14 INSANE Things You MUST Know About Peppermint Essential Oil (And Why You Need it in Your Home!)
My head just throbbed..... I started out the morning with a killer sinus headache! So I dabbed a bit of peppermint essential oil on my temples---I took a couple of deep breaths....and BAM! My head felt better, my sinuses cleared, and my mind felt awake and alive! Thank you, Peppermint essential oil!
Gosh! Have you ever smelled anything better than peppermint? Who doesn't just love that heady scent? It's breathtakingly sweet and beautiful and, well...minty! Here are some insane things you MUST know about peppermint essential oil---it's benefits and uses---and why you should have it in your home at all times!
Peppermint essential oil is so very versatile and useful! There are few body or neurological systems it doesn't affect. Have you ever wondered what peppermint essential oil is used for? How about its many benefits? Do you have peppermint essential oil in your medical kit? Everyone should have peppermint essential oil on hand---here's why:
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Therapeutic Properties of Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint (Menthe piperita) has many properties that act wonderfully on the body. Peppermint is anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-microbial, carminative (digestive processes), analgesic, and can help control appetite too!
The main chemicals contained in Peppermint essential oil that cause it's cooling, relaxing, and healing effects are menthol, menthone, and 1,8 Cineole. You can find out more about the science behind these chemicals here.
Ways to Use Peppermint Essential Oil
1) Freshens Breath
Well, ever since we were little kids, we've seen peppermint show up in our toothpaste, right? There's a great reason for that! It freshens breath! Also, due to its therapeutic qualities, peppermint essential oil helps kill germs in your mouth and along your gum line when you gargle with it consistently! To do this, dilute a drop in about 2 ounces of water (add a drop of Rosemary Oil too, if you want, for extra power), and gargle mouthfuls of this mix. You'll feel the difference right away, and your mouth and gums will be HAPPY.
2) Reduces Nausea
Peppermint essential oil can help reduce nausea (think car sickness or general malaise). Just rub a drop or two diluted in a bit of carrier oil (almond oil or olive oil are fine) onto your stomach, behind your ears, and on the back of your neck for relief.
3) Sinus Issues
I use Peppermint essential oil often in my sinus remedies! Like Eucalyptus essential oil, it opens and clears the sinus cavities. Here's how to use it: When taking a steamy shower, just drop a few drops just outside the water flow and enjoy the minty steam. You will feel so much better and clearer in no time!
You will find Peppermint essential oil as an ingredient in just about any essential oil blend made by reputable companies because it works!
If I don't have a powerful blend made up already, I'll rub a few drops of Peppermint essential oil on my temples, the lymph nodes on my neck, and on my chest. I don't recommend neat use (without a carrier oil), and the carrier oil will help it absorb into the body. Just use a couple drops in a bit of sweet almond oil or olive oil, rub on your chest, and your sinuses will thank you!
4) Helps Soothe Bronchitis and Asthma Symptoms
Peppermint is a powerful decongestant. Just like it acts on your sinuses, it has similar benefits to your lung tissue. It helps open airways, and just helps you breathe! Rub peppermint oil diluted in a carrier oil onto your chest. You'll love it! If you want a Vapor Rub experience, add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil, camphor essential oil, and some rosemary essential oil. Be sure you ask your doctor about safety factors using essential oils first!
5) Sunburn Relief
Peppermint essential oil is naturally cooling! Combine a few drops of Peppermint essential oil into some coconut oil, and rub into the sunburned area. Not only will the skin be cooled and feel much better instantly, the essential oils will help soothe and heal the burn.
6) Tension Headaches
Peppermint essential oil soothes taut muscles and helps them relax. Tension headaches are often caused by grinding teeth, tensing up the shoulders, and just feeling tight. This causes a headache! Using peppermint diluted in a carrier oil will help relax and soothe tight shoulder muscles and when used on the temples, will help calm the headache.
7) Fever Reducer
Due to Peppermint essential oil's cooling effects, it is a wonderful oil for helping to reduce fevers. Besides that, it helps deal with any microbes causing the fever too! For a fever, drop a couple drops of peppermint essential oil onto a cool, damp/moist washcloth and dab the forehead and chest area.
You can also rub the essential oil on the bottoms of the feet. For more about why that works, see Why Rub Essential Oils on Your Feet?
8) Hot Flashes
Just as Peppermint essential oil helps with fevers, it will also help cool down a hot flash. If you are experiencing menopause and are dealing with hot flashes (me), just rubbing some on your pulse points and shoulders is so very helpful in rapidly cooling you down!
9) Focus and Support for ADHD
Diffusing Peppermint essential oil or spritzing some around the room before a test can help students and those suffering from ADHD increase their mental focus. There have been numerous research studies on this phenomenon, and Peppermint oil has been proven to work time and again.
In fact, when I'm under a deadline, guess what I use? Peppermint essential oil.
