Ay, it’s that time of the year when Irish eyes are smiling, the blarney is flowing and everyone is wearing of the green, in celebration of St. Patrick’s day. So, what does St. Patrick and peppermint essential oil uses have in common?
Not much is known of Ireland’s patron saint, Patrick. Born to a wealthy Romano-British family in the 4th century, Patrick was abducted by Irish raiders and taken back to western Ireland. Instructed by God in a dream to flee his captors, he returned to Britain and joined the church and became a priest. In 432 he felt called back to Ireland to Christianize the pagan, polytheistic Irish. Legend has it, he used a three leafed shamrock to illustrate the trinity. He died on March 17th, 461 which is the date assigned to this celebration.
With the wearing of the green on St. Patty’s Day many other traditions have sprung up over the years. One is eating cupcakes with Peppermint flavored green tinted frosting. You might even grab a York Peppermint Patty or two in the celebration.
Peppermint, also known as Mintha piperita is most known as a flavoring agent but has been discovered by archaeologists to have been used for medicinal purposes. Peppermint essential oil is one of the oldest herbs to help with digestion. It is extremely effective against stomach ailments. The aroma is medium to strong because of its menthol content and its color is a pale off white to yellow.
It has strong qualities that can help protect internal organs against the effects of radiation during cancer treatment. According to the Journal Of Cancer and Therapeutics, Studies in the recent past have shown that some medicinal plants possess radioprotective effects. Two species of the commonly used aromatic herb mint, Mentha piperita and M. arvensis protected mice against the Î³-radiation-induced sickness and mortality.
Another study at The Digestive Sciences Department of Medicine, Annunzio University, Chieti-Pescara, Italy said, A four week treatment with peppermint oil improves abdominal symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.”
Studies at the University of Cincinnati have shown Peppermint essential oil to help to improve concentration and mental alertness. Alan Hirsch, MD also discovered this oil helps to trigger the brain’s satiety center in hypothalamus which gives the body a sense of fullness after a meal. Peppermint essential oil can help with body aches and bruises because of the cooling effect by constricting the capillaries. This is because it has about 85% menthol content.
Peppermint supports digestion, expels worms, decongestant, anti-infectious, antibacterial, antifungal, stimulates gallbladder, pain relieving, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory for the intestinal and urinary tract. It has also been effective against asthma, bronchitis, candida, diarrhea, fever, heartburn, hemorrhoids, hot flashes, indigestion, menstrual irregularity, headaches, motion sickness, nausea and throat infections. It also may help arthritis, depression, food poisoning, morning sickness, hysteria and toothaches.