Defeating Pain

One Person's Battle Against Chronic Pain


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Lemon Balm, come on “bee” happy!

This little herb has a very dear place in my heart, it is one of the first plants I went out and bought when I first got interested in herbal medicine in my early teens. I remember planting it in my little patch in my Mother’s garden, and how it pretty much took over everything. This is a great plant to grow yourself, but like many mint’s, yes its a member of the mint family, lemon balm will grow rapidly and pretty much take over. I tend to plant it in pots to help control its wanderings.

Plus it looks cute in a pot, and will grow pretty much anywhere

Plus it looks cute in a pot, and will grow pretty much anywhere

Once you start to use this herb it is hard to stop, you find ways to add it to everything, and it seems most of humanity feels the same. It has a long history and many historical uses. The latin name of lemon balm is Melissa officinalis. Melissa means in Greek “honey bee” and there is a strong association between this plant and honey, bees, and gods. (I will be going over the details of honey’s awesome abilities in later posts.)

Throughout Mediterranean culture the bee was associated with earth and  goddesses. The Ephesians believed that the life of the bee was the model for society. The queen bee is the representation of the Great Goddess (Great Mother), and the people the worker bees who are also her children. They worshiped the goddess in bee form as well. So anything that was good for bees, or bees preferred, became a revered piece of vegetation.

Gold plaque embossed with winged bee goddesses, perhaps the Thriai, found at Camiros Rhodes, dated to 7th century BCE

Gives new meaning to being the Queen Bee

In Greece the same earth ties were made, but the most frequent was Artemis (Diana in Roman myths) who’s priestesses were called Melissai. This is all important since hives were part of temples and lemon balm was planted around almost all of the hives, as it was believed it would help keep the bees happy and content. Many medicinal writers from Dioscorides to Galen wrote about its properties, and Pliny the Elder said  bees were “delighted” with this plant above others, and lemon balm would be planted around, or rubbed empty hives to lure in wandering swarms, or to keep existing ones. It most likely originated in Turkey and spread to the Middle East and Mediterranean from there.

Lemon balm is also frequently used to sweeten the air, and is strewn about on the floor. Around the 10th century it was probably brought to mainland Europe and was planted, at Charlemagne’s request, planted in all monastery gardens. Monks were thought to have had a hand in further spreading the herb, though it may also have been the influence of the Arab cultures brought home from the Crusades that introduced lemon balm to Europe.

From monasteries is where one of the most well known historical uses of lemon balm was from. Lemon balm was a key ingredient for Carmelite water. Which was more often used for aromatic, than for medicinal use. Aromatic use since most illnesses were considered to be carried in bad smelling air, or miasmas. Even Shakespeare wrote of lemon balm in his plays, since it was popular during his time, but later fell out of favor with later medical practice, since it doesn’t have powerful purgative effects.

Lemon balm is in a lot of ways like turmeric, that is something you should try to include in your everyday diet. It has the wonderful effect of reducing anxiety and stress, and can be mixed into tea blends for anxiety, stress, stomach problems, or sleep. You can add it to teas, water, foods, pretty much anything! Not to mention, it’s lemony scent is rather lovely.

One thing we all don’t get enough of is water, water has recently reclaimed it’s spot as the number one beverage of the world, but we all should drink more than we do. It is also important because most pain medications dehydrate and it is very important to drink water with them. Also when you topically or internally use oils, it can be diuretic or cause drying, and it is important to hydrate after any type of massage or Graston session.

Anti-Anxiety/Anti-Stress Water Infusion or Lemon Balm Spa Water

  • 1 gallon jug with spigot (a jar and dipper will work too)
  • 1/4 of a cucumber sliced into medallions
  • 1 handful of fresh lemon balm, slightly bruised
  • Water

Wash and slice the cucumber and throw them in the jug (or jar), wash and slightly bruise the lemon balm. To bruise it just simply lightly squeeze it until you can smell the lemon scent get stronger. Add the water and let sit for at least 10 minutes. If you have this sitting out you can put ice in it, or keep it in the fridge. If you don’t you will need to toss and re-do the water every morning. I find with the stress of procedures, pain, and just daily life this is a welcome addition to my arsenal to combat stress.

