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How to Use Peppermint for Cramping and Spasms

     Peppermint is another hidden gem amongst herbs.  The properties listed in my previous post all applied to the scalp and hair.  However, there are other properties one can gain from topical use and from ingesting this herb.  Common issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gallstones, and colic can be fought by simply ingesting peppermint in tea form.
     So what causes IBS?  Doctors are unsure what exactly causes IBS, but they do know what is does to the body.  The problem, IBS, is related in the disregulation in the nervous supply to the bowels, which causes cramping, gas, and abdominal bloating.  It does not make passing gas difficult; it simply makes a person more sensitive to the formation of gas.  The sensitivity to the formation of gas causes spasms which lead to an urgency to use the restroom which leads to a loose stool, or an increased amount of bowel gas.  Once the stool or the gas is passed, the pain subsides.  However, an enteric-coated capsule, such as those in the picture below, can reduce the effects of IBS.  According to the New Herbal Bible, enteric-coated capsules should contain 0.2ml of peppermint oil, and take 1 to 2 capsules between meals twice daily.
     As for gallbladder stones, they form when the amount of cholesterol and other substances in the bile are too high.  Peppermint can reduce bile and cholesterol levels while increasing bile acid and lecithin levels in the gallbladder.  The ingestion of peppermint tea can help over time with gall stones.  Also peppermint oil diluted with a carrier oil (jojoba oil/grapeseed oil/olive oil/etc.) can relive menstrual cramps.  You just need to apply the mixture to your lower back and to your lower stomach.  You will feel a cooling sensation.
     Make sure you speak with your doctor before adding peppermint into your regular diet.  Also if you are interested in taking the enteric-coated capsules for IBS or colic spasm pains, please make sure the product is FDA approved.  According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), as long as a supplement or pill do not contains drugs in any form they do NOT have to be FDA approved.  This is a statement from the FDA’s website, “Although dietary supplement manufacturers must register their facilities with FDA, they are not required to get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements. Manufacturers and distributors must make sure that all claims and information on the product label and in other labeling are truthful and not misleading.”

 

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