23 Amazing Benefits Of Peppermint Leaves For Skin, Hair, And Health May 9, 2017

Minty and fresh! Yes, both of these properties are associated with the peppermint leaves. Whether you want a distinct flavor to a newly found dish, or want to get over the breath of raw onions(—Minty solution to the rescue! I love the sweet and refreshing aroma of these leaves. It can lift your spirits and better your mood. But did you know that besides that, mint leaves also have a whole lot of goodness that helps keep diseases at bay?

Now, let’s take a peek into its benefits.

Peppermint—A Brief

Botanical Name- Mentha piperita
Family- Lamiaceae
Other Names- Pudina Patte (Hindi), Milakukkirai vittu (Tamil)

Peppermint, a popular herb known for its distinct aroma and medicinal value, has greenish-purple lance-shaped leaves and a refreshing cool flavor. Due to its refreshing aroma, sharp menthol smell, and cooling sensation, it is often used in home products like bath preparations, mouthwashes, toothpaste, and ointments.

Other than that, peppermint leaf powder is often used for flavoring beverages and other food items. They can also be part of salads and add flavor to drinks or even purified water. The compounds in the leaves are said to have therapeutic and medicinal properties. Peppermint leaves are available throughout the year and are mostly in demand during the summer season due to their cooling effect.

Let’s see what are the peppermint leaves uses

[ Read: Red Spinach Benefits ]

Peppermint Leaves Benefits

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Health Benefits of Peppermint leaves

  1. Improves Liver Function
  2. Natural Remedy For Cold And Flu
  3. Treatment Of Respiratory Problems
  4. Kills Bad Breath
  5. Anti-Cancer Properties
  6. Treatment Of Seasonal Fever
  7. Anti-Bacterial Agent
  8. Enhances Memory
  9. Helps In Reducing Nausea
  10. Brings Down Headache
  11. Aids Digestion
  12. Beneficial For Breastfeeding
  13. Treats Depression And Stress
  14. Helps Weight Loss
  15. Increases Female Sterility
  16. Helpful In Treating IBS
  17. Other Health Benefits

Skin Benefits

  1. Maintenance Of Skin Health
  2. Herbal Remedy For Skin Problems

Hair Benefits

  1. Treatment Of Dandruff
  2. Treatment Of Head Lice

Other Uses

  1. Popular Ingredient In Chocolates And Candies
  2. Used In Commercial Cosmetics

Health Benefits Of Peppermint Leaves

In addition to their refreshing cooling effect on the taste buds and throat, peppermint leaves are rich in vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and fiber but low in calories. So, it’s a given that they are used in herbal medicines. They offer the following health benefits.

1. Improves Liver Function

Want healthy and proper functioning of the liver? Opt for the evergreen and tasty peppermint leaves in any form—chewing peppermint leaves raw is also an option.

Why Does It Work

Peppermint leaves improve the liver function by improving the flow of bile from the liver to the gall bladder. Fresh or dried peppermint leaves increase bile flow and aid digestion by breaking down fats and reducing bad cholesterol. Decreased cholesterol cures sluggish liver by lessening the strain on the liver. Fresh peppermint leaves calm and soothes the digestive system by relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome including indigestion, dyspepsia and colonial muscle spasms (1).

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2. Natural Remedy For Cold And Flu

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Image: iStock

Tired of sneezing all the time? Need a proper remedy to kill bacteria and viruses that cause our common (yet frustrating) cold? Peppermint leaves are your savior.

Why Does It Work

The menthol in these leaves thins mucus and eliminates phlegm, thus providing relief from a cough and congestion. Menthol is often used as a common ingredient in rubs used on the chest to relieve chest aches experienced during cold and flu. Mint has a calming and numbing effect (2).

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3. Treatment Of Respiratory Problems

Instant coughing can be a sign of problematic lungs. So the moment you sense discomfort in your lungs, add peppermint to your diet. Those suffering from asthma and sinusitis too can take refuge in this.

Why Does It Work

Peppermint leaves contain rosemarinic acid which is beneficial in asthma due to its antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals and block the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals such as leukotrienes (3). Moreover, it facilitates the making of substances called prostacyclins that keep the airways open for easy breathing. Peppermint leaf extract inhibits histamine release, thus alleviating the nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever).

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4. Kills Bad Breath

It goes without saying that peppermint works wonders against bad breath. That is why it one of the key ingredients in chewing gums and toothpaste.

Why Does It Work

Due to its cool refreshing aroma, peppermint leaf extract can be a superior substitute to the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine to get rid of bad breath. Powdered peppermint leaves were often used in the middle ages to treat halitosis and whiten teeth. Merely chewing peppermint leaves gives the effect of a mouth freshener (4).

