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Peace, Love and Candy Canes?

Are you passing through the seven levels of the candy cane forest?

Stop right there...

All of that peppermint might actually be good for you!

There are certain flavors and scents associated with this time of year and, of course, one of those is peppermint. I don't mind one bit though, because all that minty goodness is actually great for your health.

I have been using peppermint oil and peppermint tea for many years for my GI patients with stomach and intestinal problems, as these can relax the GI tract and improve function, cramping, nausea and bloating.

There are many other potential health benefits to peppermint.

The scent of peppermint can make people more energetic and attentive.

Peppermint can help bad breath, and can act against bacterial and viral invaders in our mouths, stomach and intestines, clear our sinuses (think menthol), and help clear our airways of excess secretions when we have a cold or allergy.

Did you ever wonder why Massage therapists will frequently use peppermint for aromatherapy? It can act as a muscle relaxer, and help relieve migraines when applied to the forehead as an, it can relax muscle spasms and pain.

Believe it or not, peppermint oil can also be a natural insect repellent.

And what may be most important this time of year, peppermint can help reduce your appetite, as it satisfies hunger centers in the brain. Maybe that’s why kids won’t eat dinner after eating a candy cane?!

So, watch the sugar intake this time of year...but embrace the holiday spirit and don't hold back on enjoying all that peppermint added to your food and drinks.

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