Have you noticed when you go to many restaurants, they will either give you a peppermint with your receipt or will have a bowl of peppermints for you to take from as you are leaving after a meal?
Years ago, I used to assume that those peppermints were either to freshen postprandial breath or to act as a light “sweet” to end the meal. While those little red and white striped disks of sweetness do achieve both, there’s more to the story. Nowadays, those peppermints are usually synthetically flavored….. But a long time ago, peppermint was the real deal, flavored with peppermint oil that came from a plant, and the candy was full of purpose.
Peppermint (from the plant) has been known to be digestion-supportive for eons. Its use dates back to ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and has been a “go-to” herb since biblical times for digestive woes.
From studies found on pubmed.gov and elsewhere, it would appear that peppermint supports digestion by encouraging bile flow into the small intestine where it promotes healthy digestion by acting in a supportive role in breaking down fats more quickly. The menthol in peppermint has a strong anti-spasmodic effect which may help calm the action of the muscles within the gut. This allows “things” (ahem… gas and stools) to be encouraged to pass more readily.
Note that peppermint is best for lower GI while spearmint is preferred for upper GI support.
I’ll include some interesting studies about peppermint in the comments. I know many many people who have had life-changing gut health experiences simply by incorporating peppermint (real peppermint!) into their routine.
Have you used peppermint as a digestive aid?I know I have, and I frequently flavor my water with a drop or two!
I’m also thankful that peppermint is a Young Living freebie this month with a qualifying purchase!