ProTip: You can pretty much add any fruit or veg combination with fresh herbs. I found that basil and watermelon goes great, and blackberries with lemon balm is fantastic. For the fruits slice them if they are hard like apples, or puree them if they are soft like watermelon or berries and add them to the water. Be creative!

I also find when I make my herbal waters, I end up drinking more water. This is a good way to not only reduce stress, but a great replacement for people trying to quit soda, drink more water, or just reduce the amount of sugary drinks in their diet.

Of course you can make a herbal tea of lemon balm, and you can take it every day 3 times a day, just like turmeric. While you should be careful with most herbal medicine, this is one that you can sort of label mostly harmless. Drinking the tea will help with stress and anxiety as we have discussed, there is also mention that it will assist with memory. I haven’t noticed any differences in memory but others report they are sharper and can remember more. Lemon balm is an anti-viral and can help you get up and going sooner, or hold it off completely if you are coming down with virus.

Lemon Balm Tea

  • 2 tablespoons Dried lemon balm, or a handful or two fresh
  • 16 oz boiling water
  • Mints or other herbs for additional flavors (optional)

I recommend making a large teapot of this and drinking it through out your day. It is such a refreshing tea, you will want to drink it a lot. It definitely feels like a steamy cup of sunshine when you have a mug of tea on a cold day. And with fall here, and winter on its heels, we will all need a winter pick me up. It also can be easily made into a nice iced tea. Just add the steeped tea to a pitcher and filling the rest of the way with water and ice, and enjoy! You can drink this year round, all day every day, and is a great addition to outdoor picnics and BBQ parties.

Lemon balm is also good for digestion, and if you suffer from lactose intolerance like I do, or any digestive issues, this is a good tea to just have on hand like Peppermint to soothe any digestive problems. Really this tea is good for any stomach upset from taking medications, or pain, and is also effective against, heartburn, flatulence, and intestinal cramping.

Digestive Distress Tea With Lemon Balm

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried lemon balm
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried catnip
  • 1/2 teaspoon Caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fennel seeds
  • 8 oz Boiling water

Steep in covered teacup for 5 minutes and drink. If you are going to make a teapot double all amounts.

Another great tea is one to help with sleep, lemon balm’s calming qualities lend a great helping hand to the calming effects of other herbs. The tea recipe below is rather strong and is good when you feel that sleep just isn’t coming, and you need the big guns.

Sleepy Tea With Lemon Balm

  • 2 teaspoon Lavender flowers
  • 2 teaspoon Chamomile flowers
  • 2 teaspoon Dried Lemon Balm
  • 1 teaspoon Skullcap
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ginger (or a few fresh ginger slices), or Licorice root (these are optional)
  • 8 oz Boiling water

Steep for 5-10 minutes in a covered teacup and drink. Again you can double, or triple this if you are making a teapot. This works well when aches and pains keep you up, for tension headaches, migraines, and when you need some help sleeping and regular chamomile or holy basil isn’t enough. You can add Valerian root, but I will talk about that in other posts.

You can also make anti-stress, anti-anxiety sorbet, which I don’t know about the rest of ya’ll, but sorbet medicine is just about the best thing ever.

Lemon Balm Sorbet (Discovery Health Recipe)

  • 2 large Apples, finely chopped (Fuji, Gala, or other sweet apples are best)
  • 2 cups Fresh lemon balm
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup local Honey
  • Juice of 2 lemons, or about 6 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon vodka, preferably citrus flavored if possible

You can puree the apples and lemon balm together if you prefer a smoother texture, mix all ingredients and chill for a few hours to ensure an easy mix in your ice cream maker. Follow your ice cream maker’s directions, and store in a sealed container in the freezer. You can eat this every day, and while it is a tasty treat, it is also good for you! This is really a great way to add this herb to your diet.

Lemon balm’s final amazing attribute is that it combats dreaded cold sores, or fever blisters. Cold sores are a result of a form of Herpes, not the same as the STD, but still not very fun. They can be socially awkward, like acne, unlike acne they are caused by a virus and because of that will respond well to anti-viral for home treatment.

Lemon Balm Cold Sore Compress

  • 3 to 4 teaspoons Finely shredded lemon balm leaves
  • 3/4 cup Boiling water
  • Bowl
  • Towel or wash cloth

Steep the tea in a bowl, and allow to cool. Soak towel and wring out excess moisture but allow towel to be damp, not dripping. Apply to blister multiple times a day, at minimum 3.

