The peppermint plant (Mentha Piperita) has a long history of cultivation and human consumption. For centuries, it has been used as a medicinal herb as well as a flavorful culinary addition. Today, it can be found in candies, teas, soaps, and even stomach medicines. The oil from the leaves is also extracted to create a therapeutic essential oil that has powerful benefits. It’s one of the most popular oils that grace the medicine cabinets of essential oil gurus. Here are seven powerful ways to use peppermint. It’s bound to become one of your favorite and most-used oils!
Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil
With a strong mint aroma, it can stimulate concentration and clear thinking, calm indigestion, relieve sinus congestion and headaches, and rev up energy levels. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it excellent for use with a carrier oil to massage tired, achy muscles etc.. Here, we will learn its 8 top uses.
- Diffuse to stimulate and Calm the Mind
We all know what it’s like to not be able to focus. Whether you are struggling with an assignment at work, studying for a test, or not being able to focus on an important project, peppermint has your back. According to research by the Wheeling Jesuit University, the aroma of peppermint can impact cognitive functions and assist with concept formation, attention span, memory, and reasoning. Peppermint oil is also known to calm the mind and take the edge off of anxiety. There are many ways to enjoy these mind-boosting benefits of peppermint essential oil. The easiest way is to simply diffuse the oil in a diffuser. Peppermint has a very strong aroma output and only a few drops are needed. You can also apply a few drops of the oil on a cotton ball and place near your work space.
For people living in mosquito country, a favorite use for peppermint oil is definitely to repel bugs!
A study that was published out of Israel last year compared how 7 different commercial bug repellants fared against each other. As you’d expect it, the All-Natural Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent (which is a blend of cinnamon, eugenol, geranium, peppermint, and lemongrass oils) was tied as the most effective mosquito repellant with OFF!® (which is loaded with toxic chemicals like DEET). A further study showed that peppermint oil resulted in 150 minutes of complete protection time against mosquitos, with just 0.1 mL of oil applied on the arms. The researchers noted that after 150 minutes, the efficacy of peppermint oil decreased, and needed to be reapplied.
- Cold & Flu Remedies
Modern over-the-counter medicine manufacturers know all about peppermint oil and its ability to soothe cold and flu symptoms. You’ve seen their products and more likely than not, you’ve used them at least once or twice for that blissful (if temporary) relief from clogged airways, swollen sinuses, sore throat, or that irritating cough that just won’t go away. Before cold and flu season strikes again, prepare yourself with these all-natural cold and flu remedies using peppermint oil.
- Soothe Sore Throat
Peppermint oil may be used to soothe a sore throat. The chemical properties of menthol temporarily cool and calm pain while at the same time thinning mucus. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil can also help to reduce swelling and provide further relief. Try brewing peppermint tea then flavor with honey and lemon to help combat infection and speed recovery.
- Cough Control
To help control coughing, clear airways, and boost your immune system, try mixing two drops each of peppermint, lavender, and lemon essential oils in a diffuser. Alternately, you can mix these oils and apply them to a small cloth or other object to create your own portable, hand-held inhaler.
- Refresh from Stress.
After a long day, apply peppermint, let it seep in and then soak in a warm bath or shower. The refreshing peppermint vapor will make you feel cool, relaxed and energized again.
- Clear Sinuses.
Diffuse peppermint oil (or apply topically on the chest) for almost immediate relief and revitalizing air flow. Peppermint acts as an expectorant and may provide relief for colds, cough, sinusitis, asthma, and bronchitis.
- Peppermint Oil Relieves Itching
Severe itching of the skin occurs during pregnancy (pruritus gravidarum). This occurs in 1-8% of pregnant women. However, most pregnant women avoid using synthetic drugs because of their side effects for the baby. The use of peppermint oil is a safe alternative in treating severe itching [R].
In a triple-blind clinical trial, researchers studied the effects of peppermint oil versus a placebo on 96 randomly selected pregnant women. The women applied 60 mL of peppermint oil 0.5% in sesame oil on their skin in the affected areas [R].
The peppermint oil was able to reduce itching severity. The difference between the oil and placebo’s effects on itching severity was statistically significant [R].
Severe burn victims also suffer from severe itching (pruritus). In one controlled study, researchers studied the effects of peppermint oil on burn victims. A gel made with peppermint oil, menthol, and methyl salicylate helped relieve skin irritation in the patients [R]
- Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth
Medical, natural, or nutritional conditions cause hair loss. Peppermint oil helps induce hair growth. It may also be more effective than FDA-approved hair loss treatments [R].
In a study of male mice, researchers compared the hair growth effects of peppermint oil, saline, jojoba oil, and minoxidil. Topical application of 3% peppermint oil led to faster hair growth than any other solution. It was even more effective than minoxidil, which is an FDA-approved hair growth treatment [R].
After four weeks of topical application, peppermint oil induced very thick and long hair in mice. These effects may be due to its ability to increase IGF-1 and alkaline phosphatase. The cellular production of IGF-1 supports cell growth and survival, which helps increase hair thickness [R].
Peppermint and peppermint oil are LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in food, when taken in medicinal amounts, or when applied to the skin. The leaf is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken in amounts used for medicine short-term (up to 8 weeks). The safety of using peppermint leaf long-term is unknown.
Peppermint can cause some side effects including heartburn, and allergic reactions including flushing, headache, and mouth sores.
Peppermint oil, when taken by mouth in pills with a special (enteric) coating to prevent contact with the stomach, is POSSIBLY SAFE for children 8 years of age and older.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is LIKELY SAFE to take peppermint in amounts normally found in food during pregnancy and breast-feeding. However, not enough is known about the safety of taking larger amounts used for medicine. It’s best not to take these larger amounts if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
A stomach condition in which the stomach is not producing hydrochloric acid (achlorhydria): Don’t use enteric-coated peppermint oil if you have this condition. The enteric coating might dissolve too early in the digestive process.
Diarrhea: Enteric-coated peppermint oil could cause anal burning, if you have diarrhea.
Finally, we'd like to recommed one essential oil set for you, that's Homasy.
Homasy Essential Oils are 100% Pure, unadulterated, therapeutic grade, and GC/MS tested. After testing a vary of essential oil, we aim to produce a lead quality essential oil which is 100% pure and natural, the purity of Homasy aroma oil is higher than 90% of essential oil in the market.
Homasy Essential oil can be used in oil diffuser, besides, it can be used with a carrier oil for massage, skin care, fragrance oil and bath, its clean, refreshing scent helps ease the effects of a long, vigorous day. Its renowned healing properties have been known to boost a variety of hair, skin and nail conditions.
But please note:
For external use only. Not recommended for ingestion. Avoid contact with eyes. Keep out of reach of children. Keep away from pets.
For topical use, first dilute essential oil with carrier oil. Store them in a cool, dry place.
Please read the labels and instructions before use. If pregnant or nursing, consult with your health care provider before use.