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What are the alternative medicine benefits of peppermint tea?

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WebMD states peppermint is used to treat the common cold, cough, sinus infections, respiratory infections and inflammation of the mouth and throat. Additionally, it may be used to treat digestive problems including irritable bowel syndrome, vomiting, nausea, heartburn, morning sickness, upper gastrointestinal and menstrual cramping, bacterial growth in the small intestines and gas. Aside from tea, peppermint may also be taken in the form of tinctures, capsules, creams and ointments.

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WebMD also cites peppermint as being used as a stimulant and for preventing spasms during endoscopic procedures. Peppermint may also be applied to the surface of the skin to treat muscle, joint and nerve pain, to relieve itchiness and allergic rashes and in the treatment of bacterial and viral infections.

The University of Maryland Medical Center does not recommend that those with gastroesophageal reflux disease take peppermint. This condition involves stomach acid backing up into the esophagus, and since peppermint is a spasm suppressant, it may further inhibit the function of the esophageal sphincter and worsen the condition. In these cases, the use of peppermint may also increase the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion. The University of Maryland Medical Center also cautions that large doses of peppermint oil can toxic.

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