You can also use lemon balm essential oil to treat the blisters, as well as any skin blemishes. A drop or two can be added to teas instead of the dried or fresh herb to get the same awesome effects. Remember, therapeutic grade oils only.

If you are interested in purchasing lemon balm essential oils go here.

Really you can add lemon balm to just about anything you cook – fish, poultry, soups, desserts, cheeses, anything that lemon pairs well with. Since it is a softer flavor than actual lemon it is good for adding a slight lemon flavor to a dish. Just make sure when you add any delicate herb, especially when using fresh, add it near the end of the cooking time.

So go out and get you some lemon balm! Treat yourself to some relaxing beverages and food. While this is mostly harmless, be sure to check for reactions, like allergies or interactions on WebMD. And if you are in doubt, even in the slightest amount, ask a professional.

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Anise, hope you like licorice.

Anise, or sometimes written as anise seed or aniseed, is another herb that has been used and written about since writing was invented. It is one that may not be for everyone since it does have an extremely strong black licorice smell and taste. It was in the past frequently used as just a breath freshener, and chewing a few of the seeds works extremely well, even after garlic food or heavily spiced food.

It is mentioned in some of the most ancient medical texts for a variety of aliments by Hammurabi, Hippocrates, Dioscorides, and Pliny the elder recommended it for sleeplessness, placing it next to the bed the smell would soothe you to sleep. They also thought it would ward off bad dreams.

Old timey-wimey picture of it, notice it looks a lot like Queen Anne’s lace, remember you want the seeds or the oil. Not the plant!

While it may not ward off bad dreams, it does ward off indigestion, and was often used by Romans in cakes to be eaten after meals, especially rich ones, to ease indigestion and flatulence. This cake could possibly be the ancestor of spiced wedding cakes. It was used as currency in some places, and in the 9th century Charlemagne ordered it grown on imperial farms. (Probably didn’t want to be called Charlie farty-pants.)

Anise is known as a great digestive as it is a mild antispasmodic, it also works really well for menstrual cramps. You  can massage the oil directly on to the abdomen and it should relieve cramping. If you are having cramping from gas or indigestion, rubbing oil on the abdomen works as well, I have used this myself a few times to help with tummy issues from medications and treat my lactose intolerance.

It also works well for lower back pain and other aches and pains from daily movement or exercise. It even works as well as clove for numbing and reliving tooth pain. Typical dose is a drop or two massaged into the affected location. I have made a topical spray though to help with dispersing it evenly across an area.

Personally my favorite use of anise is for its numbing purposes, it is very effective as a local anesthetic and I regularly use it prior to a session of Graston to be able to take more and longer in a session. Remember to get therapeutic grade anise oil where you can, if you can not locate a reputable dealer in essential oils, use the oils you find externally ONLY.

Anise Numbing Spray

  • 1 part anise
  • 1 part rubbing alcohol
  • 1 part distilled water (filtered is fine)

In a small 3 oz spray bottle combine the three ingredients for a travel sized spray, or in a larger bottle for home use. Just make sure you are using equal parts of all ingredients.

If you are unable to locate the oil, you can always use the seeds to make tea. Again do not use the plant part only the seeds.

Anise Seed Tea

  • 4 c boiling water
  • 2 tbspn crushed anise seeds – Crush with a mortar and pestle if you have one, if not you can use a clean coffee grinder (not ideal but it will do), but grind in quick pulses with breaks between to avoid heating the seeds too much
  • *optional* Milk or milk substitute

Add the anise to the boiling water, steep for 5 minutes in a preferably covered teapot or teacup, and add a tablespoon or two of milk if you like. This tea is supposed to be good for indigestion, sleep, and it should ease some pains. It is even supposed to aid with asthma, and can be a good daily tea to drink if you suffer from it in addition to your existing medications.

Warning! I really like the taste and smell of this herb, but if you are not a fan of black licorice this may not be the one for you!

As always you need to do your research yourself and see if this is right for you, do your own trials and see what works. Always check for interactions on sites like WebMD and if you are in doubt consult a professional!


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Holy Cow, Holy Basil!

Sleep! With some of my migraines and pain, sleep escapes me as I have mentioned. I use a few different sleep aids, but today we are going to discuss Holy Basil is one of those herbs that seems so unassuming, like the basil you are probably familiar with it is a mint relative, and is used infrequently in cooking but is gaining use in America recently.