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5. Anti-Cancer Properties

Peppermint is also known to kill away those cancer cells. So why not use it to prevent the deadly disease?

Why Does It Work

According to research, peppermint leaves contain a phytonutrient which has shown to stop the growth of cancerous tumors in the pancreas, liver, and mammary glands, thus protecting against lungs, colon and skin cancers. They also contain a compound called menthol that inhibits prostate cancer growth (5).

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6. Treatment Of Seasonal Fever

Eating peppermint tea or adding it to a bath can help in bringing down fever gently without medicine and any adverse effect on the body’s ability to fight illness.

Why Does It Work

Peppermint leaves are primarily known to help in inducing histamines in the body, thus bringing down the seasonal fever and allergies (6).

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7. Anti-Bacterial Agent

Having peppermint leaves can keep you away from all the bacteria-causing diseases.

Why Does It Work

Peppermint leaves have the potential to stop the growth of different bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella enteritidis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (7). They are also effective in inhibiting the growth of certain types of fungus. They are useful in the treatment of infantile colic.

Read: Benefits Of Mint (Pudina) For Skin ]

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8. Enhances Memory

Do you always forget your car keys and have to come back to get them after locking up your house? It’s time to try the super-cool peppermint leaves to boost your memory.

Why Does It Work

The strong aroma of peppermint leaves enhances memory and increases mental alertness by calming and soothing the nervous system (8).

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9. Helps In Reducing Nausea

Traveling for extended hours in a stuffy bus would be anybody’s worst night. The reactions range from uneasiness to a strong urge to vomit. This feeling of nausea and morning sickness that pregnant ladies face can be tackled by chewing mint leaves. You could even have a mint tea.

Why Does It Work

The cooling effect induced by the leaves soothes the burning stomach, and the strong flavor eases off the urge to vomit, thus making your day better (9).

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10. Brings Down Headache

Despite technology advance in medicine, there’s no real cure for a headache and common cold. Even a slight pain in the head can hamper your work. If all other home remedies including ginger tea haven’t proved helpful, now is the time to try something new. Applying a mint based balm on your forehead and watch yourself dozing off to sleep. Trust me it works!

Why Does It Work

The calming and soothing effect of peppermint makes it a suitable product for a quick relief against a headache. Also, the balm alleviates inflammation, preventing attacks from other conditions like migraines and flu (10).

[ Read: Home Remedies For Treating Headache ]

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11. Aids Digestion

Feeling uneasy after overeating your favorite dish? HeHe, the story of my life. Whenever I find myself in that situation, I reach out for mint which is not only yummy but also soothes my tummy.

Why Does It Work

Mint is known to soothe down the stomach and fights indigestion or any inflammation in the intestines. Also, the aromatic mint leaves activate the salivary glands as well as digestion-inducing enzymes thus, aiding digestion (11). If you feel bloated and unhappy, chew up a few mint leaves. See how it works!

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12. Peppermint Leaf Benefits Breastfeeding

Motherhood is one of the most enjoyable phases of a woman’s life. However, with it comes challenges like soreness of nipples. Soon as you are done with your breastfeeding stage, apply mint oil on the nipples of your breasts to treat cracks and give it a soothing effect. Rubbing mint leaves on the area too helps.

Why Does It Work

As mentioned earlier, the soothing and cooling effect of mint softens the blow of harsh suction, thus bringing down nipple pain (12).

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13. Treats Depression And Stress

Did you know that sniffing mint or drinking mint tea can help in bringing down stress? Having a glass of virgin mojito can de-stress you.

Why Does It Work

Being a natural stimulant, the refreshing aroma of mint can leave you free and happy all day long, giving you the much-needed boost (13)!

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14. Peppermint Leaf For Weight Loss

Did you ever think that having something tasty can help you shed weight? Mint is a flavor most people love. And chewing mint does help you lose weight.

Why Does It Work

We already know that mint is a stimulant which triggers the release of proper digestive enzymes and aids proper digestion. This, in turn, helps in absorbing all the proper nutrients in the food we consume and equally distributes fat in the body (14).

[ Read: Peppermint Tea For Weight Loss ]

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15. Increases Female Sterility

This is why mint must become an essential part of your diet (15).

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16. Helpful In Treating IBS

Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can leave you frustrated and agitated. Add mint to your food and see the effect it has on your stomach.

Why Does It Work

Peppermint has a soothing effect on your stomach muscles, thus relaxing them and also helps ease clonic spasms (16).

