The Many Benefits of Peppermint

By The Spiritual Explorer | Published 28 November, 2015

Dear Spiritual Explorer: Sometimes I think we forget some basic herbs like peppermint and instead opt for some exotic sounding ones without realizing that the simple peppermint has very extensive benefits. I myself use peppermint for many maladies. Do you have a bit of a backstory for peppermint? Rose P. San Diego, CA


Peppermint Oil

Dear Rose: In this age of extravagant marketing, it seems that there are so many new kinds of herbs, all claiming to have so-called wondrous healing benefits. I think that like you said, we can forget the benefits of a common well-known herb such as peppermint, although it might seem ordinary. And I loved that you asked for the back story of peppermint adding to its specialness.

I also appreciate as one of the benefits of peppermint, aside from the medicinal qualities of this herb, is that it has a wonderful scent.  Some friends of mine have actually planted lots of peppermint along the path leading up to their home. They tell me that people are always   remarking upon the extraordinary refreshing scent that greets them when first embarking upon the path to their home.  Similarly, if one were to purchase Triloka Essential Peppermint Oil, as soon as it is inhaled, one encounters a revitalizing and restoring scent.I might add that peppermint oil is also known to help with weight loss. When you feel hunger, it is said that your hunger pangs will lessen.

And yes, there is a backstory about peppermint which includes the benefits of peppermint.

History relating the benefits of peppermint

I love the mythological story of peppermint, particularly the Greek version. Hades seduced the nymph, Minthe, and his wife Persephone became enraged and turned Minthe into a plant that people would constantly walk on. Outraged at his wife’s interference, Hades then imbued the plant with peppermint so whenever the plant was crushed underneath, it would release a wonderful aroma and thereby Minthe would be remembered as beautiful.

Peppermint has a long history and back-story. In fact, ancient Egyptians used peppermint. How do we know that? Dried peppermint leaves were discovered in pyramids that carbon date to 1,000 BC. The Romans grew mint and peppermint in their gardens for medical usage, especially as a digestive aid. This brings to mind their vomitoriums, places at which they ingested a great deal of food and then purged themselves so they could eat more. Sounds like bulimia to me, but in those days they were not as precise in diagnosing food disorders.

Bringing this story and the benefit of peppermint more up to the present time, in the mid 1990s, a California history professor, Dr. Ephraim K. Smith, stumbled upon the remains of an old peppermint still in Michigan while he was photographing old barns in Michigan. The lone chimney stack in an abandoned field set Dr. Smith on a quest to document the history of US peppermint growers.

Were it not for the amazing efforts of Dr. Smith and his wife, Donna, to create a four-part documentary film, American Mint, this piece of American history would have remained forgotten. The Smiths spent hundreds of hours talking with mint growers and examining old photos and documents about the old mint distiller companies in America

Benefits of peppermint

Makes chewing gum worthwhile Reduces Bad breath
Soothes headaches when applied to temples Settles indigestion
Relieves acid reflux Soothes stomach pain
Makes lozenges tasty

More benefits of peppermint

Adds flavor to toothpaste Adds refreshing scent in oils
Makes the medicine go down (cough syrup) Enlivens ointments
Liqueur (makes good schnapps) Energizes peppermint soap
Puts the “stringent” in mouthwash

Even more benefits of peppermint

Alpha-carotene Calcium Manganese Selenium
B vitamins Iron Phosphorus Vitamin E
Beta-carotene Magnesium Potassium Zinc

I think this about covers the many benefits of peppermint, an herb that has stood the test of time and usage and remains always a signature and beneficial herb.

If you have a question about the “benefits of peppermint,” or anything else, you can write me at Ask The Spiritual Explorer.

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