Peppermint may provide more than just a flavorful zing in your tea or toothpaste: A series of studies have found that peppermint aroma has the ability to increase both cognitive and athletic abilities. One 2001 study, conducted by the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, had 40 athletes perform a series of physical tasks, once with a peppermint odorized adhesive strip under the participant’s nose and another round with an odor-free adhesive strip. Peppermint was found to increase running speed as well as handgrip and upper-body strength (the aromatherapy had no effect on skill-related tasks, however, such as shooting a basketball).
In addition, peppermint odor significantly reduced perceived physical effort and frustration, and the participants rated their energy higher and exhaustion lower.
If you’re interested in incorporating aromatherapy into your daily routine, find resources at www.naha.org.