Monday, April 28, 2014

Menthol and Eucalyptus Oil: Fact Vs. Fiction

Menthol and eucalyptus oil are thought to be natural remedies for just about anything that’s ailing you. Do these natural salves and medicines actually help in our modern age of

Breathe Easier With Menthol

Menthol used to be thought of as an “herbal medicine,” but is now widely recognized as a common cold treatment. It is a naturally cooling ingredient, typically found in cold treatment products like cough drops, and helps soothe sore throats.

Menthol was most likely originally described as an herbal medicine, because it is an organic compound that occurs naturally in mint. It can be extracted from the mint’s leaves by distillation, but is most commonly made synthetically and is often found in the form of peppermint oil.

Experimenting with how menthol could help ease colds began as early as 1885. Once people realized how useful it could be in a medicinal capacity, it was no longer considered simply an “herbal medicine,” but as a recognized “drug therapy.”

Menthol can have many uses - researchers have even looked into using menthol as a natural insecticide. Utilizing menthol in cold treatment can help reduce coughs. Menthol effectively “talks” to nose and throat cold receptors, and tells them to ease coughs. Studies show that, when exposed to an irritating mist, people will, of course, cough. But when they inhale menthol before being exposed to the mist, it significantly reduces the number of times they cough.

The strong aroma of menthol is very effective when it comes to clearing up coughs and colds; it gives relief to congestion in the nose, throat, bronchi, and lungs, which in turn can relieve respiratory disorders that often result from asthma and the common cold. This is why so many balms contain mint. Inhalers with mint in them are more effective and eco-friendly than those in aerosols. That being said, when asthma patients regularly use mint, it can be very beneficial.

Menthol is a natural stimulant - just smelling it can pump you up and get your brain highly functioning once more. If you’re feeling anxious, sluggish, fatigued, or depressed, mint can help. You can ingest it, apply it in a topical form, or inhale it as a vapor to get that needed boost. A popular tactic in staying healthy is to put a few drops of essential or menthol oil on your pillow at night so it can recharge your brain while you sleep.

Eucalyptus Oil: A Natural Remedy

Eucalyptus oil is another naturally occurring ingredient that can help soothe the common cold. The sweet-smelling oil is known for how it supports our respiratory systems, and has the following properties: anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, antibiotic, and anti-septic. It also comes in handy as a decongestant when you have a cough or cold - hence the respiratory support. By inhaling vapor from a few drops of eucalyptus oil, you’re helping your body break up the excess mucus. It cools and penetrates, so it helps ease muscular pain, sinusitis, arthritis, headaches - even bug bites (it even works as an insect repellant). It also aids in reducing swelling and increasing blood flow. It should be noted, however, that pregnant women and children under two years of age should not use eucalyptus oil. If applying the oil topically, it can be diluted with carrier oils like jojoba, olive, almond, or grapeseed.

Many people believe that eucalyptus oil can be used to better your health. They use it to create their own anti-bacterial cleaners, as an additive to laundry detergent, as a reliever for headaches and even fainting spells, and as bronchial and cough relief.

When it comes to menthol and eucalyptus oil, you can’t go wrong with either when trying to live a healthier life, or trying to ease cold or asthma symptoms. However, take care not to ingest too much menthol - keep everything in moderation, and you should be well on your way to getting better, faster.

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