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Peppermint: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?

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PEPPERMINT: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?
The Adaptable Universal Talent

Hardly a plant in Germany is so well known and popular as peppermint (Mentha piperita). She has worked as a medicinal plant a permanent place in almost every medicine cabinet, used for the production of drugs and is in the food industry such as perfumery hardly imagine. But what makes the peppermint to a plant so popular? It's simple: you do not only among the most important medicinal plants for gastrointestinal ailments and digestive problems, it is also a versatile spice.

Find out more about the peppermint
Soothing vapors of essential oils to flow one already receive when you open a can of fresh tea. Automatically we breathe deeply - a boon for the respiratory system. But not only for its fragrance is peppermint so popular. Your fresh, slightly peppery taste whets the appetite and is about as mint tea, good for the stomach and digestion.

By breeders and researchers is the peppermint, which is also called catnip, English mint, feverfew or Prominze, but valued for their versatility. Although the herb is demanding in terms of location, climate and soil, but it can be very easy to cross. Why is this feature important?
All mint species have a more or less high proportion of essential oils, which are responsible for health effects and taste of the plant. A high content of essential oils can be for example a good effect on gastrointestinal diseases expect. Precisely because of these effects, the peppermint is highly valued as a medicinal plant. It is a product of chance, which originated from a spontaneous hybrid of three mint species.

Today there are countless types of peppermint, which are without exception is crossings that are bred with regard to their desired properties. In Romania, for example, among other things, the sort of "Columna" is drawn. This variety produces high yields and moderate to high levels of essential oils. The peppermint "Mentha Multi" which is grown in Germany, however, offers both high income and a high content of essential oils.
The recovered by steam distillation of essential oils from the mint leaves are referred to as peppermint oil. Although peppermint is also grown in Europe, are the largest amounts of peppermint oil from the United States and China. Peppermint oil is used not only for medical purposes, but is used in large quantities in the cosmetics and tobacco industries.

Botany of peppermint
Peppermint is a so-called bastard. It has evolved from various mints and is a perennial, 50-90 cm tall growing plant that belongs to the family Lamiaceae (Lamiaceae). It dies down in the fall and in the spring drives off again. The branched, quadrangular stems of peppermints are often bare, but sometimes also hairy tomentose and discolored reddish in some accessions. The leaves are petiolate, oblong-ovate to lanceolate and can grow up to nine inches long. Often the leaves have a purple overflowing veins and a sharp serrated edge. Its flowers are pink to purple in terminal spikes.
The small peppermint seeds are not suitable for cultivation because they develop from numerous hybrid forms.

Parts of plants and ingredients of peppermint used
The medicinal active ingredients of peppermint are their leaves and derived essential oils (peppermint oil). Peppermint oil is produced by steam distillation. In the medical and pharmaceutical terminology hot peppermint leaves Menthae piperitae folium and peppermint oil Menthae piperitae aetheroleum. The quality of both agents is regulated by the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph Eur). In addition to simple identity verification and assay include the ingredients.
Peppermint leaves contain at least 1.2% essential oils. The most important include menthol, menthone and menthofuran. Furthermore, the leaves contain tannins and flavonoids.
The peppermint oil is composed of various essential oils. To the active principles, the same ingredients are volatile oils, which are also contained in the leaves. The oils 1,8-cineole, limonene, pinene and pulegone (α- and β-pinene) are available, among others.
Medical effects

Peppermint leaf and peppermint oil are in many countries of the world to the most important home remedies against gastrointestinal disorders and digestive problems . Due to the proven anticonvulsant and antiflatulent effects and by stimulating the digestive juices both peppermint leaf and peppermint oil can also be effective in inflammation in the gastrointestinal area. In addition, peppermint oil has been shown in irritable bowel syndrome , oral mucosal inflammation , airway inflammation and pain and itching.
The Commission E of the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices recommends peppermint leaves with "cramp pains in the stomach-intestinal tract and the gall bladder and routes, symptomatic treatment of indigestion, such as convulsive disorders of the upper gastrointestinal tract, flatulence, gastritis, enteritis".

With the use of peppermint oil the Commission E approves the use of "internally for cramp pains in the upper gastrointestinal tract and biliary tract, irritable bowel syndrome, stomatitis; internally and externally for catarrh of the upper respiratory tract; externally for myalgia, neuralgia symptoms ".
In addition, the European Association recommends that the National Societies of Phytotherapy (ESCOP) the application of peppermint oil internally for "symptomatic treatment of digestive disorders, symptomatic treatment of cough and cold" and externally to the "relief of coughs and colds, symptomatic relief of rheumatic pain, itching, urticaria and pain associated with sensitive skin conditions. "

The peppermint is not your typical wild growing plant. It is a Bastard (random or wild crossing) from 4 types of mint:

Water mint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha spicata), the latter is a hybrid of the round-leaved mint (Mentha rotundifolia) and the Ross mint (Mentha longifolia).

