The title says it all! Peppermint Essential Oil is, by far, one of the most popular and versatile essential oils in use today. Its healing properties and uses are perfect in treating an abundance of health ailments. Manufacturers of chewing gum, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, tea, and even chocolate, have flavored their products with this oil. The biggest reason for its use is the cooling and refreshing characteristics that it provides.
The health benefits, however, are far more numerous. Peppermint EO contains menthol, menthone, and menthyl acetate, popular ingredients found in medicinal recipes and salves used today and all throughout history.
What is Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint is actually a natural hybrid, stemming from the combination of watermint and spearmint. The plant grows to about 3 feet in height, and boasts green leaves serrated along the edges, and a light purple flower. It grows in North America, Europe and Asia, but the US is presently the largest supplier worldwide. The peppermint plant is mainly cultivated for the medicinal properties of its essential oils, which is extracted by steam distillation.
Peppermint EO has such a wide variety of uses, and I will outline some of the more common ones. I personally use this oil on a daily basis, starting with my ritual morning blend of Peppermint EO and Wild Orange EO. This combination, which I personally mix, helps me to get out of bed and start the day. It gives me that essential boost in the morning that I can’t live without.
So many uses, so little time
As I was compiling my research, I was astounded by the numerous uses for Peppermint EO. I was already familiar with the energizing aspect (remember the word PEP is found in peppermint). I also knew that it was a wonderful oil for cooling down the body’s temperatures from fevers or hot flashes. After the birth of my first child, I remember drinking peppermint tea to ease the bloating and gas I suffered from. I also confess that I may have tasted one or two chocolate and peppermint indulgences of pure deliciousness in my day! After dinner mint anyone?
Peppermint EO, in my opinion, should be called the Prince of Essential Oils. The numerous variety of health, body and mind issues that it relates to, should be enough to grant it this title. (Sorry, but Frankincense EO has already been crowned the King of Essential Oils). Lets take a look at a few of the benefits as well as the ailments related to this oil.
Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil
One of the top benefits of Peppermint EO is its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. You can apply the oil directly to sore muscles and swollen joints as an effective painkiller and muscle relaxant. It also helps to cool the affected areas to provide relief after a strenuous exercise or workout.
Peppermint EO is used as a natural headache and migraine treatment. It relaxes muscles and improves circulation to the head. Simply apply the oil directly to the temples, forehead, and back of neck.
During the summer, this oil can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied directly to a sunburn, to help hydrate the skin and provide pain relief with its cooling properties. This oil, however, is not very popular among the insect population. It’s use is perfect for repelling ants and mosquitoes, all the while, providing you with a wonderful fragrance.
Peppermint EO and digestion
For digestive issues, Peppermint EO is effective for the treatment of bloating, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and indigestion, as it relaxes the tight muscles in the intestines and calms the spasms in the colon. You can apply the oil topically on the abdomen, or ingest a drop of oil by adding it to your water or tea. Interestingly, peppermint is great with easing food cravings. Apply a drop or two to the palms and inhale deeply. You can also apply a drop directly under the nose, and it will help you feel fuller faster.
This oil is very effective with the discomfort of nausea, motion sickness, and morning sickness. In children, Peppermint EO is also effective in treating colic, as well as the pain associated with teething. In oral care, gargling Peppermint EO in your water after you brush your teeth, or applying a drop on your tongue will freshen your breath.
Another important property is that it contains menthol, making it an important expectorant and decongestant. By inhaling Peppermint EO, it helps reduce the inflammation of the nasal passageways, thus providing relief of sinus congestion. Certain compounds in this oil helps to ease coughing through an increase in the production of saliva. This increase makes you swallow more often thus calming the cough. Applying Peppermint EO to the chest also eases congestion and provides relief and comfort.
The Prince of Essential Oils
In summary, whether you diffuse, inhale, or ingest, Peppermint EO will provide you with an arsenal of benefits and uses in dealing with your health and well-being. In all honesty, this is one oil that everyone should have in their household medicine chest. I was not able to list all the top uses for Peppermint EO. I did, however, try to capture the more common ailments and top uses of this adaptive essential oil. Combined with other essential oils, Peppermint EO is an invigorating addition to your diffusing blends. This one is a must, and in my mind, Peppermint EO truly is the Prince of essential oils. Enjoy!!!