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Peppermint Oil Benefits and Uses

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History shows a wide range of uses for peppermint essential oil, which has been used as far back in time as ancient Rome and Egypt.1 Various cultures have used this oil not only for its minty fragrance, but for its therapeutic benefits as well. In addition, peppermint oil is known to symbolize hospitality.2

What Is Peppermint Oil?

Peppermint oil is derived from the leaves of the peppermint plant (Mentha piperita), a hybrid of the water mint and spearmint plants, and M. arvensis var. piperascens, a plant from the Labiatae family.3 It is often used as a home remedy for stomach problems, muscle pain and headaches. Peppermint oil can be utilized in capsules or supplements as well.4

9 Uses and Benefits of Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is used in aromatherapy, the practice of using essential oils to support health,5 where it is found to be effective in relieving pain6 and nausea,7 and in improving memory and raising alertness.8 According to published research, peppermint oil exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant, analgesic, radioprotective and anti-edema properties,9 and may be useful for:

Providing relief for stomach problems — Peppermint oil is a safe and effective alternative to medications in reducing colonic spasms.10 It may help ease abdominal pain11 and provide relief for indigestion and upset stomach.12

Research has also shown that peppermint oil is effective in improving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).13 Another study reveals similar findings.14 Peppermint contains large concentrations of menthol15 that may assist in decreasing smooth muscle spasms and blocking calcium channels in the gut.16

Easing respiratory problems — Peppermint oil can be used as an expectorant and decongestant.17 It can help clear up phlegm in your respiratory tract18 when used as a chest rub or inhaled through a vaporizer.19

The essential oil may also benefit individuals with tuberculosis. Researchers found that when inhaled, the oil can help decrease tuberculosis-induced inflammation and minimize the risk of the disease from worsening or recurring.20 Peppermint oil can also relieve asthma because it contains rosmarinic acid, an anti-inflammatory compound.21,22

Relieving pain — Peppermint oil may help relieve sore muscles when added to a massage oil blend or to bathwater. Dabbing a few drops on your wrist or inhaling the aroma can ease headaches. You can also massaged the oil onto your temples.23,24

Promoting positive effects on cancer-related treatments — Peppermint oil may help address chemotherapy-induced nausea. It may also help treat hot flashes in women receiving treatment for breast cancer.25

Helping ease herpes infections — Peppermint oil was found to have a beneficial effect against drug-resistant herpes simplex virus. Because of its lipophilic nature, peppermint oil can pass through the skin, making it potentially useful against recurrent herpes infection.26

Enhancing hair and skin health — Mixing peppermint oil into massage oils,27 shampoos and lotions28 may give these products antiseptic29 and antimicrobial properties. The oil can also help cool skin and eliminate dandruff30 or lice from your scalp,31 or contribute to hair growth.32

Improving dental health — Peppermint oil extract may be more effective than the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine in preventing development of biofilm that may lead to cavities33 and bad breath.34

Providing comfort for stress and nervous system problems — Due to its energizing effects, peppermint oil is used to help manage stress and treat nervous disorders and mental fatigue. Studies suggest that the essential oil may have an effect similar to psychostimulants, as shown in an animal study.35

Acting as a natural insect repellent Peppermint oil may work in repelling insects,36 while the cooling sensation it provides can help relieve itching by blocking the irritating sensation.37

Composition of Peppermint Oil

The two major components of peppermint essential oil are menthol and menthone,38 which are why it’s widely used as an ingredient in lozenges, toothpastes39 and rubs.40 Other constituents found in peppermint oil are menthyl acetate,41 1,8-cineole, limonene, beta-pinene and beta-caryophyllene.42

How to Make Infused Peppermint Oil

There are several ways to make your own peppermint oil infusion at home. Here is one recipe from eHow.com you can try:43

Ingredients

  • Fresh peppermint leaves available in supermarkets or health food stores44 (You can also grow your own peppermint leaves, as the plant is easy to grow45 and you avoid ingesting chemical additives46)
  • Carrier oil
  • Colander
  • Clean dish towel
  • Mallet or mortar and pestle
  • Cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer
  • Glass bottle or container with a lid

Procedure

  1. Place leaves inside the colander. Gently spray them with cool water, and spread on a clean kitchen towel to air-dry.
  2. Using a mallet or mortar and pestle, gently crush the leaves and ensure they have a strong peppermint smell and are slightly bruised. Refrain from overgrinding or over-pounding. If you’ll be using a mallet, place leaves on a cutting board or counter first, then gently tap the leaves with it. If you’ll be using a mortar and pestle, use the pestle to gently press the leaves.
  3. Fill the glass bottle with peppermint leaves. Pour carrier oil into it until the leaves are thoroughly submerged. Tightly close the jar and shake lightly so the oil covers the leaves.
  4. Place the sealed jar away from direct sunlight for around 24 to 48 hours so the peppermint leaves may steep in the oil.
  5. Carefully pour the steeped oil through a cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer into a new glass jar. Discard used leaves and store finished oil in a cool, dark area. Use within four to six months.

How Does Peppermint Oil Work?

While it is tempting to buy products containing peppermint oil, using it in its whole state without additional ingredients may yield more positive results.47 However, it should never be utilized undiluted because it can cause irritation, especially to those with sensitive skin.48 It must be diluted in carrier oils like sweet almond, jojoba, coconut and olive, and used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.

Peppermint oil is sensitive to heat, and should be stored in a cool place in tightly sealed bottles.49 Avoid using peppermint oil alongside other supplements and drugs, since it may trigger negative effects. For instance, peppermint oil can disrupt the rate at which your body processes cyclosporine, causing more of the medication to stay in your bloodstream.50

Peppermint oil is also known to interact with other drugs like felodipine (Plendil), simvastatin (Zocor), antacids, calcium channel blockers and blood pressure-lowering medicines.51

Is Peppermint Oil Safe?

Peppermint oil is safe in low amounts in most adults, but it can trigger side effects in people with sensitivities. It is important for the following individuals to either avoid using this essential oil or to use it carefully only with the help of a health care professional:52,53

Pregnant and nursing women — Peppermint oil or other similar products may have emmenagogue and abortifacient effects, so it would be wise not to use peppermint oil without your physician’s approval.54

Infants and children 7 years old and younger — Peppermint oil must not be used undiluted because there isn’t enough information regarding its safety for them.55,56

Diabetics — Using peppermint oil may raise your risk of low blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia.57

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and hiatal hernia patients — Peppermint can relax the sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus, and cause acid to move up to the esophagus.58

People with gallbladder problems — Peppermint oil may cause gallbladder inflammation; those diagnosed with gallstones should consult a physician before using peppermint oil.59

People taking antacids — These drugs can cause peppermint oil capsules to break down easily, increasing the risk of heartburn.60

Side Effects of Peppermint Oil

Take utmost care when using peppermint oil or other related products, since you may experience the following side effects:61,62,63

  • Allergic reactions like skin rashes
  • Slow heartbeat64
  • Abdominal pain and diarrhea
  • Mouth ulcers or sores
  • Eye irritation
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting and nausea65
  • Heartburn
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Brain damage
  • Seizures

If you are experiencing insomnia or other sleep disorders, avoid using peppermint oil because it can interfere with sleep.66 While it can offer profound benefits, I recommend speaking to a health care provider before using it for therapeutic applications.

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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

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(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

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(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

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In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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