Aromatic, bright and refreshing peppermint has been revered in Ayurveda for centuries. While many of us encounter peppermint in the form of candy or as a breath freshener, it may surprise one to learn that peppermint’s health benefits include boosting energy, improving digestion, relieving menstrual cramps and more. In Ayurvedic tradition, peppermint is used as a healing medicinal salve for a wide variety of ailments. It’s pacifying for all doshas, especially Pittas, making it a versatile wellness ingredient.
Peppermint’s medicinal potency comes from the richness of its nutrients—it contains Vitamin C, manganese, copper and boasts impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Its benefits can be reaped through a number of different preparations, from peppermint tea to a fresh mint face mask. Read on to learn more about the numerous benefits of peppermint on our health and wellness as a mood enhancer.
HEALTH & WELLNESS BENEFITS OF PEPPERMINT
IT AIDS DIGESTION
Peppermint has been used in centuries in Ayurveda as a digestive salve, capable of combating bloating, gas, distention, nausea and more. Scientific research backs up this ancient wisdom: as one study showed, peppermint oil significantly alleviated IBS symptoms; other studies have demonstrated peppermint’s ability to soothe nausea, abdominal pain and other digestive spasms.
A cup of mint tea—which can be made by boiling fresh mint leaves and adding honey and/or lemon—is a powerfully simple way to relax the abdominal muscles and soothe digestive discomfort.
IT BOOSTS ENERGY LEVELS AND MENTAL ALERTNESS
Both peppermint tea and peppermint aromatherapy serve as natural remedies for boosting energy, combating fatigue and improving mental alertness and clarity. Several studies have attested to peppermint’s ability to reduce fatigue and daytime sleepiness. Other studies have shown that this energy booster can improve memory and focus. The next time you’re feeling sleepy or unalert, try turning to a cup of peppermint tea for an all-natural boost of energy and rejuvenation.
IT IMPROVES SLEEP QUALITY
In addition to keeping you energized and alert during the day, peppermint also helps to improve sleep quality, which is crucial to feeling sustainably well-rested. As research has shown, peppermint acts as a muscle relaxant, thereby helping the body to feel relaxed before bed which helps in stress management.
IT FRESHENS BREATH
It’s well-known that peppermint freshens breath—that’s because peppermint contains powerful antibacterial properties that help rid the mouth of toxins, or ama. The accumulation of ama can lead to the development of other, deeper conditions, like cardiovascular issues or diabetes. In Ayurveda, it is believed that our oral health both influences and reflects the underlying conditions of our bodies. Incorporating peppermint into your oral hygiene routine—through oil pulling, for example—can thus be a potent way to freshen breath, detoxify the mouth and promote overall health and wellbeing at the same time.
IT RELIEVES MENSTRUAL CRAMPS
Peppermint’s potent anti-inflammatory properties also enable it to combat acne and inflammation, thereby promoting clear, brightened skin. That’s why many skincare products incorporate peppermint—including our UMA Deeply Clarifying Aloe Alum Toner, which harnesses the detoxifying powers of mint and tea tree to combat acne and to strengthen and hydrate the skin. You can also make your own face mask at home by mixing ground mint leaves and rose water and applying the resulting paste to affected areas of the skin.
Do you have a different way of practicing self-love? Tell us in the comments below!