The characteristics of peppermint make it a natural for inclusion in Good Gums®.
Peppermint has historically been considered a mild-acting herbal medicine (phytomedicine), and its leaves have been used as a folk remedy for centuries to relieve pain around a tooth and to improve swollen gums. It has a calming and numbing effect due to the high menthol content of its oil. And of course peppermint adds a touch of soothing flavor and a bit of minty scent.
In the western hemisphere, peppermint is sometimes called the world's oldest medicine. Peppermint is believed to inhibit the growth of some strains of bacteria as well as viruses. It's high in vitamin C (see the section on vitamin C) and vitamin A, and contains numerous nutrient trace elements, such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and copper.
Peppermint seems to have the ability to be absorbed by the skin, perhaps accounting for reports of pain relief from headaches and insect bites after topical application of its oil. Absorption takes place even more readily through the mucous membranes, such as the absorptive tissues of the gums, stomach and intestines. Historically peppermint leaf has been ingested for relief from irritable bowel syndrome and its vapors inhaled for nausea, indigestion and congestion.