Peppermint (Mentha piperita), a popular flavoring for gum, toothpaste, and tea, is also used to soothe an upset Stomach
or to aid Digestion
. Because it has a calming and numbing effect, it has been used to treat Headache
associated with Depression
, Menstrual Cramps
, and Flatulence
. It is also an ingredient in Chest
rubs, used to treat symptoms of the common cold. In test tubes, peppermint kills some types of Bacteria
, fungus, and Virus
es, suggesting it may have AntiBacteria
, and Antiviral
properties. Several studies support the use of peppermint for inDigestion
and irritable Bowel
Peppermint calms the Muscle
s of the Stomach
and improves the flow of bile, which the body uses to digest fats. As a result, food passes through the Stomach
more quickly. However, if your symptoms of inDigestion
are related to a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, you should not use peppermint (see "Precautions" section).
: Peppermint relaxes the Muscle
s that allow Pain
gas to pass.
Itching and Skin
Irritations: Peppermint, when applied topically, has a soothing and cooling effect on Skin
irritations caused by hives, poison ivy, or poison oak.
: One small study suggested that peppermint applied to the forehead and temples helped reduce Headache
and Flu: Peppermint and its main active agent, menthol, are effective Decongestant
s. Because menthol thins Mucus
, it is also a good Expectorant
, meaning that it helps loosen phlegm and breaks up Cough
s. It is soothing and calming for Sore throat
s (pharyngitis) and dry Cough
s as well.
Do not give peppermint to an infant or small child. Peppermint oil applied to the face of infants can cause life-threatening breathing problems. In addition, peppermint tea may cause a burning sensation in the mouth. For Digestion
and upset Stomach
in older children: 1 - 2 mL peppermint glycerite per day.
Tea: Steep 1 tsp. dried peppermint leaves in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes; strain and cool. Drink 4 - 5 times per day between meals. Peppermint tea appears to be safe, even in large quantities.
Enteric coated capsules: 1 - 2 capsules (0.2 ml of peppermint oil) 2 - 3 times per day for IBS.
s: Using a tincture of 10% peppermint oil to 90% ethanol, lightly coat the forehead and allow the tincture to evaporate.
Itching and Skin
irritations: Apply menthol, the active ingredient in peppermint, in a cream or ointment form no more than 3 - 4 times per day.
The use of herbs is a time honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.
Do not take peppermint or drink peppermint tea if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD -- a condition where Stomach Acid
s back up into the Esophagus
) or hiatal Hernia
. Peppermint can relax the sphincter between the Stomach
, allowing Stomach Acid
s to flow back into the Esophagus
. (The sphincter is the Muscle
that separates the Esophagus
from the Stomach
.) By relaxing the sphincter, peppermint may actually make the symptoms of Heart
burn and inDigestion
Peppermint, in amounts normally found in food, is likely to be safe during Pregnancy
, but not enough is known about the effects of larger supplemental amounts. Speak with your health care provider.
Never apply peppermint oil to the face of an infant or small child, as it may cause Spasms
that inhibit breathing.
Peppermint may make gallStones
Large doses of peppermint oil can be toxic. Pure menthol is poisonous and should never be taken internally. It is important not to confuse oil and tincture preparations.
Menthol or peppermint oil applied to the Skin
can cause a Rash
Peppermint essential oil is so useful that is it comes as no surprise that even folks that are not well versed in the use of essential oils will have a bottle in their first aid kit. In my own case, peppermint oil was added to my collection in the 80s when I started suffering debilitating Migraine Headache
s. Thankfully, the Headache
s are gone but peppermint essential oil remains a core component in my medicine cabinet.
There are many ways to use peppermint essential oil: topically either neat or mixed with a carrier oil, internally as a tea or as an addition to water, or Aroma
tically in a Diffuser
or in a steaming bowl of water. Peppermint oil may also be ingested provided it is what is called “therapeutic grade”. You will know this by the supplement information on the label.
20 Uses Peppermint Essential Oil
WHAT IS PEPPERMINT?
First and foremost, peppermint is a prolific garden plant that is so profuse that in my area. it must be confined to pots or planters lest it take over the entire garden. Trust me on this; left unchecked it is like a weed.
There is archaeological evidence that peppermint was used by the ancients for medicinal use. Most likely, the plant leaves were ingested in food as well as in teas, much as they are used today. Whether the ancients had their own version of the Mojito is up for grabs but chances are they did!
Peppermint and peppermint essential oil have many health-promoting properties. Peppermint is a great Digestive
, helps the Respiratory
system, promotes good Circulation
, and is an excellent Anti-inflammatory
. It also smells good and makes a superb air and breath freshener.
According to the National Institutes of Health, peppermint oil reduces Spasms
in the Digestive
tract. When applied to the Skin
, it creates surface warmth, which in turn relieves Pain
beneath the Skin
20 PRACTICAL USES OF PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL
Of the hundreds of potential uses for peppermint oil, I present 20 that are the most practical and most useful in a survival situation.