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17. Other Benefits

The aromatic compounds in peppermint leaves relieve muscle spasms, increase blood circulation, reduce pain and promote sweating while the astringent compounds shrink inflamed tissues. They are excellent sources of potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, and magnesium. Potassium is a vital component of cells and body fluids that control heart rate and blood pressure, while manganese works with copper as a co-factor for an antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

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Skin Benefits Of Peppermint Leaves

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Image: iStock

In addition to their numerous health benefits, peppermint leaves can be beneficial for your skin too.Here’s how

18. Maintenance Of Skin Health

Peppermint leaves can help you get that smooth and shiny skin and maintain it as well.

Why Does It Work

The nutrients in peppermint leaves help tone the skin, minimize pores, reduce swelling and restore skin elasticity. Vitamins A and C are powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation appearing in the form of red marks on the skin. B vitamins, riboflavin, and folate, brighten the complexion. These leaves can be powdered in sugar scrubs to have an invigorating effect on the skin (17).

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19. Herbal Remedy For Skin Problems

Peppermint leaves are used as an ingredient in topical creams meant for treating a variety of skin issues like hives, rashes, poison oak or poison ivy. Application of these ointments has a soothing and healing effect on the skin.

Why Does It Work

Being a natural ingredient, it is a no-side-effect option to all the skin troubles and preferred because of its soothing and cooling effect on the body (18).

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Hair Benefits Of Peppermint Leaves

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Image: iStock

Due to a healthy combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, peppermint leaves promote hair health. Here are the benefits it offers.

20. Treatment Of Dandruff

A strong tea made from peppermint and nettle leaves can be used as a hair rinse to get rid of dandruff. It helps soothes the scalp and promotes hair growth too (19).

[ ReadHow To Use Hair Oils To Cure Dandruff? ]

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21. Treatment Of Head Lice

Due to the antibacterial properties of this herb, peppermint extract is effective in treating head lice infestation (20).

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Other Uses

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Image: iStock

22. Popular Ingredient in Chocolates And Candies

Peppermint is used worldwide in the production of many commercial candies and chocolates which we all love as well as in many alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

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23. Used In Commercial Cosmetics

Its ability to reduce inflammation and calming effect on nerves makes it one of the most preferred ingredients in the production of balms and pain-relief sprays.

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A Word Of Caution

There are two sides to a coin. Likewise, mint too has its benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few points you must keep in mind.

For your safety, I would suggest you take your family doctor’s advice before opting for a mint diet.

Physicians advise against peppermint use if you

  1. Are suffering from diabetes as peppermint can increase the risk of hypoglycemia
  2. Are a kid below seven years.
  3. Are on a regular dose of antacids as peppermint can increase the risk of heartburn
  4. Are on a dose of cyclosporine
  5. Have Hernia
  6. Are suffering from gastroesophageal reflux diseases
  7. Are on medication that is metabolized by liver
  8. Are being treated for Blood Pressure

How To Make Digestion Tinctures Using Peppermint

Let’s see how can we make digestion tinctures out of peppermint leaves.

What You Need
  • Half cup dried peppermint leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped ginger root
  • 1/4 cup fennel seeds (dried and crushed)
  • 1 1/2 cups of water (boiled)
  • 1 1/2 of your choice of alcohol (vodka or rum)
  • A glass jar
How to Make

1. Start by putting mint, ginger and fennel seeds in the glass jar and pour boiling water up to their position (properly covering them).
2. Now, fill in the jar with the alcohol and put the lid on really tightly.
3. Store the jar for at least two weeks in a cold and dark place. Make it a point to shake it daily.
4. After two weeks, strain out the contents using a muslin cloth and store in small jars using them as per requirement.

How Much You Need To Have

Adults: Up to 1 tablespoon can be taken daily with water
Pregnant Ladies: Half a spoon of tincture in the morning to avoid morning sickness
Kids: Up to 15 drops are enough

Hope you liked our post on peppermint leaves health benefits. Have you used leaves of peppermint before? Share your experiences with us in the comment box below.

Take care!

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The one with a constant energy that can leave you awed, Tanya can jump around and talk for the whole day. If not found writing away the desired articles, she can easily be spotted glued to the youtube, eyes wide, spazzing over the perfection of her favorite singer. Functioning without music (Bollywood, Hollywood, Spanish, German, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and what not- Because music is music), and a big cup of tea is an impossibility for her. Ever heard of a totally weird soul that could go frenzy over the smell of a book, especially if it's a Dan Brown or Lee Child? Yep! That would be her.