Peppermint Tea?

I was feeling a little sniffly at work and one of my co-workers suggested I have some peppermint tea. She said it would clear me right up, so I thought I would try a cup.

And then it dawned on me. All this writing about camphor and my own childhood experiences with spearmint and I’d been missing something important – mint contains menthol, that wonderful cooling oil that’s in a variety of products from gum and cigarettes to cough syrup/drops and decongestants. Though I’m not sure about the reliable scientific properties of the herb, it is regularly used to combat mild colds and to settle stomachs.

And now that I’ve had my nice cup of tea, and inhaled its fragrance deeply as well, I do feel better. I don’t know if I’m actually less congested. However, another property of menthol is that ‘cooling’ sensation. It’s cause by the oil’s activation of the ‘cool’ receptors on your nerve cells, though it does not actually make the temperature of those cells go down. So now I’m sitting pretty, feeling the ‘ahh, coooool!’ in my beleaguered nose cells.


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