10) Bug Repellent
Bugs hate Peppermint! That includes flies, spiders, ticks, fleas, ants! This is why you see peppermint essential oil in nearly every natural bug spray out there! I use it as one of the oils in my bug spray formula I use on my dogs, goats, horses, and in the chicken coop.
Many people spray the opening of their home (windows, doors, pet doors) with Peppermint essential oil to discourage those bugs from coming on in! If you don't want to spray essential oil due to having wood floors or just not wanting it on your walls or baseboards, you can add several drops to cotton balls and place these strategically in corners and in windows or near doors.
Guess what?! Using Peppermint essential oil will make your house smell wonderful, too!
11) Appetite Control
In clinical studies, peppermint essential oil has been found to be useful in appetite control! It makes people feel fuller more quickly and just not want to eat as much. Spritz or diffuse some peppermint essential oil around the room just before eating!
12) Natural Energizer
Who needs an energy drink or extra caffeine if you have peppermint essential oil? It is SO uplifting and mentally stimulating! You won't feel the need to have that energy drink at 3:00 p.m. if you use Peppermint essential oil instead! Rub a couple of diluted drops into your pulse points and feel great!
13) Use Peppermint Oil for Massage and to Improve Circulation
Peppermint is cooling, while being stimulating. For an excellent massage oil for tired legs and feet, add 10 to 20 drops of Peppermint essential oil, along with about 5 to 10 drops of Rosemary essential oil to four ounces of carrier oil---I like to use Sweet Almond Oil because of its emollient properties. It soaks into your skin really well, while moisturizing!
14) As a Digestive Aid
This probably should have been the very first thing on the list! Peppermint essential oil helps with digestive issues! Although some people recommend adding a drop or two to your water after eating a big meal, I am NOT a proponent of ingesting any kind of essential oil. Essential oils are VERY powerful. However, if you dilute a few drops of Peppermint essential oil in a carrier oil, and rub this into your stomach area, you will feel some relief!
If you want to ingest peppermint, it is absolutely wonderful as a tea! But again---please don't ingest the essential oil unless you have discussed this with a certified aromatherapist. I personally do NOT believe in this practice.
What Other Oils Blend Well with Peppermint Essential Oil?
Peppermint essential oil blends well with many other oils. Some to consider are Oregano, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Pine, Cypress, Frankincense, and Rosemary. There are many others, too! Experiment! You'll create some lovely scents! Peppermint essential oil adds a sweetness to blends that wakes you up while smelling heavenly!
Where Can I Buy Quality Peppermint Essential Oil?
You can easily find peppermint essential oil in many good health food stores or on Amazon! It's one of the most useful and least expensive essential oils! However, when purchasing any essential oil, it's a good idea to purchase the highest quality, therapeutic grade essential oils you can find, especially if you are using them on your skin! Therefore, you must know of some quality companies you can trust.
Many large commercial essential oil companies (generally the ones selling in stores) actually cut their essential oils with fragrances, artificial fillers, like alcohol, and other chemicals. It's VERY important to take a look at the ingredients labeling. Since essential oils are not regulated, I suggest you find a company that is open about their sourcing and ingredients.
So...that brings me to.....
How do you know what company to buy your essential oils from? Well, I've done a LOT of research recently because....
There are five criteria I use to ascertain if an essential oil brand is good enough for me to use with my family:
1) They use third party testing; 2) They have at least some organic options; 3) Is their an education proponent to their website; 3) Do they have a Kid-safe line or at least specify which are ok for kids to use?; 4) NOT an MLM--as I just think they are over-priced; 5) Are they reasonably priced but still high quality?
Here are my favorite brands I have found that meet these criteria: Plant Therapy, Rocky Mountain Oils, and Organic Aromas. I especially love Organic Aromas nebulizers for diffusing. They are the best I've found.
Safety Factors to Know about Peppermint Essential Oil:
Please don't get Peppermint essential oil near your eyes or any sensitive areas with mucus membranes! It will sting!
Also, if you are pregnant, nursing, have heart issues, etc., please seek advice from a medical doctor before using any essential oil.
Final Thoughts on Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is one of my very favorites. I used to think it was a "boring" oil, but I honestly use it in some capacity or other every single day! Especially when I hit that afternoon tired slump, peppermint essential oil keeps me going! I love the stuff! Everyone needs at least two little bottles handy in their homes at all times! (The second bottle is for when the first bottle runs out--you won't have to wait to get more!)
Have you used Peppermint Essential Oil before? What are your experiences? I'd love to know what you think!
Hugs & Self-Reliance,
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Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, and in no manner, stated or implied, is any statement in this article, on my website, or any book I write meant to cure, treat, diagnose, or prevent any disease or health issue. The statements made are simply my own opinion based on years of study and experience. Please seek medical advice from your doctor. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Essential Oils Pocket Reference, 5th Ed., Life Science Publishing, 2011. (Young Living Publication)