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Some of Peppermint’s chemical constituents include a volatile oil that contains menthol, rutin, tannin, alpha- and beta-carotene, acids, luteolin, linalool, betaine, coumarin, calcium, choline, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, B-vitamins and vitamin E. The essential oil is reported to have antibacterial and antiviral activity. The flavonoid components in Peppermint are attributed with the plants choleretic effects of stimulating bile flow and relaxing the sphincter.
<b>Historical or traditional use:</b>
Peppermint has been a popular medicinal mint with several reported uses. Some of the conditions this mint is used to treat are:
<li>Indigestion: Peppermint relaxes the stomach muscles. Studies have shown peppermint stimulates the gastric lining, increase stomach acidity and stimulates the flow of bile. In this way it aids the digestive process of food before it passes into the intestines and colon.</li>
<li>Itches and sunburns: Menthol depresses sensory cutaneous receptors and alleviates itching and irritation. It also acts as a counterirritant by stimulating the nerves that perceive cold while depressing the nerves that perceive pain and itching.