What Is Peppermint Oil Used For? Let Me Count the Ways…
Important: Never use peppermint oil undiluted. Do not use it when you have gastric reflux or active stomach ulcers, are pregnant or nursing, or on medication. Do not use it with children under 8 years, and not directly under the nose of your child or baby. Use only very small amounts, this is highly potent stuff.
When I started using essential oils (EO) about four years ago, I was skeptical about how well they worked. Sure, I heard people raving about them but it’s just an oil, right?
Oh, how wrong I was.
When I Fell in Love with Peppermint Oil
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There are two incidents that stick out in my mind which caused me to change my thinking about EOs. The first was using a peppermint bug repellent blend that actually worked and the second was one of my many cooking incidents.
Confession - I am a train wreck in the kitchen. The food generally comes out okay but it’s not uncommon for me to drop, splash, or somehow maim myself in the process. Therefore, it was no surprise when I burnt myself taking a quiche out of the oven one evening.
My Minty Hero
I immediately ran cold water on it but the stinging persisted. I asked a friend about which essential oil works well on burns and her response was peppermint which was one of the oils she had given me to try. Two drops and two minutes later the pain was gone and I was sold.
So What is Peppermint?
Due to its versatility, peppermint is one of the most popular and commonly used essential oils.
The peppermint plant is a hybrid species of spearmint and watermint (aka Mentha Aquatica). Its high menthol and menthone content is responsible for most of its therapeutic effects. The earliest known use of mentha was approximately 1,000 BC and it has even been found in several Egyptian pyramids.
There are over 300 scientific studies referring to peppermint essential oil benefits and over 2,000 studies on the benefits and uses of menthol. One drop of oil is so concentrated it is the equivalent of drinking 28 cups of peppermint tea.
Dr. Axe goes into a bit more detail in this great video, watch:
Some of the Most Common Uses for Peppermint Essential Oil
As mentioned above, peppermint EO is famous for its versatility. It can be sniffed or diffused, applied topically, or taken internally (if you are using an EO approved for internal use). These are my fav ways to take full advantage of peppermint oil benefits:
Inhaled (sniffed or diffused) peppermint can help lessen symptoms associated with:
- Sinus & breathing problems (including colds, cough, sinusitis, asthma, allergies and bronchitis). You can take a look at this menthol chest rub I use on my kids whenever they get congested.
- Food cravings
- Lack of focus or drowsiness
The benefits of using peppermint EO internally include reduced symptoms associated with stomach upset and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
When taking internally, mix 1-2 drops of peppermint in an 8 oz glass of water. Remember, a little goes a long way!
The benefits of using peppermint EO topically include reduced symptoms associated with:
- Muscle and joint pain
This recipe for pain cream has done wonders to reduce my husband’s rheumatoid arthritis joint discomfort.
- Headache discomfort
Apply two drops of peppermint EO and two drops of lavender EO to the temple and back of the neck for pain relief.
- Itching from rash, bug bites, eczema, or psoriasis*
Dilute 1-2 drop diluted in 2 Tbsp of a carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil and apply up to the affected area up to 3 times a day
- Increased body temperature
Apply two to three drops of peppermint essential oil on the forehead and temples, back of the neck, back, and/or bottoms of feet where the oil will absorb quickly to bring the body temperature down.
- Mild acne
Use as a cooling peppermint toner along with apple cider vinegar to balance skin pH and lessen bacteria on the skin surface.
Dilute 1-2 drop diluted in 2 Tbsp of a carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil and apply up to the affected area up to 3 times a day.
- Mild burns
Apply 1-2 drops to the affected area.
- Hair loss (can slow down or stop hair loss)
Check out this homemade shampoo that uses peppermint essential oil.
Peppermint is also a great natural bug repellent when used topically or it can be sprayed around the home to deter bugs. And make sure to check out EveryHomeRemedy's own uses for peppermint oil as an eco-friendly, pet and children safe mice repellent.
*When using any new product, test on a small patch of skin first.
Have you ever used peppermint oil? If so, comment below with how you have used it. Here are some more great ways to use it:
Deja Cronley is a Registered Nurse turned Blogger. She fell in love with natural living four years ago and has dedicated herself to educating others about organics. She loves Crossfit, the beach, and playing with her kids. Read more about cleaner, natural living at DejaVuOrganics.com.