It is a native of India and is known as Tulsi, which you may see when you purchase ready-made teas. In Hinduism it is a sacred herb, most sacred to Vishnu where it symbolizes Lakshmi. But it also has one of those great stories like Mint, where there is a beautiful lady, Tulsi, who catches the eye of the playboy god, Krishna. Then his real girlfriend, Radha, gets wind of this and turns her into a plant (there is another version where Vishnu is the boy and Lakshmi is the girl). Also, in a story where Krishna is weighed and large amounts of gold could not tip the scales, but a single leaf of Holy Basil did.

You may see it at temples or in homes of Hindu practitioners, usually in a small alter-like setting, and all of the plant, including the soil, is supposed to be holy. It is also part of Ayurveda and was used as a fever reducer, ringworm & skin disease treatment, cold & cough remedy, sore throat, and for many other issues.

It even got a stamp!

The main aspect I am interested in is its stress reduction, headache pain reliever, and wonderful effectiveness as a sleep aid.

Stress is something not something many people think of when it comes to chronic pain. But being in pain, dealing with medical bills, and all the associated things that come with chronic pain can be stressful. Not to mention work, and just life in general these days is stressful and we could all use a cup of tea that made everything a lot more mellow. I have a few friends that suffer from sleep issues and I always recommend this to them and I always hear back how great it is working. This is definitely something that not only calms the body but calms the mind. You feel mellow and relaxed and sleep comes quite easily. This is also great for those stress related headaches, a cup of this tea will wash those away.

Tinctures are available and you can take 40-60 drops 3 times a day for stress. Do not add a tincture of Holy Basil to Holy Basil tea though. More than 60 and you will have more of the sedative-like effects.

My favorite way of ingesting it is tea, I reather like the taste of it and it seems to work well for sleep for me.

Tea for Restful Sleep –

  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon Holy Basil

Let it steep for at least 5 minutes in a covered teapot, and drink a cup a half hour before you want to sleep, or if you are suffering from a headache drink 2 cups.

ProTip: If you have a covered teacup, just use 1 teaspoon per cup. Steep 5 minutes and drink. If you need more re-brew as needed.

Stress or Migraine tea

  • 2 + teaspoons of Holy Basil (Tulsi)
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoons Lavender (1 tsp if you don’t mind the bitterness of lavender)
  • 1/2 tsp Skullcap
  • Honey to taste
All aboard the sleepy train to dreamville!

All aboard the sleepy train to Dreamville!

Steep for 5 or 6 minutes, preferably with a covered teapot/cup, and drink! This is my go-to tea for stressful or painful days, it is fairly potent.

You can increase the dose as needed I really wouldn’t suggest more than 2-3 teaspoons, or if you like you can decrease the amount. Decreasing the dose to 2 teaspoons per pot with any mixer of your choice (you can mix in green tea or black tea for the caffeine, or even lavender or chamomile for their relaxing properties). This will help alleviate stress if you are feeling weighed down by a stressful day. You also have the option to take capsules, you can make your own or purchase them as a supplement and that is another great way to deal with daily stress. You can take this as a supplement or tea daily, but if you are using it as a sleep aid you should not take it for longer than 4 weeks at a time, this is not habit forming but it could make it more difficult to sleep without it.

This will not remove stress completely! There have been some scientific studies into Holy Basil, and there has been documented decreases in stress in individuals who use it, but as always it is in conjunction with exercise and regular, mindful breathing exercises. A life style change is required for full stress reduction, but Holy Basil is definitely something good to have in your arsenal.

Remember educate yourself, make sure you know what you are taking. And always check for drug interactions, WebMD is always a good resource! Remember use common sense!


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Skullcap, a touch of the mad dog

Skullcap, named for the shape of its flowers, is also known sometimes as “mad dog” because of its use for calming the muscle spasms that come with rabies, which made early users believe it was a cure. As a cure for rabies, it has been disproved, but it is still an excellent antispasmodic and great for those who suffer from anxiety. Including the anxiety that comes from withdrawal symptoms. If you have ever quit smoking, or also had the misfortune to ween off an opiate you know what I am talking about. It also is great for tension headaches, migraines, and a sedative.

