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PEPPERMINT SWIRL
-a very soothing and relaxing fragrance with a twist.
The most common use of peppermint is for digestive problems. The dried leaves are often made into a tea sipped for indigestion, cramps, or gas. The essential oil has been shown to be effective at relieving spasms of smooth muscle through calcium-channel blocking activity. This could make peppermint oil useful in relieving spasms of the colon. Enteric-coated peppermint oil is used in the short-term treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, although not all double-blind studies have shown statistically significant benefits. Gastroenterologists in England sprayed dilute peppermint oil directly on the instrument used for colonoscopy to prevent spasm. This innovative use of peppermint oil has not been widely adopted. Peppermint oil and leaf flavonoids both increase the production of bile. This lends credence to the herb's traditional use as an aid to digestion. In addition, menthol lowers the activity of a liver enzyme (HMG CoA reductase) and might in theory lower cholesterol. This possible therapeutic use is hypothetical and has not been clinically tested. Likewise, peppermint oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties in the test tube, but it is not used to treat infections. Peppermint tea is, however, sometimes used to alleviate the discomfort of gastroenteritis. Menthol or peppermint oil is sometimes added to hot water so that the vapors can be inhaled for colds and congestion. In addition, menthol or peppermint may be included in cough lozenges. Menthol is a common ingredient in rubs intended to relieve sore muscles or joints and may be used topically to soothe itchy skin. Peppermint tea is sometimes used to ease menstrual cramps.

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