Peppermint Leaf: What is it and what health benefits does it offer?
Peppermint is a well-known flavor additive to things like toothpaste and chewing gum. It’s been used for ages to help relieve nausea and other symptoms. But did you know that peppermint is good for more than just a fresh flavor or upset stomach remedy?
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What is peppermint leaf?
- Peppermint vs mint: what’s the difference and does it matter?
- Peppermint Leaf Benefits
- Peppermint Leaf Side Effects/Cautions
- How can you get more peppermint leaf into your diet?
So let’s get started!
What is Peppermint Leaf?
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is a plant in the mint family. It’s a hybrid of watermint and spearmint. The use of peppermint dates back to ancient times being used for culinary and medicinal purposes in addition to currency.
While the peppermint plant does flower, the most commonly used part is the leaves. The leaves give off a sweet aroma that is easily recognized. The leaves can be used in a variety of ways like for flavoring food, tea, or as a supplement or essential oil. Some of the essential oils found in peppermint leaves include menthol, menthone, and limonene.
Peppermint plants are quite easy to grow and are a great companion plant to keep in your garden. They are said to keep away pests like mice, deer, and mildew.
Peppermint vs Mint: What’s the difference and does it matter?
Generally, when we talk about ‘mint’ it is referring to the spearmint plant. These plants each have their own appearance, scent, and flavor. While most people will prefer one scent or flavor over the other, the health benefits are what we want to take a closer look at.
Since the essential oils in the plants often hold a lot of medicinal benefits, they were used in a study to compare the plant’s effectiveness. Both plants offer similar benefits, however, most of the time smaller quantities of peppermint were needed to achieve them — making peppermint the better choice.
This is believed to be the case because peppermint has higher levels of menthol and menthone. Both allow peppermint to have higher analgesic, cooling, and anti-inflammatory effects. The antioxidant and polyphenolic compounds found in peppermint also allowed it to be better at scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS). That made peppermint better at fighting cancerous cells and improving the intestinal barrier.
Mint plants of all kinds offer your body great health benefits, but if you’re looking for smaller doses that pack greater effects then peppermint is the way to go.
Peppermint Leaf Benefits
While we mentioned some of the benefits of peppermint above, there are actually many more benefits that you can get from this wonderful little plant.
Peppermint leaves can offer our bodies so much because they’re full of polyphenols and other great nutrients. Some of the nutrients you’ll get from peppermint leaves include:
- Vitamin A, B6, and C
All of these plus the menthol, polyphenols, and menthone create a product that your body responds well to. Peppermint and its many essential nutrients can help with:
These are just a few of the amazing benefits of peppermint leaf for your body. (If you want to know more, check out our article 15 Science-Backed Benefits of Peppermint)
Peppermint Leaf Side Effects/Cautions
Now just because peppermint has all of these benefits, it doesn’t make it a cure-all product and it absolutely isn’t for everyone. In certain cases, peppermint should be avoided.
Peppermint is a great iron chelator, which is really good for those having an excessive amount of iron in their body. However, if you’re taking iron supplements to increase the iron in your body, consult with your doctor before introducing it to your diet.
Peppermint is also known to relax muscular structures within your body, so this can possibly lead to an increase in heartburn.
As with anything, if you are taking any medications, consult with your doctor to make sure that there won’t be any adverse effects of using peppermint while on your medication.
How to Get More Peppermint in Your Life
Peppermint is an easy product to add to your daily routine. If you enjoy flavor then just start adding some leaves to your meals.
An easy way to get more peppermint is by drinking it. Enjoy a cup of peppermint tea or throw some leaves into your other drinks. It gives an extra freshness to any beverage (like this Sparkling Mint and Raspberry Limeade) on a hot summer day.
Peppermint pairs really well with dark chocolate and when you put the two together you get a decadent, fresh, and delicious dessert that is loaded with healthful polyphenols.
If you aren’t a fan of the flavor of peppermint, you can still get the many amazing benefits that it offers.
The researchers at Atrantil intentionally added peppermint when creating this one-of-a-kind product. The anti-inflammatory and gut calming effects of peppermint made it absolutely necessary to incorporate. To keep the ingredients to a minimum, only the best were selected and that resulted in peppermint leaf along with quebracho colorado and horse chestnut. These three ingredients made a blend that supports gut health and therefore a myriad of other health benefits as well.
As always, consult with your healthcare provider before adding any new supplements to your daily routine. But once you have the okay, grab your bottle of peppermint-filled Atrantil here.