Peppermint is a flavor and fragrance that is often associated with the holiday season. Fresh and cool, peppermint carries the essence of winter. Looking more deeply there is more to this amazing mint than meets the eye, including hidden properties that perhaps reveal a deeper purpose to its widespread use during the Christmas season. These hidden properties include the amazing ability of peppermint to aid digestion and to stimulate the conscious mind. And there is no more necessary time for digestive aids and awakening agents than during the demanding holiday season!!
As one of the oldest and most respected herbs, peppermint essential oil is extracted from the North American mint plant from the botanical family lamiaceae or labiatae. It is steam distilled from the leaves, stems, and flower buds.
The primary component of peppermint oil is menthol, which causes a physical reaction when inhaled or applied to the skin. The menthol creates an instantaneous sensation of coolness that the body reacts to very strongly. As the blood flows to this area of application or inhalation it is accompanied by the sensation of warmth that brings a medicinal or therapeutic feeling. Besides being added to candy canes and other sweet treats, peppermint can be added to teas or applied directly to the stomach to aid digestion.
The traditional use of peppermint has largely been related to digestion when added to teas or applied topically to the stomach. But this oil has many other benefits and when applied directly to the skin it can alleviate conditions related to arthritis, depression, skin irritations, food poisoning, headaches, hives, toothaches, and tuberculosis.
The fragrance of peppermint is remarkable and when inhaled the menthol constituent is known to improve concentration and mental acuity. As such, it is often a companion oil in blends designed to purify and stimulate the conscious mind.
If you are drawn to suck on a candy cane after your big Christmas dinner, know that it may be more than your sweet tooth calling. It may be your stomach’s way of asking for the powerful digestive aid and your mind’s way of seeking an awakening moment that peppermint essential oil can provide.