Peppermint is one of the most ancient of all herbal remedies. Dating back to the days of the pharaohs, mint has been used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions.
1. Use peppermint as a digestive aid. Peppermint makes for a tasty “tummy tea” and has long been used as a remedy for conditions of the gastrointestinal tract. Taken after meals, it provides relief from indigestion, heartburn, flatulence (gas) and colic. As a carminative with anti-spasmodic qualities, it provides relief for irritable bowel syndrome by easing intestinal cramps and relieving abdominal distension.
It is also used to treat nausea, morning sickness and travel sickness.
2. Use it as a pain-killer. The pain-relieving properties of peppermint oil are another of the herb’s most valued therapeutic properties. It has long been relied on to relieve the pain of aching and inflamed joints, migraines and headaches, as well as neuralgia.
3. Use as a decongestant. Menthol, the primary active ingredient in peppermint is a proven decongestant. Traditionally, diluted peppermint oil has been used as an inhalant as well as a chest rub to treat colds, flu, fevers and even bronchitis. Today, menthol vapor is approved by the FDA as a remedy for colds and flu, particularly because of its expectorant and decongestant properties.
4. Use as an anti-spasmodic or muscle relaxant. Peppermint is a common ingredient in many muscle rubs, “ices” and skin creams for pain, inflammation and burning. Used topically, peppermint has a cooling and relaxing effect on the skin. Peppermint oil is easily absorbed into the skin and offers a temporary pain-relief for muscular pain, cramping and spasms. It also soothes the smooth muscles of the uterus and digestive tract, providing relief for menstrual cramps, as well as stomach and intestinal cramping.
5. Use it as an antibacterial and for viral infections such as cold sores and genital herpes. It is applied topically to the affected area and used to prevent and fight infection in wounds and burns, to repel insects and treat ringworm. It also used as a remedy for bronchitis.
Prepare an Herbal Peppermint Remedy
6. Make an infusion. Bring a cup of water to a boil. Pour over one heaping teaspoon of dried peppermint. Cover and let it steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain and drink up. Drink three to four cups a day
7. Make a tincture. Stir 10 to 20 drops of peppermint tincture in one glass of water. Take three times a day.
8. Make an essential oil. Stir 1 teaspoon of peppermint oil in one cup of carrier oil (pure vegetable oil). Massage the diluted mixture into the affected area. Use half as much essential oil for children (1/2 a teaspoon).
9. Make an herbal compress. Soak a clean washcloth in a peppermint infusion. Fold the cloth to about the size of the affected area and apply it as a compress. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Repeat as necessary.
10. Take 1- 2 enteric-coated capsules (0.2 ml each) three times per day between meals.