1. Zap Headache
s: A few drops of peppermint oil massaged around the temples, the base of the skull and along the Hair
line will help chase away a Headache
. You may also dilute the oil in a carrier oil first. If you are prone to frequent Headache
s, add both peppermint and lavender essential oils to a roller bottle along with some fractionated coconut oil. Keep the bottle handy to apply whenever you feel a Headache
2. Eliminate Bad Breath/Halitosis
: Bad breath is typically a symptom of some underlying factor. If the issue is Digestive
, 4 drops of peppermint oil diluted with water and swished in the mouth like mouthwash will bring relief. Better yet, add a few drops to some brandy and swish.
3. Relieve Heart
burn: Add a drop or peppermint oil to your tea along with a teaspoon of honey. Or, try a drop of two of peppermint oil in a glass of milk. You can also mix 5 drops with a teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut oil, olive oil, etc.) and massage onto your upper abdomen.
4. Cool a Fever
: A few drops of peppermint mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the torso can reduce body temperature by 3 degrees in minutes. You can also place a few drops of oil on a wet washcloth and apply head to toe to comfort and cool a Fever
5. Prevent Drowsiness: Combine peppermint with a citrus oil such as lemon or orange and apply to the back of the neck. Inhale the oil that is left on your hands. I love this; it really does work.
6. Soothe a Stomach
Ache: Put one drop in a large glass water and drink up.
7. Reduce Bloating
: Rub on the Stomach
to help with Bloating
caused by gas and inDigestion
8. Combat Nausea
: Rub a drop of peppermint oil on the abdomen or place a drop in a cup of hot water and sip it.
9. Stop Itching: Apply peppermint oil to stop itching caused by bug Bites
, hives, poison ivy or poison oak.
10. Relieve Constipation
: Combined with a carrier oil and massaged over the lower abdomen, peppermint will relieve the Constipation
and get things moving again.
11. Deter Mice: Place cotton balls with peppermint in areas around your home where mice like to congregate. Mice do not like peppermint (and by the way, neither do raccoons).
12. Repel Insect
s such as spiders and ants: Place peppermint oil on a cotton ball or cotton pad and place in areas where you find spiders and ants. Better yet, make a peppermint bug spray. Add 4-5 drops of peppermint essential oil to water in a spray bottle. This also works to get rid of aphids in the garden.
13. Tick removal: Soak some peppermint oil on a q-tip then dab on the tick. Look for the tick to withdraw its head and then remove it.
itis and joint Pain
: I have shared this one with you before. Mix 10 drops each of peppermint, lavender and rosemary oil with 2 tablespoons of carrier oil. Massage away your aches and Pain
s. This is also the basis for Miracle Healing Salve. It simply works!
15. Relieve seasonal Allergies
: Combine lavender, peppermint and lemon essential oils together with some carrier oil and rub on the bottoms of the feet, the back of the neck and across the forehead. Then take your hands, cup them over your Nose
and inhale with deep cleansing breaths. This will bring instant relief.
16. Relaxing foot soak: Add peppermint oil to a pan or bowl or warm water for a relaxing foot soak Follow up with some DIY Peppermint Scrub. The same applies to tired aching feet. Add a few drops to a Foot bath
to relieve sore, swollen and overworked feet.
relief: Add to a Diffuser
to provide relief from Stress
and mental exhaustion. There is something uplifting about peppermint and will leave you refreshed. This is also effective when your are feeling anxious and restless.
18. Freshen air: Ditto. Add to a Diffuser
to freshen the air.
19. Household cleaning: Mix with vinegar and water to make an effective, all purpose household Cleaner
that I call “Peppermint Juice”. Here is the recipe from Prepper Checklist: DIY Cleaning Supplies:
1/2 cup white vinegar
32 oz. (1 quart) cups water
1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp. peppermint essential oil
20. Control odor: A few drops in the bottom of your kitchen or bathroom garbage can will leave a nice, fresh, minty smell and will also deter those ants, spiders and mice.
Benefits Of Peppermint Essential Oil
therapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Peppermint clears sinuses, reduces Nausea
, helps relieve Headache
s and other types of Pain
, may enhance Digestion
, and stimulates the Skin
's oil production. "Peppermint oil's dual hot and cold action accentuates the warming sensation in liniments."
therapy: Peppermint clears Congestion
, soothes sore Muscle
s and joints, supports Digestion
, eases Nausea
, uplifts and energizes, and focuses and sharpens the mind.
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aroma
therapy: Peppermint Aroma
therapy benefits include helping relieve Digestive
problems, sinus Congestion
aches and Pain
s, Menstrual Cramps
, tension, Fatigue
, and apathy.
