The night after having my second daughter, I experienced crippling stomach cramps and what did the medical team at Addenbrooke’s give to me? Peppermint oil! They’d concluded from my description that the culprit was constipation, and they gave it to me to…well, get things moving if you know what I mean.
I’m sure it would have helped, but it soon transpired that I had appendicitis so a batch of antibiotics and an appendectomy later, things were resolved. But it did educate me that peppermint oil is used for more than chewing gum, food flavouring, shower gel or dental hygiene!
Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil
This hybrid mint, derived from watermint and spearmint, comes from an ancient line of medicinal and culinary products. Originally, cultivated in Europe, much of the world’s peppermint is grown in the states nowadays.
It’s certainly a multi-purpose herb that can be used in a multitude of ways. Benefits include:
- Alleviates stomach-ache or stomach upset
- Soothes painful indigestion
- Clears the nasal passages
- Improves mental function
- Cools and soothes joint pain and aching muscles
- Reduces the symptoms of headache and nausea
Peppermint Oil and Anxiety
It might seem a tenuous link but bear with me because peppermint oil can be a saviour when you have anxiety. That’s because anxiety comes in many forms, but one of the most common issues is the effect it has on the stomach. Butterflies, tight stomach, nausea, churning stomach and irritable bowel syndrome are all conditions that can be caused by anxiety and stress. All of which can be improved by peppermint essential oil. If you’ve ever suffered anxiety, you’ll also know about the mind fog that comes with feeling overwhelmed. Peppermint is also stimulating and promotes clarity of mind essential for refocusing and regaining control.
How to Relieve Nausea Naturally
Peppermint oil is often taken in the form of a capsule, peppermint tea or skin preparation. It has a wonderfully refreshing taste and supports healthy digestive function when it’s taken orally. Though more research still needs to be carried out to fully understand the effect of peppermint, it’s thought that it relaxes the gastric muscles which stops them from cramping and over-contracting.
When your stomach muscles are relaxed, bile can move freely and break down fats to ensure that food moves quickly through the stomach. This relieves the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, stomach-ache and stomach upset like abdominal pain, bloating and gas and the feeling of a churning stomach which can make you feel nauseous.
Inhaling peppermint oil when you feel sick or nauseous can relieve the symptoms quickly. Firstly the act of deep inhalation engages the parasympathetic system and focuses your mind on your breath, rather than on your queasy stomach.
Scientists are still trying to determine exactly how peppermint oil helps nausea, but we do know that when aromatherapy products are inhaled, molecules within essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and impact our limbic system.
The limbic system plays a role in controlling several unconscious physiological functions. These include the key indicators of anxiety like breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. So, by using aromatherapy, it’s thought that it can impact on these indicators, like helping to slow down breathing or lower blood pressure. It’s a bit like a vicious cycle. If our body feels more relaxed, our mind feels more relaxed and vice versa. The other thing about essential oils is that they can also be rapidly absorbed through our skin and transported around the body to our organs, having a direct impact on them too.
Focus Balm for Nerves and Nausea
Scentered FOCUS Balm has been specifically formulated with Rosemary, which increases alertness and boosts memory, Mint to help stimulate mental activity and increase focus on cognitive tasks, and Clary Sage, fantastic at relieving mental fatigue and promoting clarity.
It’s a powerful, invigorating, mind-clearing blend, perfect for when you have nerves or anxiety, and it can also be used to quell the sensation of nausea. This is a great aromatherapy balm to have in your daily repertoire too. Use it whenever you need to accomplish goals and tasks, when you begin work or study, before work meetings or after a lunch break when it’s time to refocus. We promise you that it’s better than coffee!
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