Peppermint: 5 Properties, Benefits and Contraindications

Peppermint or Mentha spicata , lives up to its name, because this medicinal and aromatic plant has properties that help in the treatment of digestive diseases, and is also recognized for having calming, antispasmodic and expectorant effects .

This small plant is characterized by a minty smell and taste. It receives many other names, such as hortelana, Roman sage , mint and yerba santa. And it could be argued that, just as the way of referring to it is varied, so are its medicinal applications, as will be evidenced in this article.

  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Species: Mentha spicata; L.
  • Class: Magnoliopsida

Peppermint Nutrition Facts

Regarding the nutritional value of a quantity of 100 grams of peppermint, it can be indicated that it has:

  • Calories: 40g
  • Fats: 0.9g
  • Sodium: 31mg
  • Potassium: 569mg
  • Carbohydrates: 15 g
  • Proteins: 3.8g

What is mint used for? Properties and benefits

Among your most treasured memories, you may have the times when your grandparents and parents treated your stomach upsets using peppermint (Mentha spicata).

The truth is that many generations have enjoyed its benefits and this is largely due to its chemical properties , which we will now mention.

Peppermint properties

  • It has carminative properties, because it helps to remove saturated fats from our body, especially those lodged in the digestive system.
  • It has antiseptic virtues, which is why it is used to sterilize superficial skin wounds.
  • It’s analgesic.
  • It is also antidysmenorrheal.
  • It works as an emotional relaxant.
  • It is a good expectorant.

Health benefits of peppermint

It is not uncommon to find mint-based products in pharmacies and health food stores around the world, since its application in the field of health and personal hygiene has become very popular. Here are some of its many health benefits.

Improves bad breath

Mint is found in almost all presentations of toothpaste , because it fights the germs that produce bad odors in the oral cavity , giving the person a feeling of freshness and a menthol aroma.

Similarly, since it is antibacterial and antimicrobial , using a mint mouthwash fights bad breath and prevents dental hygiene problems caused by excess bacteria in the mouth.

Combat respiratory problems

In traditional medicine its use is customary to treat nasal congestion, colds and other upper respiratory diseases, largely due to its ability to stimulate the expulsion of phlegm.

Relieves stomach problems

This is perhaps its most widespread use. As it is carminative and antispasmodic, it helps improve digestive system disorders such as bloating , nausea, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, and colic.

By promoting relaxation of the smooth muscles in the digestive tract, peppermint produces good results when you suffer from the terrible stomach problems that can make your day miserable.

Relieves muscle pain and headaches

By acting as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, its chemical components provide relief from muscle and headache pain.

Along the same lines, it has been found that mint has effects similar to those produced by menthol creams , transmitting cold which in turn causes vasoconstriction of the arteries, significantly reducing inflammation.

How to use mint?

There are various presentations of mint. For example, the essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy or to apply relaxing massages , in relief therapies for headaches and muscle pain. It is also common to consume it in capsules.

Regarding the recommended dose for each case, this depends on the product, and is generally indicated in its package insert. It should be noted that the most sensible thing to do is to obtain the appreciation and approval of a doctor before venturing to use mint in any of its forms.

The following are the most common ways peppermint is used.

  • Tea bags. It is used as an assistant to eliminate fats and toxins.
  • Creams and tonics for the skin. In order to take advantage of its antiseptic benefits.
  • Toothpastes. It is used to combat bad breath and other oral problems.

Advantages and disadvantages of peppermint

In almost the entire globe, people are familiar with mint and have been using it for millennia in different ways to soothe their health ailments. However, it is good to keep in mind what their advantages and disadvantages are.

Benefits of peppermint

  • Helps to expel intestinal gases, reduce colic and relieve nausea and vomiting.
  • Decreases acidity and promotes good digestion, by activating bile production and optimizing digestive functions.
  • Fight the headache.
  • Reduces stressand anxiety.
  • It acts as an antiseptic, reducing the growth of bacteria and amoebas in the digestive tract.
  • By having ascorbic acid, menthol and tinol among its components, it is effective in the treatment of colds.
  • It is used to prevent bad breath and to correct other oral conditions.

Peppermint Disadvantages

  • It is contraindicated in people with serious pathologies such as stomach or intestinal ulcers.
  • Because it is suspected of being abortifacient, its use in pregnancyshould be avoided .
  • Some of its properties are still the subject of many studies.

In summary, we can highlight that mint is a great ally for health. If you have any questions, do not forget to ask your trusted doctor. It is always better to use it in an already manufactured product that contains it, it will be in the right concentration and it will have passed quality controls. Home remedies are not always a good idea.

 

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