Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is common in Europe and the United States. The herb is typically cultivated. Peppermint is a member of the Lamiaceae/Labiatae family. The common applicable parts of peppermint are the leaf and oil. The leaves can be used dried or fresh while the oil is the essential oil of Mentha piperita obtained through an aqueous steam distillation process.
Peppermint leaf constituents include the volatile oil menthol, flavonoids, and azulene. It has anti-inflammatory, antiflatulent and spasmolytic activities. Peppermint leaf is commonly used for the loss of appetite, spasms of the gastrointestinal tract, gallbladder, and bile ducts, for flatulence, gastritis, nausea, respiratory infections, and enteristis. Peppermint soothes cough and colds as a result of stimulated salvations which increases the swallowing reflex and suppresses cough. It also helps soothe the digestive tract smooth muscle.
Peppermint oil is a mixture of compounds, including methone and methyl acetate. It is thought to be helpful for respiratory tract symtpoms and for irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint oil functions similarly to peppermint leaf. It has demonstrated antimicrobial and antiviral activities as well. Peppermint oil is often used for inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, liver and gallbladder complaints, cough, colds, cramps of the upper gastrointestinal tract (GI), as an antiflatulent, for headaches, respiratory infections, nausea, indigestion, vomiting, and as a stimulant.
Peppermint is a popular tea and essential oil.
Food Sources Orally, peppermint leaf can cause colic in people with gallstones. Peppermint oil may cause heartburn, flushing, headache, nausea, and vomiting.
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Products containing Peppermint
Cautions Orally, peppermint leaf can cause colic in people with gallstones. Peppermint oil may cause heartburn, flushing, headache, nausea, and vomiting.