A health freak mom's thoughts on health and all things healthy

Month: January 2016

Barley Water Health Benefits

Barley Water Health Benefits

Since last Sunday when Cass had a UTI attack, I have been boiling barley water with screwpine leaves (pandan leaves) on a daily basis.  Along with other anti-UTI drinks, I managed to treat the UTI, hopefully successfully with no more recurrence. Barley water is a […]

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Treating UTI With Home Remedies

Treating UTI With Home Remedies

When Cass had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) last Sunday, I panicked.  She should not be having another UTI.  The last UTI was 2 months ago. Why is this happening so frequently? She has had a Uretheral Reimplantation surgery done when she was 13 months […]

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Peppermint Oil Health Benefits

Peppermint Oil Health Benefits

A good friend in Hong Kong gave us a bottle of peppermint essential oil.  She is a trained physiotherapist.  I use it during my therapeutic massage for Cass every night and alternate the peppermint oil with melaleuca oil (tea tree oil).  I mix my peppermint oil / melaleuca oil with coconut oil (carrier oil) and use the concoction for body massage and scalp massage.  A sniff  of peppermint oil can boost my mood instantly.  The scent of peppermint oil is therapeutic enough for me. Peppermint is one of my favorite scents which I can never get enough of.

 

peppermintoil

Above – photo credits to OrganicFacts.net

 

Why might you want to add peppermint to your natural medicine chest?  Here are 21 valuable uses for this therapeutic plant.

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Peppermint oil capsules have been described as “the drug of first choice” in IBS patients, as it safely helps alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. Research has shown that it is effective in children and adults alike, with one study showing a 50 percent reduction in “total irritable bowel syndrome score” among 75 percent of patients who tried it.

2. Colonic Spasm and Gas

Peppermint oil is an effective alternative to drugs like Buscopan for reducing colonic spasms. It may also relax the muscles of your intestines, allowing gas to pass and easing abdominal pain. Try peppermint oil or leaves added to tea for gas relief.

3. Gastric Emptying Disorders

In people with functional gastrointestinal disorders, peppermint may be useful to enhance gastric emptying.

4. Functional Dyspepsia (Upset Stomach and Indigestion)

Supplementing with 90 milligrams (mg) of peppermint oil, along with caraway oil, “much or very much improved” symptoms of functional dyspepsia in 67 percent of patients.  If you have an upset stomach, try drinking a small glass of water with a few drops of peppermint essential oil added.

5. Infantile Colic

Peppermint is at least as effective as simethicone in the treatment of colic in infants.

6. Breastfeeding-Associated Nipple Pain and Damage

Peppermint water helped to prevent nipple cracks and pain in breastfeeding mothers.

7. Tuberculosis

Inhaled essential oil of peppermint helped to rapidly regress tuberculosis inflammation, with researchers suggesting it may help prevent recurrences and exacerbation of the disease.

8. Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)

Extracts from peppermint leaves may inhibit histamine release, which suggests it may help alleviate hay fever symptoms.

9. Shingles-Associated Pain

A topical treatment of peppermint oil resulted in near-immediate improvement in shingles-associated pain, with the results lasting for two months of follow-up treatment.

10. Memory Problems

The aroma of peppermint has been shown to enhance memory and increase alertness.

11. Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea

Peppermint oil effectively reduces chemotherapy-induced nausea, and at a reduced cost compared to standard drug-based treatments.

12. Prostate Cancer

Peppermint contains menthol, which may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.

13. Radiation Damage

Peppermint may protect against DNA damage and cell death caused by radiation exposure.

14. Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1

Peppermint has been shown to help inhibit drug-resistant herpes simplex virus type 1.

15. Dental Cavities and Bad Breath

Peppermint oil extract has been shown to be superior to the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine in inhibiting the formation of biofilm formations linked to dental cavities. Powdered peppermint leaves have also been used historically to freshen breath and whiten teeth; you can even add a drop or two directly to your toothpaste.

16. Respiratory Benefits

Peppermint oil acts as an expectorant and decongestant, and may help clear your respiratory tract. Use peppermint essential oil as a cold rub on your chest or inhale it through a vaporizer to help clear nasal congestion and relieve cough and cold symptoms.

17. Headaches

Peppermint oil may help relieve tension headache pain. For headache pain, try dabbing a few drops on your wrist or sprinkling a few drops on a cloth, then inhaling the aroma. You can also massage the oil directly onto your temples and forehead.

18. Stress

Peppermint oil is cooling and energizing. Add a few drops to your bath, or dap a few drops directly on your body then get into the tub, for near-instant stress relief. You can also put the oil into a burner for a stress-relieving aroma.

