Peppermint or pure menthol is commonly used in heat rub ointments for arthritis, fibromyositis, tendonitis and other musculoskeletal conditions. Commission E approved peppermint oil externally for neuralgia and myalgia (Blumenthal et al 2000).
An oral spray or gargle containing a range of essential oils including peppermint oil is reported to reduce snoring in one double blind study (Prichard 2004). A case report describes the treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia with the direct application Peppermint 917
of undiluted peppermint oil containing 10% menthol to the affected area. The pain © 2007 Elsevier Australia
relief persisted for 4-6 hours after application of the oil. At a 2-month follow-up the patient had only minor side-effects and continued to use the medication (Davies et al 2002).
Traditionally, peppermint was believed to increase libido, and used to stop hiccups, relieve pain in childbirth, reduce bleeding and treat menorrhagia (Fisher & Painter 1996). It was also used externally to repress lactation, to treat dermatological conditions, as a mouthwash for painful gums and mouth and applied to the temples to relieve headaches.
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