Peppermint Oil is a very versatile and useful oil. It’s just one of the many natural products that work. It can be used for many types of conditions where there is an excessive amount of heat in the body causing fever, irritability or upset stomach. It also is delicious in many types of drinks and foods and refreshing when used in soaps and body products.
The History of Pepermint Oil
Herbal medicine is as old as the beginning of time. Kings or leaders of kingdoms would instruct their shaman or healer to find new medicinal plants. They had herb tasters who would record the properties of the plants found and therapeutic function was discovered by trial and error. Peppermint can be traced simultaneously to the Egyptians and the Chinese to before 1000 B.C. It is a Persian physician, Avicenna who is credited with perfecting the process of distilling the mint leaves into an essential oil. Both the Egyptians and Chinese used peppermint oil to calm stomach pains. It didn’t make its way to Europe until after 1200A.D. European Monks would use peppermint as a tooth polisher.
When the Mayflower landed in America in 1620, the Native Indians were already cultivating this herb and using it as one of their natural products that work to treat ailments including sores, venereal disease, colds and headaches. Elizabeth Coates-Paschal (1702-1767), was one of the first female herbalists in our country. She compiled a book containing 212 recipes, among which was an herbal recipe using mint to help ease the pain from a toothache. The book cautioned the use of peppermint with patients diagnosed with yin deficiency, internal cold conditions or dryness, exterior conditions with sweating, or deficient cold of spleen and stomach.
Peppermint Oil Today
Today, mint is grown in large quantities in Michigan. The main functions are to disperse wind-heat, brighten and clear the eyes, promote rash expression, soothe a sore throat, and promote better circulation. The main uses and indications are headache, red eyes, throat infection, measles, and fullness and discomfort in the epigastrium and abdomen. Peppermint oil is already cooked and processed so all you should do it add it in whatever you want. It is used in foods, drinks, desserts, shampoo, toothpaste and shower gel. It’s used to help relieve congestion, sore throat, headache, bad breath, painful joints and brightens the eyes. Topical application increases blood circulation. The dosage is 2-10 grams. It should be cooked for only about 5 minutes. Good quality of natural peppermint has dark green leaves with a cool, aromatic fragrance.
Murray, TheEnclyopedia of Natural Medicine, 2014
Hensley, Elaine The New Age of Aging, 2016 p9-11
Bensky,DanMateriaMedica, 2009 p528-529
Wu, Chinese Natural Cures, 2003 p47-48
Pursell, The Herbal Apothecare, 2003, p28