Peppermint oil comes from the herb peppermint, indigenously found in Europe, but now grown in various parts of the world. A cross between spearmint and water mint, this herb has found many uses, both in the kitchen and medicinally. Its role in providing relief to people who suffer from herpes is of particular interest to those who suffer this condition, and here’s your guide to peppermint oil and how it can help address herpes.
Peppermint oil comes with a variety of essential micronutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, folate, vitamins A & C, and omega-3 fatty acids. Its benefits have been studied for quite some time now, and there is a fair amount of evidence pointing towards it helping deal with different medical conditions.
The Many Uses:
Peppermint oil can be used to address a host of conditions ranging from headaches, to nausea, to common colds, to respiratory problems, to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and more.
- One study carried out in Italy showed that the use of peppermint oil supplements (capsules) worked in reducing IBS symptoms in 75% of the subjects, and these findings were further corroborated by a similar study in Iran.
- In treating respiratory problems like asthma, colds, coughs, bronchitis, etc, menthol, which is a key ingredient in peppermint oil, plays a crucial role in clearing the respiratory tract. As a result, peppermint oil is a commonly found ingredient in a number of cold rubs and balms.
Peppermint Oil for Herpes:
Research has shown that peppermint oil has the ability to stop various viruses from multiplying in test tubes, and this includes herpes viruses as well. When it comes to the effect it has on the virus within the human body, one study showed that peppermint oil could be used an effective virucidal agent (used topically) to treat recurrent infections.
The study showed that while peppermint oil was not really effective after the host cell had been taken over by the virus, it did effectively eliminate the ability of the virus to take over host cells by up to 99%, and this was for both kinds of the herpes virus (1 & 2). What this basically means is that while peppermint oil will not really provide relief during an outbreak, it can work as an effective preventive measure.
Using Peppermint Oil for Herpes:
When it comes to using peppermint oil for herpes, one has choices. To be taken in very small doses, peppermint oil can be ingested in the form of capsules or diluted liquid concoctions. It can also be applied topically around the areas where the outbreaks generally occur, although it is important to test for allergic reactions at the onset. Also important is not overdoing the topical application, as this could result in skin irritation.
A mixture of peppermint oil, along with oils from other plants like geranium, tea tree, and eucalyptus, as used by followers of aromatherapy, is believed to help herpes sufferers as well.
Although primarily safe when used in small doses, possible side effects can include skin irritation, allergic reactions, and/or heartburn. Allergic reactions could include throat closing, breathing difficulties, inflammation, hives, etc. Taking large quantities can lead to more serious problems like brain damage, muscle weakening, and seizures. Injecting peppermint oil can lead to lung damage.
As long as it is used cautiously though, peppermint oil is believed to provide relief to people who suffer from herpes, and conclusive research notwithstanding, this is what a number of first hand users have to say.