Peppermint oil is a well-known and popular essential oil and even outside of aromatherapy it is popular in a lot of items such as toothpaste and candy. So the refreshing flavor and smell is familiar to almost everyone.
The herb has been used for centuries by many cultures and it is probably the only herb that I have great success in growing in my garden. I have lived on three continents and always had mint in my garden so it is easy to grow around the globe.
Menthol is a major constituent of Peppermint oil and is responsible for the therapeutic properties of Peppermint oil.
Uses and benefits
- Digestive system
Peppermint is your go to oil for digestive issues ranging from colic, indigestion and flatulence. The antiseptic properties makes it a useful oil to use for diarrhea. Nausea and motion sickness can be relieved with using Peppermint oil. Halitosis or bad breath is such an embarrassing condition but you can use a DIY mouth wash with some Peppermint oil to get rid of that.
Tension headaches is something that can be quite debilitating but Peppermint can be an effective alternative to taking an aspirin.
- Respiratory system
Due to the anti-spasmodic and expectorant properties it is a great oil to use for dry coughs, sinus congestion and headaches caused by nasal congestion. I am asthmatic and for a complimentary treatment I use a mix of Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Lemon in a 1% dilution to open my airways in additional to my asthma medication.
For most of the respiratory issues like coughs and sinus congestion I would recommend that you do steam inhalation. That is where you put boiling water in a bowl and adding 2-3 drops of oil to the boiling water. Put the bowl with the water in the sink so that it is sturdy and secure. Stand over the bowl , throw a towel over your head and breath in the vapor. Be careful not to stand to close that you burn yourself. Breath in the vapor for at least 2 minutes.
- Cooling off
Peppermint oil has this cooling effect on the skin and in Summer it is one of my favorite oils to use. Putting some diluted Peppermint oil on my feet is such a welcome relief on really hot Summer nights when it is hard to fall asleep.
If you are an over thinker or just hot-headed Peppermint will cool you down and calm you down. Mental fatigue often goes unnoticed and Peppermint oil is great to deal with that. Diffusing Peppermint oil can be helpful, especially in the office. It is also a great oil to use if you are feeling a bit faint or dizzy.
Adding Peppermint oil to your skin toner is a great way to bring relief for redness when dealing with acne or inflamed skin. Just use caution to have a 1 % dilution.
Effective for itching and insect bites, ringworm and scabies. Once again always dilute essential oils before applying it to your skin.
Adding 2 drops in your bathwater will invigorate you and will be quite refreshing in Summer. I would not recommend using Peppermint in the bath before bedtime though, it will be more appropriate to use Peppermint oil in your morning bath.
General Safety Information for using essential oils
Do not take essential oils internally or apply essential oils undiluted topically.
Follow Dilution recommendations on the Essential oil Dilution chart.
Pregnant women have to consult with a qualified aromatherapist and or midwife and doctor before using essential oils, especially topically.
If you have liver damage, cancer, suffers from epilepsy or other medical problems and take medicine on a regular basis then you have to use essential oils under the guidance of a trained aromatherapist.
Before using essential oils on children you should consult with a qualified aromatherapist.
You can have a read here about using essential oils for children.
Check whether the essential oil of your choice is safe to use around your pets. Here is a list of essential oils safety for dogs.
Peppermint essential oil
Botanical name – Mentha piperita
Essence from the leaves of the herb