Herb of the Month - Peppermint!
Author: Lia Pellizzeri Date Posted:3 January 2017
Mentha piperita, more commonly known as Peppermint, is indeed one of the most well-known herbs to grace our house-holds. This ubiquitous staple really comes alive during the festive season where it’s sweet yet evocative freshness becomes interwoven into the tastes and smells of Christmas… Peppermint really is the flavour of the Holiday Season.
But looking beyond the Candy canes, its therapeutic benefits have been traditionally used for hundreds of years to treat digestive issues, respiratory conditions and pain, and its active constituents of volatile oils menthol and menthone, ethanol extracts and flavonoids have also been extensively researched for their many health-promoting properties.
Tummy Tamer - An Ultimate Digestive Tonic
Peppermint couldn’t be more apt as a festive season herb with over-eating and over-indulgence being a common occurrence this time of year. Peppermints powerful antispasmodic action helps relax gastrointestinal smooth muscle by modulating the calcium channels that can cause spasms.
It also works to calm intestinal sphincters through-out the digestive system, and in this way help relieve the symptoms of gas and bloating by encouraging proper elimination and passage of excess wind. Sipping on a strong cup of Peppermint tea after a meal can go a long way to alleviate some of the pain and discomfort of a bloated, unhappy stomach, which is why it’s often a go-to remedy used by many sufferers of a grumbly, gassy belly.
Pacifying Pain – a great analgesic
Most research on Peppermint relates to its anti-spasmodic and carminative actions especially in conditions of poor digestive health, therefore its pain-relieving properties are attributed to this. However, the herb does provide analgesic and anti-inflammatory relief to pain across many body systems where it can be used successfully in the topical treatment of headache and migraine, as well as being included in traditional protocols including chest rubs and inhalants for colds and flu’s to provide supplementary anti-inflammatory aid.
How good is eating your Peppermint?
Easily one of the most enjoyable and palatable herbs to take, Peppermint is often used in herbal formulas to increase compliance by improving taste while also adding its therapeutic benefits. But it is of course very commonly used as a flavouring agent in all sorts of desserts and baked goods, and you can’t go wrong with the combination of chocolate and peppermint which is why we’ve included this very decadent yet healthy holiday treat… food as medicine!
Check out our Recipe for delicious Mint Brownie Balls.
|Written by Lia Pellizzeri|
Lia is a qualified Naturopath who believes in the power of nature to heal many of today’s acute and chronic conditions. She’s not only passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, but about educating people on nutrition and the amazing benefits of herbs and supplements in addressing symptoms and their underlying issues.
Lia loves to cook, bake and read… when she isn’t busy telling people to enjoy their egg yolks and other healthy fats, she can most likely be found on the lounge with a latte and a tattered copy of Lord of the Rings.