Benefits of Peppermint
Dr. Ben Kim
and other mints are among the healthiest herbs that you can include
in your diet. What if your body doesn't react well to ingesting mint-flavored
foods and beverages? Before you say no to mints forever, I encourage
you to consider that some mint-flavored products (especially candies,
chocolates, and low quality teas) use synthetic menthol to
create mint flavor and scent.
menthol is created by using a crystallization process that generates contaminants,
and these contaminants can affect the scent and quality of synthetic menthol.
has been that the majority of people who think that they can't ingest mint actually
have trouble tolerating synthetic menthol. Ingesting peppermint and other natural
mints rarely results in health challenges.
and menthol may be useful for:
the muscles that line your digestive tract, thereby promoting less gas production
and better overall digestion.
symptomatic relief for painful inflammatory states like arthritis, chronic tendinitis,
and acute sprains and strains.
or dissolving gallstones, especially when used in combination with a few other
compounds called terpenes (borneol, camphene, pinene, and cineole).
Combating the proliferation
of viruses, most notably, the herpes simplex virus.
health practitioners recommend using peppermint oil to address the health challenges
mentioned above. If you are going to ingest peppermint oil or apply it to your
skin for health-promoting purposes, be sure that the oil you use is free of synthetic
menthol, and if possible, one that is made with organically grown peppermint.
Also, use extremely small amounts - even one drop of peppermint oil on your tongue
or skin can produce a significant physiological effect.
words of caution on using peppermint oil: ingesting peppermint oil can sometimes
lead to heartburn, muscle tremors, a slow heart rate, and skin rashes. Applying
peppermint oil to your skin may also cause a skin rash.
I feel that the safest way to experience the health benefits of peppermint is
by drinking peppermint tea or other beverages that are infused with menthol from
real peppermint leaves. Eating a small handful of peppermint leaves can also be
a safe and effective way to benefit from exposing your cells to natural menthol.
summer months, a fun way to enjoy peppermint is to add a few peppermint ice cubes
to a glass of water, sparkling water, or any other beverage that you enjoy having
cold. You can make peppermint ice cubes by filling an ice cube tray with peppermint
leaves, filling the tray with cold water, pushing down any mint
leaves that stick out until they are fully immersed, and then putting the tray
in the freezer for several hours.
of our favorite summer drinks that combines nicely with mint ice cubes is sparkling
remember: as long as you stay away from synthetic sources of menthol, peppermint
and other mints can provide loads of flavor and significant health benefits.
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