The intersection of peppermint runs in 3 levels and this is therefore also called trip Elba Stard. A real varietal propagation is therefore only vegetatively (ie by cuttings) possible.

For the first time Peppermint 1696 was "discovered" in an English garden.

The pharmacological use of other types of mint but is known for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt the pharaoh was laid for the journey to the afterlife mint in the graves.

How to recognize peppermint?

2010-06-Pfefferminze2Peppermint is a perennial herbaceous plant that reaches a height of 50 to 100 cm and usually has above-ground runners. The stalked, acute, serrate, bare leaves are schmaleiförmig and grow on opposite sides. The leaves have a strong odor peculiar, volatile balmy and pleasant tasting spice way, initially warming, then cooling striking.

The broken at the base black and bluish-purple colored flowers are terminal. The stem is square.

Where can I find peppermint?

The peppermint is only found in gardens or in cultivation for medicinal use, the main growing areas are in Thuringia, Bavaria, Spain and Bulgaria. Crops intended for production of essential oil (peppermint oil) are found in the USA, South America and Asia.

How does peppermint?

Antispasmodic (spasmolytic), germ-resistant (a disinfectant), and appetizing, characterized digestion. It is used for stomach and intestinal discomfort, nausea and vomiting, causing spasm and bloating. Due to the content of tannins is given to Peppermint is against diarrhea a. Peppermint relieves menstrual cramps, works intensely cholagog, promotes bile production in the liver and bile flow.

Peppermint oil is suitable for inhalation in catarrh of the upper respiratory tract. Externally, one applies peppermint oil to rub on muscle, nerve and tension headaches and skin irritations, itching and hives.

Little is known, that complaints heartburn with strong acid reflux (reflux esophagitis) may be enhanced in the esophagus by peppermint!

The most important application areas for peppermint are:

Cramp-like symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract
Diarrhea
Spasms of the biliary tract
Disorders of bile secretion
Calming the nervous system
Headache
Insomnia
Warnings!

By cholagogue action is required with persons with gallstone disease care - it could be a biliary be triggered!

In addition, an application for closure of the bile ducts, gall bladder and liver damage is contraindicated!

In babies and young children is due to the high menthol content risk by a spasm (spasm of the glottis) and respiratory arrest, therefore, should in children up to 2 years - not be given mint tea and no peppermint oil - as a precaution until the age of 4 years!

If an external application is not directly to mucous membranes or broken skin, apply, never apply around the eyes!

Peppermint oil should not be confused with Japanese or Chinese mint. These come from peppermint species, which are grown exclusively for the high content of menthol and not have the complex healing properties of peppermint oil!

What ingredients contains peppermint?
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Peppermint leaves contain essential oil ("peppermint oil"), which consists of 30 to 55% of menthol, menthone and 14 to 32% 2.8 to 10% menthol ester (principally menthyl acetate) as well as other terpenes.

Menthol makes the characteristic odor. Moreover Laminaceen tannins are (main representatives: rosmarinic acid), Methofuran, bitter substances, some resins, and flavonoids.

What parts of the plant are used?

Medical We only use the leaves with their intense minty odor, which is clearly perceived when crushed and is caused by the essential oil contained therein. Sometimes you can also find fresh peppermint leaves, especially in the household, if the plant is growing in your own garden.

Peppermint tea

© uckyo - Fotolia.com3 x daily 1 cup of freshly prepared mint tea drink warm.

1.5 g of chopped mint leaves with 150 ml of hot water pour over (do not boil!), Let stand 5 to 10 minutes and strain.

Externally

Give Inhalation 3-4 drops of peppermint oil to hot water and inhale.

Children 4-12 years receive a their body weight and their age matched dosage.

For external application, it can occasionally cause skin irritation and dermatitis, on internal use can get abdominal discomfort, stomach sensitive persons, even in individuals with sensitive bile ducts is not recommended from a long-term service.

When inhaled sensitive patients may react with respiratory reactions under certain circumstances.

Use outside the medical application (in the kitchen):

Pfefferminzinfuse (infusions) are often used because of the slightly astringent and refreshing, tonic effect in cosmetic preparations.

Is also known to manufacture a mint sauce made from fresh leaves for various meat dishes in the English kitchen.

Mint tea with fresh mint leaves considered as national drink in Arab and North African countries.

Frequently peppermint is used in sweets such. Example in improving breath mint strips with candy or chocolate wrapper.

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asked Aug 13, 2014 by Lancomega Level (10,245 points)
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