By Coco Pile
Peppermint is known for its healing abilities across the world. What makes it so popular is its diverse spectrum of healing properties that can benefit most of our body’s systems. The reason for this is because of peppermint’s unique affinity to influence blood and lymph. Many people are curious as to how peppermint is both cooling and warming. This seemingly contradicting statement actually describes its physiological action on the capillaries of our tissues. The cooling sensation is from peppermint’s strong astringent properties causing the tissues to vasoconstrict. As the cells metabolize the constituents that produced this effect, the body’s response is to vasodilate and bring blood and fluid back into the tissues. The flush of blood provides the heat for peppermint’s warming effect. Imagine being at work and not having what you need to conduct your job. Then all of a sudden a delivery of everything you need and more comes right to you. This is what happens to our cells. The rush of fresh blood filled with nutrients and oxygen stimulates and strengthens the tissue. Peppermint’s unique stimulation of circulation allows tissues to perform their job and have long lasting improvement of function. As much as peppermint is indispensable, it is also problematic.
This herb is known as a counterirritant, meaning that its circulation and endorphin stimulation can reduce pain and discomfort, but in large doses it can actually increase discomfort. If you excessively over use peppermint you can increase blood flow and heat to the area and intensify your inflammation. So use peppermint mindfully and observe its influences on your body respectfully. Herbs can be powerful.
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