What you need to know: Candy canes are a health food! Well, no, only in a perfect world, but our favorite holiday candy’s main ingredient, peppermint, is a superfood and we’re talking all about it. There’s a fifty percent chance you’re eating a candy cane while reading this story, so why not celebrate the benefits of mint? Peppermint has been a foundational tool in medicine since ancient-Egyptian times, utilized as a carminative and expectorant, and valued for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It not only freshens the breath, but its oil can be used to stimulate memory and relieve stress.
Why you should try it: Peppermint is a gentle herb, safe for both children and pregnant mothers. It’s quite versatile too, offering benefits when used both internally and externally. When its oils are diffused into tea or water and consumed, it brings fast relief from nausea, including morning sickness and motion sickness, irritable bowel syndrome, gas, indigestion, infant colic and respiratory conditions including tuberculosis and asthma. Peppermint oil is also effective when applied topically, proven to reduce pain from shingles, headaches and muscle pain. Another potential use is blending peppermint oil into your shampoo or body wash. Some studies have shown that rubbing the oil into your skin can help reduce dandruff and dry skin.
Let’s get together: Now that we know how healthy peppermint really is, let’s have a little fun with it! While you can always go traditional by adding fresh peppermint or its essential oils to water or tea, we are dying to use it for making homemade candy canes. When made with natural sweeteners, real organic food coloring and therapeutic-grade peppermint oil, candy canes may just be healthy (or healthy–ish) for you after all. To get started, try this recipe by Real Fit Mama.