Peppermint, a popular flavoring agent for tooth pastes and cough lozenges, is obtained from a plant that grows to about two or three feet and is found in Europe and Asia besides being naturalized to North America.

The leaves and stem, which contain menthol, a volatile oil, are used medicinally, as a flavouring agent in food, and in cosmetics for fragrance.

A lesser known fact about peppermint is that it contains a large number of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, folate, potassium, copper, vitamin A and vitamin-C.

As the benefits of peppermint are proved scientifically, it is available even as a prescription drug. We present a list of eight reasons to keep peppermint handy:

1) Peppermint is rich menthol which is useful in curing problems like cold, cough, sinusitis and asthma. It is also used in cold rubs which can be applied to relieve congestion in the airways.

2) Peppermint oil helps relieve symptoms such as nausea and headache. Application of diluted peppermint oil over the forehead gives relief from headache

3) It helps improve digestion and overcome the problem of flatulence.

4) Peppermint is an antiseptic used to get rid of toothaches caused due to accumulation of germs.

5) It is believed that the refreshing feel of peppermint oil helps overcome stress and depression.

6) Peppermint serves to energize the immune system and helps prevent a great number of diseases.

7) It has also been found to improve blood circulation and is thus capable of providing sufficient nutrition to all cells of the body.

8) Peppermint, when applied topically, has a soothing and cooling effect on skin irritations caused by hives, poison ivy, or poison oak.