Peppermint (mentha piperita) essential oil is the highly concentrated, volatile oil extracted from the peppermint plant. Essential oils have been used for centuries for their medicinal, therapeutic, and culinary uses. Peppermint essential oil is a multipurpose oil with a refreshing aroma. It can be used to help treat an upset stomach, treat a headache, increase alertness, reduce stress and even curb appetite.
Peppermint essential oil is the highly concentrated, volatile oil extracted from the peppermint plant - courtesy pixabay
Peppermint essential oil can be applied with or without a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or grapeseed oil. If you have sensitive skin, or have never used peppermint essential oil before, it is advisable to use a carrier oil until you know how it will interact with your skin. The use of a carrier oil also depends on the intended use of the peppermint essential oil. Peppermint oil can typically be found for purchase in natural food/health stores or online.
Coconut oil is a commonly used carrier oil for essential oils and has a long list of benefits on its own - courtesy morguefile
The following is a list of 15 uses for peppermint essential oil. This list is not exhaustive or meant to replace advice from your doctor.
1. Treat a tension or sinus headache. Peppermint oil improves blood flow and opens the sinuses so more oxygen can get into the bloodstream. Apply 1-3 drops to the temples, behind the ears, across the forehead and back of neck, using a carrier oil with sensitive skin. Avoid getting into the eyes. It can also be beneficial to inhale deeply directly from the bottle.
2. Reduce tension and stress. Inhale directly from the bottle, diffuse for 10 minutes, or apply 1-2 drops on the temples, back of neck, and shoulders.
3. Muscle pain relief. Add 1-3 drops of peppermint essential oil to a carrier oil and apply to the sore muscle area.
4. Increase energy and alertness, reduce mental and physical fatigue. In lieu of that afternoon cup of coffee, try rubbing a drop of peppermint oil under your nose or diffusing oil for 10 minutes. You might also try applying a few drops to the back of your neck and shoulders.
5. Increase focus. Try diffusing peppermint oil for 10 minutes or applying 1-2 drops to the temples to increase focus.
6. Soothe an upset stomach or indigestion. Dilute 1-3 drops of peppermint oil in carrier oil and rub on the abdomen in the area of indigestion. This can be made ahead of time and kept in a small salve jar to be ready as needed.
Peppermint essential oil diluted with coconut oil, ready to go at the onset of stomach upset or indigestion – own image
7. Curb appetite. Inhaling directly from the bottle may help curb appetite by triggering a sense of fullness.
8. Treat dandruff. Add 1-2 drops of peppermint oil to your daily dose of shampoo.
9. Refreshing foot soak. Add 1-3 drops of peppermint oil to a foot soak for sore, swollen, overworked feet.
Add 1-3 drops for a refreshing foot soak - courtesy pixabay
10. Reduce a fever. Peppermint essential oil has a cooling effect when applied to the skin. Try diluting 1-2 drops of peppermint oil with coconut oil and rub it on the neck and on the bottom of the feet to help alleviate a fever before using over the counter medicines.
11. Promote healthy respiration. Peppermint essential oil can open your airways and acts as a decongestant. You can make your own vapor rub by mixing peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus oil, and coconut oil as a carrier, then apply as you would vapor rub.
12. Reduce nausea. Apply 1-2 drops of peppermint oil behind the ears, diffuse for 10 minutes, or inhale deeply directly from the bottle to reduce feelings of nausea.
13. Freshen breath. Place one drop of peppermint essential oil under the tongue and drink a full glass of water to freshen breath.
Place one drop under the tongue and drink a glass of water to freshen breath – courtesy morguefile
14. Make oil pulling more refreshing. Add one drop of peppermint oil to a teaspoon of coconut oil, allow it to melt in your mouth and swish for 10-20 minutes, then spit out in the trash bin. Oil pulling aids in dental health and the addition of peppermint oil leaves a cool refreshing feel.
15. Repel spiders, mice, cockroaches, and ants. Place 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball and place in the area where these pests have been sighted or where you’d like to deter pests. You can also add peppermint oil and water to a spray bottle to spray carpets, linens, etc.
With its versatile uses and delicious aroma, peppermint essential oil is a worthwhile addition to your medicine cabinet and household. One 15 ml bottle of peppermint essential oil may initially seem quite small, but it will last longer than you think with the multiple benefits it will provide throughout your life.