When my 7th grade Pre-Algebra teacher handed out Peppermint Smencils before a test, did it actually help us do better?
Turns out, it did. Thank you Mrs. Marshall.
The myth that peppermint makes you smarter, is false, but there are benefits to the scent of peppermint. Although, eating peppermint flavored candies is not as beneficial as actually smelling the peppermint before the test.
Peppermint in many forms such as tea, candy, and oil can be used to help improve mental awareness. The menthol “stimulates the Hippocampus area of the brain which controls mental clarity and memory. The odor triggers you to wake up and pay attention.” This explains why many people believe that peppermint makes you smarter, when really it makes you more alert.
At the University of Cincinnati, a study found that peppermint made students taking a test more focused and alert, and ended up with a better grade on their test. Peppermint has this effect because it increases the oxygen count in your blood, increasing the flow to your brain causing you to be more attentive.
Similarly, in an experiment at Wheeling Jesuit University, students were asked to chew different flavors of gum, one of them being peppermint, while doing work. Chewing gum already improves blood flow to your brain, but peppermint only enhances that effect. Through this experiment, the students chewing peppermint gum were found to be both more productive and also improve memory.
Peppermint also has the ability to improve athletic performance as well as helping to improve reaction times.
Overall, peppermint can improve your mental awareness but, no, it does not actually make you smarter.
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Credit - Elizabeth Sweitzer