Peppermint is an herb in the mint family. It is a cross between spearmint and watermint. It is closely related to lavender and rosemary. Peppermint is one of the oldest herbs used medicinally by humans. It has been found to have been used by the ancient Egyptians, as well as the Greeks and Romans. It was also used in Chinese traditional medicine. Peppermint is one essential oil that should be in every home. Peppermint essential oil benefits are many and it is used for a wide range of ailments that you can treat at home.
Many of the peppermint essential oil benefits come from the levels of menthol and menthone in the essential oil. These two constituents, especially menthol, are what give peppermint herb and the essential oil it’s calming and invigorating effects.
Peppermint Essential Oil Benefits
Since I am a respiratory therapist the benefits of peppermint essential oil for the respiratory system are very interesting to me. Inhaling peppermint essential oil either from the bottle or by diffusing can have benefits for your respiratory system. A major peppermint essential oil benefit for the respiratory system is that it acts as an expectorant. This means it can help loosen and thin phlegm in the sinus passages and the lungs. It can be helpful when you have a cold or the flu, and may even help with bronchitis and asthma.
I don’t recommend using peppermint essential oil to replace a rescue inhaler. But it may have the benefit of helping you use less of your bronchodilator medications if you choose to try it.
Since peppermint essential oil has also shown antimicrobial properties it may help you fight an infection from colds or flu.
You can mix it with a carrier oil and rub it on your chest to create a homemade vapor rub. Add eucalyptus oil for a potent one-two punch for sinus and chest congestion. Just be sure to do a patch test on yourself before you use this to make sure you aren’t sensitive to either essential oil.
Another well-known peppermint essential oil benefit is using it for digestive issues. It is known to have a calming and relaxing effect on the digestive system. A study from 2014 identified menthol as the main constituent responsible for the calming action of peppermint oil in the digestive system.
Peppermint essential oil has been shown to benefit nausea. A study of cancer patients found that peppermint oil significantly decreased nausea in patients receiving chemotherapy.
It is also used to relieve other digestive issues. Heartburn, gas and bloating, indigestion and even IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) all seem to benefit from using peppermint essential oil.
One caution should be observed. Due to its ability to relax the muscles in the digestive tract it can also relax the sphincter muscle above the stomach and increase symptoms of gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD).
To receive peppermint essential oil benefits for the digestive system you can use it externally mixed with a carrier oil, or take one to two drops in a glass of water internally. Remember, essential oils are very potent. A little goes a very long way. To use it externally mix one to two drops in a tablespoon of carrier oil and rub over the abdominal area.
Joint And Muscle Pain
A really useful peppermint essential oil benefit is its analgesic and anesthetic properties. It can help to relieve the pain from inflammation that accompanies conditions such as arthritis and sore, aching joints. You can also use it in combination with one of the anti-inflammatory essential oils to also reduce inflammation in the joints. You can also use it for relief from aching muscles caused by overexertion or a long day at work.
To relieve joint or muscle pain you can warm up a few tablespoons of coconut or another carrier oil and add five to seven drops of peppermint oil. Rub this in to the affected muscles or joint for relief from pain and soreness.
One peppermint essential oil benefit that many people find extremely helpful is the analgesic effect of the oil. Rubbing a few drops of peppermint oil mixed with a carrier oil into the temples or the back of the neck has helped many deal with headache and even migraine pain. People who suffer from migraines also many times experience nausea from the pain. Since peppermint oil is also effective at relieving nausea this can be a particularly effective form of home remedy that can help relieve both pain and nausea. Simply mix one to two drops with a tablespoon of carrier oil and massage into your temples or the back of your neck to help relieve symptoms.
Peppermint essential oil has many benefits for your precious skin. You can apply it to make the skin on your face radiant and glowing. It can also be used to treat acne outbreaks. The anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint essential oil can help reduce the pimple and the antimicrobial properties can help kill the bacteria that cause acne.
You can also use the cooling and analgesic properties of this amazing essential oil to help relieve the pain from minor burns around the home. It also makes a great sunburn reliever. Mix water, witch hazel and ten to fifteen drops of peppermint essential oil in a spritzer bottle and apply to the burned skin. You should feel immediate cooling and pain relief.
Peppermint Essential Oil Benefits For Hair
Peppermint essential oil also has benefits for your hair. Add ten to fifteen drops to your favorite shampoo to help with hair growth and to help relieve dandruff. Peppermint oil is also good to get rid of head lice. Pests detest the smell of peppermint so it works well in the treatment of lice.
If you really want to make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy then peppermint essential oil is just the thing. Many commercial oral health products contain menthol from peppermint. But you can create your own oral health products using peppermint oil, or add it to your favorite toothpaste or mouthwash.
So there you have seven of the most popular uses of peppermint essential oil. This versatile essential oil should be in your medicine chest if you are worried about chemicals in commercial products, besides the myriad of uses for it.