What is Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint essential oil derives from peppermint leaves and flower parts. As a concentrated extract made by steam distilling, it holds the characteristic flavor and aroma. Its active compounds provide benefits when consumed, inhaled and used on the skin.
For centuries, individuals have used peppermint oil to maintain their health. Records mention Egypt, Greece and Rome treating diseases and conditions with success. They also used the oil as a flavoring agent and fragrance in cosmetics and soaps.
Today, the herb functions as a tea and is an ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwash and gum. It’s also a dietary supplement to help ease digestive troubles, fatigue and headaches. It’s a remedy for about everything. Thus, peppermint softgel capsules are the quintessential holistic remedy (x).
Peppermint or Mentha x piperita is a natural water mint and spearmint hybrid. The plant grows vibrant throughout North America and Europe.
The principal bioactive chemicals in peppermint are menthol and menthone. These give the herb its fresh, minty scent and its cooling action on the skin. Present in smaller amounts is rosmarinic acid, 1,8-cineole, terpenoids and flavonoids. These compounds contribute to peppermint’s beneficial effects (x).
Why Peppermint Softgel Capsules?
Softgel capsules are particularly beneficial to those uncomfortable taking pills because softgels are tasteless and go down smoothly. People who find taking tablets challenging do not have similar issues with softgel capsules. They quickly dissolve and digest when taken orally, providing better absorption in the digestive system. Softgels are perfect for oils because the airtight seal of the capsule increases the peppermint oil’s shelf life (x). You can also prick the capsule with a sterilized needle and the supplement becomes a topical oil when mixed with a carrier oil like coconut, olive or jojoba. That way, you reduce the chances of irritating the treated area (x).
Peppermint Softgel Capsules Benefits
Helps with Stomach Aches and Digestion
IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder that causes constipation, diarrhea and intestinal spasms. Sometimes there are many causes for IBS, making it hard to treat. Peppermint, yet, is a classic remedy backed by research. Fifteen studies showed peppermint oil capsules treated symptoms of IBS compared to placebo. It works by relaxing smooth muscles in the digestive tract (x).
It is also a carminative, meaning it helps reduce bloating and uncomfortable gas (x).
Besides, peppermint may reduce nausea taken as a softgel capsule or when you inhale the scent. It eases the feeling of needing to vomit. Peppermint also reduces the need to take anti-nausea medication after surgery or chemotherapy. (x, x).
Clinical reports support the application of peppermint oil to reduce colonic spasms. These are specific to gastrointestinal procedures while administering barium enema and colonoscopy. A trial with 383 patients having a barium enema reported 31 to 41 percent experienced no spasms. The result compares to 13.4 percent with placebo. Sixty percent had no residual spasms (x).
Studies also support the reduction of non-ulcer dyspepsia. Trials used peppermint softgel capsules with caraway oil, and patients noted relief (x). Non-ulcer dyspepsia means non-abnormality found despite patients suffering from indigestion and symptoms.
Natural Pain Reliever
First, rethink your digital practices with your computer or devices. Try peppermint for muscle soreness and aches. It helps migraines, stiff joints, recurrent headaches, musculoskeletal pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
The herb has mild pain-relieving effects. People have known this for a while, and research is now catching up with actual studies. Usefulness for IBS, for example, is due to its capacity to lessen the sensation of pain in the digestive tract (x, x).
It’s also has a sweeping influence on headaches applied with a carrier oil. Studies show that peppermint applied to the forehead can reduce tension. And lesson migraine headaches caused by the cooling menthol (x, x).
Offers Sinus Relief
When seasonal hay fever and pollen occur, find sinus pressure and allergy relief. Peppermint helps here too. The menthol can make you feel you can breathe easier (x).
The compounds in peppermint can wipe out microbes. As a result, it helps fight infectious germs to prevent bad breath and cavities. It also helps protect against food-borne illness.
In a study, researchers treated hydroxyapatite with peppermint. Hydroxyapatite is a calcium substance that produces tooth enamel and can fill cavities. The peppermint-covered hydroxyapatite had much greater antimicrobial activity (x). And mouthwashes with peppermint do more than make breath fresher. They make the mouth cleaner (x, x).
Anti-Fatigue and Enhanced Mental Alertness
It turns out peppermint helps keep you awake during the day and a more precise thought process. Researchers observed these effects in some small studies. In one, they noted people’s level of tiredness before they hung out in a dark room. One room smelled of peppermint, while the other had no odor. Those in the peppermint room had a stronger sense of less tiredness. Another study showed that people performed better on a task after taking the supplement (x, x,).
Abundance of Antioxidants
Peppermint has gazillions of antioxidants, including (x):
- The phenolic acids rosmarinic acid and caffeic acids
- Ascorbic acid
It implies that peppermint can help reduce the activity of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are molecules that damage other cells. They contribute to conditions like premature aging, diabetes and cancer. Balanced free radical activity is ideal for general health and well-being (x).
Peppermint Softgel Capsules Side Effects and Dosage
A dietary supplement that may help your health, take one to two 200 mg capsules daily. Take your peppermint softgel capsules 30 to 60 minutes before meals. Or take advice from a healthcare provider for best results.
For inhalation, prick the softgel capsule with a sterilized need squeeze three to four drops in hot water. And breathe for comfort, avoid getting too close to the hot water (x).
One to five percent dilution works for skin applications depending on personal choice. For example, two percent dilution means one ounce of carrier oil to 18 drops from the softgel capsule (x).
Peppermint oils are dangerous for pregnant women. They can also be fatal for babies and small children. Never put peppermint oil on a baby’s face, as it can cause respiratory distress.
Side effects of ingested peppermint extract may include (x):
- Hypersensitivity reactions
- Contact dermatitis
- Perianal burning
- Bradycardia (slowing of heart rate)
- Muscle tremor
Like all supplements, don’t consider peppermint extract to cure anything. Remember to always discuss with your doctor before considering supplementation. Mainly, you plan to take medications or experience problems with your health.
The Bottom Line
Peppermint seems to be everywhere, in food and body care products, for a good reason. People centuries ago, knew it helped soothe stomach aches. It also relieved aches and pains, energized and ward off germs.
The essential oil is safe and well-tolerated in most studies unless used with infants and children’s faces or by pregnant women or those with heartburn issues.
Topical application requires the use of a carrier oil, such as coconut, olive or jojoba.
Peppermint softgel capsules as a supplement offer many forms of benefits. That gives a quintessential holistic health approach to your wellness routine. Like any supplement, check with your doctor before taking peppermint to treat health issues.