Pretty to look at too 🙂

I was inspired to write this post after a discussion I had today. I suffered a lot from migraines, still do from time to time. The pain of a migraine can be all encompassing, and can make even the strongest soul pray for death’s sweet release just to escape the pain. That is why, if there is something that can alleviate this, not make you feel like a zombie, and improve the mood to boot, I want all tension headache and migraine sufferers to know about it.

For ages Skullcap has been known as a great treatment for nerves and spasms. If you suffer from tension headaches this is definitely something to look into for treating them occasionally with natural means. Muscle spasms and nerve issues are a large part of my pain issues, and something that I am always seeking to relieve and possibly control. Also, it you are a similar migraine sufferer like I am (especially when a storm rolls in), the headaches are triggered by muscle spasms but are no less painful than other migraines. I had tried many things to treat mine and even resorted to being Botoxed, twice. Recently my migraines were more rare and I went out of town leaving my migraine medication at home (pretty smart, right?) and of course I suffered some intense migraines with nothing to take. Upon my return I was still experiencing pain and a friend of mine mentioned that they had used Skullcap and the one thing mentioned that made me go, “I need to look into this” is it relieved the “behind the eye” pressure. A place most of my migraines live, and I have to say I have been pleased with the results. Not only did the migraine pain reduce to a level that allowed me to function, but I felt pretty awesome. Not giddy but just that everything was right in the world, quite a different mood to the grumpy and irritable migraine person I was prior. I have used it a few times now to treat my migraines and this is a great nervine and sedative.

ProTip: Make sure you are getting PURE Skullcap! Skullcap has and can be adulterated with germander, and this can cause liver and other issues. Please make sure you are getting your Skullcap from a reputable dealer that can assure you no germander touched your Skullcap. Also, this is an herb you should use sparingly in small amounts and never for repeat daily use for very long. The side effects for over dosing are giddiness and confusion, but can lead to nausea stupor, irregular heart rate, twitching and others. But as long as you are not ingesting large amounts you should not run into any of these issues. Remember you need to educate yourself as much as possible before using Skullcap or any supplement. Always consult a professional if you are ever in doubt.

Skullcap tea

This, like peppermint, is actually fairly easy to find as a ready made tea you can buy in sachets off the shelf. There are a few companies like this one or this one, that sell them as blends or “straight” but I personally again prefer to make capsules (like with Turmeric).

To make your own tea from fresh or dried Skullcap for sleepy time tea use these ratios:

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon dried or fresh skullcap
  • add a cup of water if you want to add an additional tablespoon of Chamomile, Passion Flower, Holy Basil, or even (but use less) Kava just make sure you don’t over do it, especially if you use the extract form of Kava)

You can also do a “medicinal” brew of the skullcap for more pain related treatments. That would be a recipe along the lines of:

  • 1 oz of dried Skullcap
  • 1 pint of water

Boil the water and steep for at least 10 minutes in a covered pot, you can treat with half a teacup (about 5-6 fluid ounces) every few hours for pain.

I also have a Stress and Migraine tea I have concocted myself that has had good results, look for it here.

WARNING: Skullcap is definitely an herb you can take too much of easily and it can cause some severe discomfort with side effects that feel like a heart attack. DO NOT EVER mix tinctures or extracts into teas, or use them in addition to teas or pills. Start with the SMALLEST possible doses and see how you react. Use common sense!

Like I said previously I prefer a capsule, but you can always use the teas or tinctures, they are always available in most herb stores, tea stores, and online. Again, always remember with this one always start with the lowest dose, and do not exceed a gram if you are taking this in a capsule or powdered form. Also make sure that you don’t take Skullcap over consecutive days if possible, try to put a time spacer in before taking a second dose. Jaw pain has been reported to me by a friend after taking it over consecutive days.

Always make sure to educate yourself before taking anything, and check reactions with your current medications or herbs. WebMD is always a good resource, but make sure you know what you are putting in you before you do!


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Peppermint

Not just for those Mint Juleps, or dessert garnishes!

Well, it is really good for a Mint Julep, or in some Moroccan style couscous.

Oh Peppermint, how I love thee, let me count the ways! This is one of those fun multiple duty fixes that I have found works really well in most of its applications. Peppermint is another herb that has been used for medicinal purposes since pretty much time began. Egyptians, Greeks, Native Americans, Hebrews, you name ’em, if mint grew near by it was being used by the locals in culinary and medicinal ways.

