension and gas by mixing a few drops of peppermint oil in any carrier oil and rubbing abdomen; ingest a few drops in water or in capsule form.
Take peppermint oil capsule or a few drops at the outset of the symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
Many toothpastes and mouthwashes use peppermint. A few drops in water and gargle would help.
Kills toenail fungus:
Four to five drops on the discoloured nail daily will allow its anti-microbial properties to act.
Peppermint oil is very popular in aroma-therapy and relaxes and refreshes by inhaling throughout the day.
Soothing Sore Throat:
A few drops of peppermint oil in water and gargle.
Clearing Stuffy Nose:
Inhaling peppermint oil would clear mucus congestion from the nose.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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