The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Peppermint may help relieve Muscle Pain
, spasmodic Cough
and flu, Headache
s and Migraine
, Nervous Stress
, and Vertigo
therapy For Healing the Spirit: Traditional Chinese Medicine views peppermint oil as energetically cool and dry. It circulates Qi-energy, clears hot phlegm, and stimulates the Nerve
s and brain. The oil is useful for Colds
and flu that involve strong Fever
, Sore throat
, and Headache
. Peppermint stimulates the flow of Qi-energy in the Stomach
s, making this essential oil one of the best for the Digestive
tica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume I: Psychologically, peppermint promotes motivation, self-confidence, Alert
ness, and emotional renewal. Physically, the essential oil restores and stimulates hypoTonic
/weak conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the essential function of the oil is to activate the Qi, raise the Yang, and strengthen the Shen.
therapy: Peppermint acts on the ego, both getting rid of pride and helping you overcome feelings of inferiority.
The Essential Guide to Aroma
therapy and Vibrational Healing: Spiritually, peppermint can keep you Alert
during mediation and is useful for regression therapy, rebirthing, and other practices that use breathwork. Mentally, the essential oil wakes you up and stimulates clarity and focus. Emotionally, use the oil to help you sort out your feelings.
therapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Peppermint essential oil uplifts, awakens, refreshes, and revitalizes. The oil is especially useful for the sixth Chakra
to stimulate the conscious mind and promote clear perception.
Peppermint Essential Oil Uses
To use peppermint essential oil to support Digestion
and to reduce gas, cramping, and Nausea
, make a massage oil and use it on the abdomen.
Some studies have suggested taking enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules helps manage symptoms of IBS for some people.
To use peppermint oil for Hair
, you can add a few drops to a bottle of unscented natural Shampoo
. For a Hair
treatment to support Hair
growth, use this blend:
4 tablespoons jojoba oil
4 drops peppermint
4 drops rosemary essential oil
Massage a little into your Hair
, let set for at least 10 minutes, and then Shampoo
Peppermint Oil Uses For Health
To use peppermint oil for Headache
s, dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil and massage the back of your neck. Use peppermint alone or combine it with another Headache
-relieving essential oil, such as lavender, rosemary, or basil. Another option is to use peppermint in an inhaler or Diffuser
Diffusing peppermint oil can also clear your sinuses; reduce feelings of irritability, Nervous
tension, or Stress
; and promote focus.
Here's a a Diffuser
blend for focus:
2 drops peppermint
2 drops cinnamon essential oil
1 drop rosemary essential oil
Source: New Directions Aroma
You can make a healing balm to help relieve the Cough
ing and Congestion
of cold or flu:
1/2 cup coconut oil or olive oil
2 tablespoons beeswax
15 drops peppermint
20 drops eucalyptus (globulus or radiata) essential oil
Use a double boiler over low heat to melt the beeswax and carrier oil.
Remove from heat.
Stir in the essential oils.
Pour the mixture into a a glass container and let set.
To use: Apply to your Chest
as needed. You can also use the balm on the bottom of your feet. Store the balm in a cool dry place.
Caution: Eucalyptus can irritate the Skin
of some people. Spot test before using, although it's unlikely to irritate the bottom of the feet. The radiata type of eucalyptus is gentler than the globulus type.
Adapted from Up Nature
Uses Of Peppermint Oil Around the House
Peppermint is a great addition to Aroma
therapy cleaning products.
Room Cleansing Spray
For a room spray, combine the following ingredients in a spray bottle:
1/2 cup distilled water
30 drops bergamot essential oil
25 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops peppermint essential oil
Shake well before each use to mix the water and oils. Spray into the air, avoiding any delicate fabrics.
Source: Pure Scents for Well Being
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
For a natural toilet Cleaner
Add 3 drops peppermint and 3 drops lemon essential oil to 1 cup white vinegar.
Sprinkle the toilet bowl with baking soda.
Add the vinegar mixture to the toilet bowl.
Wait until bubbling stops.
Scrub the bowl with a brush. Flush.
Source: An Aroma
Some people believe peppermint is a more effective Insect
repellent than citronella when used on the body. Blend peppermint oil with a carrier oil and apply to your body.
Peppermint may repel ants, cockroaches, and mice, according to Aroma
therapy for Dummies. However, using peppermint oil for mice and pests is more likely to work for keeping new ones out than for getting rid of ones already in your home.
To help keep bugs out of the house, try this spray:
1/2 teaspoon eucalyptus essential oil
1/4 teaspoon peppermint essential oil
1/4 teaspoon lemon essential oil
4 ounces vinegar
Blend all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use, and spray where bugs tend to enter the house.
To repel ants or mice, another option is to cut a sponge into small squares. Place a few drops of peppermint oil on each square, and place the squares in the corners of cupboards or where ants or mice enter. Add more oil once a week.