Living and Wellness Health Benefits of Peppermint By BodyChangers, December 25, 2014 Winter is the perfect time for peppermint. The hybrid of spearmint and watermint takes three forms (leaves, essential oil, and extract) and holds a variety of benefits. It has been shown to soothe stomach irritation, aid digestion, and may even improve memory and concentration. Menthol, a component of peppermint, is an effective decongestant and expectorant, which explains why it is a common ingredient in cold and flu remedies. Fresh or dried leaves can be steeped in hot water for tea, while peppermint capsules can be used to soothe IBS symptoms. Peppermint lotion can provide relief for irritated skin and fresh peppermint leaves can complement your favorite foods, like fruit salad, tomato-based soup, or baked goods. So whether you’re looking for relief from your dry, winter skin or whipping up a yummy snack, try adding a soothing sprig of peppermint.