Indulge a little and stir that hot cocoa or coffee with a candy cane – you won't be disappointed you did!
- Peppermint soothes a sour stomach: Folk medicine has always touted the benefits of using peppermint to help with a variety of tummy ailments, from nausea to cramps, but a 2007 Italian study found that IBS symptoms were significantly reduced among 75 percent of patients who took peppermint oil capsules for a month. And a A 2011 Australian study discovered that peppermint activates an "anti-pain" channel in the colon, soothing inflammatory pain in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Peppermint can get rid of a tension headache: Tension headaches, most often brought on by stress, anxiety, and alcohol consumption can be alleviated by a little topical peppermint oil. In a small 1996 study, rubbing a peppermint oil solution on the forehead and temples eased headache pain just as effectively as acetaminophen after 15 minutes.
- Peppermint can boost concentration: It's hard to focus at work when there is so much you need to get done during the holidays, but next time you are feeling like you just can't concentrate, try sucking on a peppermint candy. A study out of Wheeling Jesuit University has linked smelling peppermint to greater alertness, motivation and even performance. One Maryland middle school even went as far as ordering 3,600 peppermint candies for students to enjoy during a series of state-wide tests to keep kids focused!
- Peppermint can help with a stuffy nose: Menthol is an active ingredient in peppermint as well as many over-the-counter cold medicines. Just sniffing the stuff could help clear nasal passages when you are feeling uncomfortably congested. (HuffingtonPost)