19. Hair and Skin

Try blending peppermint oil into your massage oil, shampoo, bodywash or body lotion. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can help cool your skin and remove dandruff (and lice) from your scalp.  Some people believe that  massaging peppermint oil on the scalp stimulates hair growth.

20. Asthma

Peppermint contains rosmarinic acid (also found in rosemary), which may help to reduce inflammation-causing chemicals in people with asthma.

21. Muscle Pain

Peppermint may help to relieve muscle spasms and pain. Try massaging its essential oil onto sore muscles or adding it to your bath water for muscle pain relief.

Other uses

Peppermint in various forms is also used for treating a number of other conditions, including dental plaque, shingles, urinary tract infection and inflammation of the mouth. However, there is no scientific evidence to confirm its efficacy or safety.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, USA, test tube studies have found that peppermint kills some types of viruses, fungi and bacteria.

 

Precaution

Like all plant medicines, extreme caution must be exercised when using extracts and especially essential oils.

It is important to note that peppermint essential oil is intense and far more concentrated than other essential oils. The topical application of peppermint oil is generally safe, although it is necessary to dilute with a carrier oil like almond or jojoba oil. It is advised that some people may experience a burning sensation or allergic rash, especially with sensitive skin.

Because it contains menthol, exposure to too much of peppermint oil can cause respiratory problems. Peppermint oil should never be administered around the chest or nasal area of children under 2 years old.

It’s possible to overdose on peppermint oil, though it’s extremely rare. The dosage amount that is safe varies greatly by individual and method of ingestion. Large amounts of peppermint tea appear to be safe, for example. However, large quantities of peppermint spirit (oil and leaf extract in an alcoholic solution) is not safe.

Some individuals are allergic to menthol, which is a component of peppermint. If you’re thinking about using peppermint for its benefits, make sure you’re aware of any allergies.

 

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Treating Diaper Rash Naturally With Coconut Oil

Treating Diaper Rash Naturally With Coconut Oil

Parents, if you are concerned about the chemicals in your baby or toddler’s diaper rash cream, why not create your very own concoction at home? Not only are they cheaper but contain no harmful chemicals. I used to make my own concoction of extra virgin […]

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Chia Seeds Health Benefits

Chia Seeds Health Benefits

Recently I had an ‘accidental discovery’.  I discovered that chia seeds help to move my bowels really well! I am so glad that I chanced upon this discovery when I added a teaspoon heap of chia seeds into my morning hot chocolate drink. For someone […]

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Treating Tooth Pain at Home Naturally

Treating Tooth Pain at Home Naturally

Tooth pain can come on quite suddenly and leave you stamping your feet and holding onto your jaw. The primary cause of tooth pain is a cavity. A cavity may appear as a dark brown, yellow or even black splotch that you see on your tooth, but the cavity may be inside the tooth as well. Though you can call your dentist and make an appointment, you may need to treat that pain until the next day or for a few days. Natural remedies reduce your pain until you can make it to the dentist.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Your tooth pain may occur because of a build of bacteria inside your mouth or because of an infection. An infection will typically make the gums appear bright red and cause inflammation around the tooth. Hydrogen peroxide is an old home remedy for dealing with tooth pain and infections. Simply pour a small cap of the peroxide in your mouth, swish the liquid around for a few seconds and spit. You can also mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide with your favorite mouthwash to dull the taste of the peroxide.

Clove Oil

An abscessed tooth will likely require some type of surgery. Dentists often extract the tooth and send you home with a prescription painkiller and antibiotic. Before you read an implant dentistry journal online and start worrying that the dentist will need to take out your tooth, try using clove oil. Clove oil has natural properties that help fight infections, reduce inflammation and kill the bacteria that causes your pain. Place a small amount of clove oil on a cotton ball, tuck the ball around your affected tooth and keep there for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pain disappears. If the clove oil burns your mouth, dilute it with a small amount of olive oil.

Ice Packs

Another easy way to treat your tooth pain at home is with an ice pack. The ice essentially numbs your mouth, which reduces any pain you might otherwise feel. When using an ice pack, always wrap a towel or a shirt around the pack before placing the ice on your face, jaw or neck. You can also use a bag of frozen vegetables in a pinch. Using these natural remedies can help you feel better and reduce your pain until you can get in and see your dentist.

 

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Embracing Good Health Beyond the Body

Embracing Good Health Beyond the Body

Most people who say they want to improve their health are either talking about weight loss, dieting or exercise. They believe one click of a button on their computers for the latest health fad product will solve any health concerns they may have at the […]

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