Of course the manner of use and/or ingestion changes depending on the region. Desserts are common, and in North African cooking is part of savory dishes, as it can be in some new and ancient European dishes. It also shows up in many histories and myths. One of my favorite stories is that the Greeks thought it encouraged sexual behavior and it was forbidden for soldiers to consume it. Most likely due to the myth of its origin where Minthe a naiad of the river Cocytus (one of the five rivers encircling the underworld of Greek myth) so dazzled by the chariot of Hades was going to seduce him. Luckily, or unluckily depending on who’s side you’re on, Persephone, quite possibly the first documented case of Stockholm Syndrome, spotted this and turned Minthe into a plant that would be crushed under people’s feet. Hades supposedly took pity and softened the curse, so that when stepped on people would smell her sweetness.

I was going to put a picture of Hades and Persephone here but thanks to weird, weird, fan art I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t hyper sexual or super creepy. Thank you internets.

So it is no surprise with this long history of humanity with mint that there are quite a few uses that can apply to not only assisting with pain, but also assisting with some of those not so fun side-effects when you do have to take your Doctor prescribed drugs.

One of the major issues I run into with my medications is nausea. And I have been successful using it as a tea, peppermint water, or just inhaling that delicious cold refreshing scent as a great way to settle the queasy feelings. Peppermint tea is fairly easy to obtain, you can purchase it at most chain grocery stores, and specialty stores almost always carry it. I think the best of the bunch is fresh mint tea.

Fresh Mint Tea

  • 4-5 good sized stems of Peppermint
  • 1 tea kettle of boiling water
  • tea pot (a smaller 3-4 cup teapot is best)

Put Peppermint in tea pot (clean Peppermint of course) and add hot water. Cover. This is the most important step.

If you do not cover while you steep any tea with oils you will lose them if they are uncovered. So cover your tea! This is the main reason I suggest a tea pot, they usually have lids. If you have an Asian tea cup with a lid, this will get you the best results. You want to steep for five minutes, no more, no less. You want a sort of light green tea color. I love it just as it is, or if you really need that sweetener don’t go any further than some honey local to your area.

Pro Tip for Dried Tea: If you are using dried Peppermint tea it is preferable to use a covered tea pot (with a few bags) or covered tea cup to ensure that no volatile oils are lost. Just brew like you would the fresh, or according to package directions.

Mint has long been known as an aid to digestion, I mean why do you think every restaurant has a mint available as you leave? Why mints?! This is to help digest after over eating. It has recently been tested (SCIENCE!) and found to help with people that suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can benefit from Peppermint oil and teas. But if you have severe acid issues, it could cause issues, as Peppermint can severely increase acid issues.

DISCLAIMER: Peppermint will not settle everyone’s upset tummy! My husband is a prime example, it further upsets things. So remember test yourself and know yourself. If you have acid re-flux or other acid issues you may want to look into Chamomile or Ginger.

Peppermint Water

How to make it:

  • 1 drop of therapeutic grade Peppermint oil
  • 6-8 oz water (preferably filtered or otherwise)

That’s it, just put the oil in the water and drink it down!

Sometimes I just drink a glass because I like it, not many medicines you can say that about. Peppermint water is older than, well, dirt. Pretty much since water and peppermint were discovered they were married together. Peppermint water is helpful if you have a sore throat, if you are suffering from an upset stomach, and I find it opens the sinuses too. You can even add it to tea, but I suggest not adding it to a steaming cup, but as soon as it is cool enough to drink adding a drop.

Topical

Peppermint can also be a great muscle relaxing topical application, I have used it to alleviate the pain of some migraines caused by extreme muscle spasm. And have rubbed it into many a sore muscle after working hard at a T’ai Chi class. As with the Peppermint water, use therapeutic grade. You also want to use it sparingly, and avoid sensitive areas. Things like eyes, inside of the nose, areas with rash or broken skin, generally any sensitive area. If you are unsure you can try a test patch and rinse with luke-warm water and mild soap if you have a reaction, but it is always best to consult  a professional if you have any sort of doubt.

As always, each person is different so go through your own trials with Peppermint and see what works best for you. Always educate yourself, check reactions on WebMD and consult a professional if you are ever in doubt!