What Are the Benefits of Peppermint Extract?

Peppermint grows to about 3 feet tall, forming purple blossoms among green foliage. This perennial plant contains aromatic oil that has menthol. Peppermint extract is the oil extracted from the leaves of flowering peppermint plants. While this extract serves as an additive to flavor candies and other types of edible items, it also provides some useful health benefits. Some early cultures, including the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, used peppermint remedies for a variety of conditions.

Pain Relief

According to Harvard University, the menthol in peppermint extract inhibits nerves that react to painful stimuli. As a product in cough lozenges, this ingredient may help reduce discomfort from sore throats caused by coughing. In massage oils and muscle creams, peppermint may temporarily help to reduce the pain in aching muscles. Applied to your temples, this extract may cool the skin and soothe tight cranial muscles, helping to reduce the pain and discomfort of headaches.

Calms Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Peppermint may help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, a condition affecting the lower digestive system. This ingredient may help to ease diarrhea, constipation, bloating and abdominal cramping and pain.

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