Living life one project at a time

Herb of the Week: Peppermint

on January 5, 2015

ECC-Hrb-PeppermintPeppermint is my VERY all time favorite herb.  I’m a total peppermint addict!

Scientific Name: M. Piperita

Part Used: Leaves

Therapeutic Actions: analgesic, anesthetic, antiseptic, antigalactogogue, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, cordial, decongestant, emenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hepatic, nervine, stimulant, stomachic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor and vermifuge

Medicinal Uses:  Terrific for soothing nausea. Peppermint is commonly used for pain relief treatments, induces numbness, reduce milk flow (pregnant ladies, don’t even drink peppermint tea after 8 months of gestation if you plan on breastfeeding), relaxes muscle spasms, helps aid in removing gas, good for brain & memory health,  promotes bile discharge, helps clear congestion and ease respiratory problems. Furthermore, peppermint essential oil relieves menstruation cramps, expels phlegm, reduces fever, is a good tonic for the liver, nerves, and stomach.  Promotes perspiration.

Recipe: By applying a paste of peppermint leaves or using diluted peppermint oil topically you can help speed recovery of a sun burn.

Adverse Reactions: Peppermint oil disturbs certain liver detoxification systems, therefore it can interfere with the metabolism of certain drugs. By inhalation, menthol dilates nasal capillaries and can overexcite the CNS, possibly leading to cardiac fibrillation.  Large amounts of menthol taken orally are hepatotoxic, which means it can toxicially damage the liver.  menthol dilates nasal capillaries via inhalation and can overexcite the central nervous system, possibly leading to cardiac fibrillation.

Toxicity: LD50 of Peppermint essential oil is >2 grams or 2 mL’s in the test population.   MSDS sheet can be downloaded here

Contraindications: contraindicated with the use of cardiac stabilizing medications.  Studies have shown peppermint essential oil can  interfere with calcium channel blockers.

Drug Interactions: Peppermint oil might decrease how quickly the body breaks down cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune).  As previously mentioned,  peppermint oil can disrupt the liver detox system. Some medications that can be effected by a disrupted liver include Elavil, Haldol, Zofran, Inderal, Theo-Dur, Calan, Isoptin, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Valium, Soma, Viracept, Motrin, Coumadin and others. This doesn’t mean those taking these medications can’t use peppermint, but before use please consult your healthcare professionals.

Note: Peppermint, as with any of the mint family, is considered invasive.  To grow mint in a garden, plant in a container to keep roots from getting out of hand.

Head on over to the SHOP for items that include peppermint.

********WARNING: The following information is provided to you for a more natural approach to common, everyday ailments.  This information should not replace your primary care physician and as with starting any new medication regiment, please discuss with your doctor.   It is always safest to perform a skin patch test prior to implementing new remedies to be sure you are not allergic. This information is not imparted  to determine dietary changes, provide course of treatment, prescribe as medication or diagnose any diseases/syndromes/conditions/disorders.  Please carefully research new recipes and ideas before implementing. ********

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