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Peppermint

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and watermint. It has a spicy refreshing flavor that makes it a popular ingredient in many different foods, candies, and desserts, among others. The leaves of this plant are the primary parts that are used, due to the presence of the essential oil, which contains high levels of menthone, menthol, limonene, and various other acids, compounds, and antioxidants.

The plant is native to Europe and the Middle East and is now considered invasive species in many other parts of the world, including United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the Galapagos Islands, among others. These aromatic plants prefer to grow in moist and damp areas and grows by putting out runners, rather than reproducing via seed dispersal.

You will find Peppermint Essential Oil in Mother Jai’s All Natural Mouthwash

Benefits of Peppermint

Peppermint tea and the natural compounds found in peppermint leaves may benefit your health in several ways. Peppermint oil is used for a long-term disorder of the large intestines that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS). It is also used for indigestion (dyspepsia), spasms in the bowel, hard, painful breasts in breast-feeding women, bed sores (pressure ulcers), and tension headache.

Alleviate Chemotherapy Symptoms: capsules containing peppermint oil reduced incidence and severity of nausea and vomiting in a study in 200 people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

Clear Sinuses: Peppermint has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, peppermint tea may fight clogged sinuses due to infections, the common cold and allergies. Additionally, research demonstrates that menthol, an active compound in peppermint, improves the perception of airflow in your nasal cavity. Therefore, steam from peppermint tea may help you feel as though your breathing is easier.

Freshen Breath: the antibacterial effects of peppermint oil kill bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath.

Focus & Concentration: In one study, 24 young, healthy people performed significantly better on cognitive tests when they were given peppermint oil capsules. In another study, smelling peppermint oil was found to improve memory and alertness.

Improve Allergy Symptoms: Peppermint contains rosmarinic acid, which has been shown to reduce allergy symptoms, such as sneezing and runny nose.

Improves Digestion: Peppermint may relieve digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating and indigestion. Animal studies indicate that peppermint relaxes your digestive system and may ease pain. It also prevents smooth muscles from contracting, which could relieve spasms in your gut.

Prevent Infection: as an antibacterial peppermint can kill and prevent the growth of common food borne bacteria including E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella. Peppermint has also been shown to effectively kill staphylococcus and pneumococcus bacteria.

Reduces Fatigue: peppermint is stimulating to the mind and body. Without the side effects of caffeine, it can increase energy levels and reduce daytime fatigue.

Relieve Migraines & Tension Headaches: In one randomized clinical study in 35 people with migraines, peppermint oil applied to the forehead and temples significantly reduced pain after two hours, compared to a placebo oil. In another study in 41 people, peppermint oil applied to the forehead was found to be as effective for headaches as 1,000 mg of acetaminophen.

Soothe Cramps: as a muscle relaxant peppermint can relieve muscle cramps as well as menstrual cramps. In one study in 127 women with painful periods, peppermint extract capsules were found to be as effective as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug in reducing the intensity and duration of pain.

Using Peppermint

Peppermint has several uses both medicinal and culinary, including:

Oil: The oil is commonly applied to the skin to release inflammation and soothe respiratory problems.

Tea: Drinking peppermint tea is an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety and boost energy levels.

Tinctures and Extracts: These are typically used in a higher concentration for internal healing and more serious health conditions.

Flavoring Agent: This plant is also a popular flavoring agent in many foods, candies, beverages, and baked goods.

Side Effects of Peppermint

There are no known side effects of consuming peppermint tea.

Peppermint essential oil is highly concentrated and can be irritating to the digestive tract when taken internally which may lead to diarrhea.

Many people are allergic to this plant and will experience contact dermatitis when touching any of these substances.

Cold Showers

Why You Should Take a Cold Shower

Or, at the very least, rinse off with cold water.

Taking a cold shower has many more benefits besides waking up a drunk person.

Besides saving you money on heating water, taking a cold shower also:

  1. Increases alertness better than coffee. The cold stimulates circulation by increasing the heart rate and relaxing blood vessels. Your respiration rate increase to warm the body, thus increasing oxygen intake and reducing oxidization within the cells. These two changes wake you up and get you going.
  2. Improves health of skin and hair. Hot water strips away the natural, water soluble oils, excreted by the skin and hair follicles, thus drying them out. Hot water relaxes tissues causing sagging and eventually wrinkling. It opens pores and allows for the buildup of dirt and bacteria. Cold water tightens cuticles, pores, and collagen in tissues. This seals up the skin keeping dirt and bacteria out, thus preventing acne and infection.
  3. Improves immunity and circulation. As in number 1 cold water stimulates circulation, this includes lymph circulation. The better lymph and its associated immune cells can travel through the body the better they can kill and remove invaders.
  4. Aids in weight loss. Due to our body’s habit of storing two kinds of fat, white (excess calories stored around belly/thighs) and brown (surrounds and protects organs, adds insulation from heat/cold). Our body uses or burns very little white fat, especially when we’re hot. The more we expose our bodies to cold the more we develop brown fat and burn white fat.
  5. Eases pain and speeds recovery. With increased circulation comes increased removal of exercise and injury related acid and toxin buildup in the muscles and joints, thus reducing inflammation and associated pain.
  6. Eases stress and it’s effects. Cold stimulus in the shower or outside has been proven to promote tolerance to stress and resulting disease. Again, with increased circulation comes increased removal of toxins. Even those toxins created by feeling stressed. The stress of cold water assists the body in adapting to oxidative stress.
  7. Relieves depression. The stimulation of the nerves in cold water causes the release of an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain. This boosts mood by releasing endorphins and causing a strong antidepressant effect.
  8. Builds will power. It takes a lot of mental strength and will to purposefully take a cold shower, especially after being so acclimated to warm and comfortable showers. The more you do it the more you can do it.
  9. Increase and balance hormones. Along with increased circulation comes nerve and gland stimulation with exposure to cold. As glands are stimulated so are their excretions, which are all hormones. This improves the balance and function of hormones throughout the body.
  10. Improves sleep. By increasing and balancing hormones, it improves sleep hormone production as well. A cold shower before bed can work like a tranquilizer.
  11. Improves breathing. The shock of entering the cold water makes you take a full, deep breath. Breathing in cold water becomes deep and erratic, allowing for more oxygen to enter the bloodstream.
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