Spearmint oil sources, health benefits and uses

Tuesday, November 07, 2017 by

Spearmint oil is an aromatic oil derived from the spearmint plant, a species of mint that grows in almost all temperate climates. According to WiseGeek.com, extracting spearmint oil usually involves forcing the oil out of the leaves using the heat from steam. The resulting product is a concentrated essential oil with a unique scent and flavor that has a wide spectrum of applications.

List of known nutrients

The most notable components of spearmint oil are menthol, caryophyllene, and myrcene.

The menthol content of spearmint oil is notable for its relaxing and cooling effect that makes it effective as an antispasmodic. Among the most frequent applications of spearmint oil is as a remedy for muscle cramps, nervous convulsions, abdominal aches, and spasmodic coughs.

Medicinal uses for spearmint oil

Spearmint oil has potent antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that allow it to be used as a disinfectant. In fact, spearmint oil can block the growth of bacteria, meaning that it can be used to prevent wounds from becoming infected.

In addition to preventing bacterial, fungal, and viral growth, spearmint oil can be utilized as an insecticide to keep the likes of mosquitoes, ants, and flies at bay. To make use of this property of spearmint oil, one should apply spearmint oil to the skin. Be sure to dilute the spearmint oil with a carrier oil, first, however, as pure spearmint oil can have detrimental effects.

Spearmint oil is known to be an emmenagogue, or a substance that increases menstrual flow. By encouraging the secretion of hormones that play key roles in the menstrual cycle, spearmint oil can be utilized as a remedy for irregular periods. However, this means that spearmint oil should not be taken by pregnant women as it can stimulate uterine contractions and may even cause abortions.

Moreover, as an essential oil, spearmint oil is highly concentrated and can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. Left untreated following contact with the eyes, spearmint oil can severely damage the cornea. Meanwhile, using undiluted spearmint oil on the skin can cause an individual to feel a burning sensation or, in more extreme cases, muscle pain. Inhaling spearmint oil has the potential to irritate the respiratory tract. Ingesting spearmint oil, on the other hand, can irritate the digestive tract.

Body systems supported by spearmint oil

Spearmint oil can be useful for those with digestive system issues. As a carminative, spearmint oil can relax the abdominal muscles and intestines, providing relief from indigestion, stomachaches, and other related health conditions. Moreover, spearmint oil has been used to treat constipation, diarrhea, excessive flatulence.

Spearmint oil can be useful for the female reproductive system too, save for those of pregnant women.

Ways to use spearmint oil

As with many other essential oils, there are two major ways to use spearmint oil: one is to use it in a diffuser for aromatherapy, another is to dilute it with carrier oils and massage it over the desired areas. Note that spearmint oil can cause skin sensitization with excessive use, so be sure to limit its usage.

In addition to these applications, spearmint oil can be included in foods and drinks for digestive issues (one to two drops will suffice).

Where to learn more

Summary

The relaxing and cooling effect of spearmint oil can be useful in treating numerous bodily aches and pains.

Spearmint oil has anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties that are good for the treatment of wounds.

Those who wish to avoid being bitten by insects can make use of the insecticide properties of spearmint oil.

Spearmint oil can be used to treat many digestive problems like flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pains.

Women who are suffering from various menstrual cycle issues can turn to spearmint oil for relief. However, its ability to induce menstrual flow means that pregnant women should avoid using spearmint oil.

Spearmint oil should not be used on the eyes, nor should it be inhaled in its pure form or consumed in great quantities. This essential oil, like many others, is known to be an irritant of the eyes, respiratory, and digestive systems.

Sources include:

WiseGeek.com
OrganicFacts.net
Livestrong.com
HerbWisdom.com
SustainableBabySteps.com

 



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