By Barbara E. Frasca


The oil of the peppermint plant - also known as Mentha piperita has long been used in herbal medicine.

Through the use of aromatherapy - using oils for relaxation, stress reduction, and for elevation of the spirits - homeopathics are prescribing peppermint oil as a method for those sufferering painful headache. Although acceptable for the treatment of headaches for centuries as a topical, it wasn't until a recent study was performed in Germany and published in 1994 which confirmed its effectiveness.

The study was performed by using several combinations of peppermint oil, eucalyptus, and menthol .Results indicate a significant analgesic effect and pain reduction from headaches. Also according to the this study, the cognition of these individuals increased as well. A explanation of how the oil works is by increasing blood flow to the skin which may be due to the menthol properties of the peppermint.

Peppermint plants are not cyanogenic and have flavonols of kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin. Geographically, these plants are located from frigid locations to those of the warm and tropical.

In addition to the valuable relief peppermint provides headache sufferers, the peppermint plant also is used for: irritable bowel, relief of morning sickness, colic and congestion relief in babies, and actually anesthetize the mucous membranes of babies' stomachs.

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