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A Guide To Peppermint Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

A Guide To Peppermint Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

"Peppermint raises the spirit to fuller understanding and appreciation of the mysteries that will eventually fully unfold to us," writes aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul.

Worwood also says peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita) stimulates and soothes, uplifts and calms. The oil's emotional benefits are to encourage regeneration, self-acceptance, concentration, vitality, and vibrancy.

Basic Peppermint Facts

Plant family: Lamiaceae/Labiatae

Production: Steam distilled from the leaves and stem of the plant, which is a creeping herb.

Aroma: Minty, slightly camphor-like

Perfume/Aromatic note: Top

Is peppermint safe to use during pregnancy? Conflicting information is available. Aromatherapy and Massage for Mother and Baby doesn't include peppermint as an oil to use but also does not list it as one to avoid. Consult a professional.

Is peppermint oil safe for children? Do not use on or near the faces of infants and young children. Some sources recommend not using this essential oil with children under the age of 2.5 to 3 years.

Cautions: Do not use if you have cardiac fibrillation or G6PD deficiency, according to Essential Oil Safety. Also, the essential oil can cause a burning sensation and will irritate eyes if used close to them. Not compatible with homeopathic remedies.

Main components:

(–)-menthol      19.0-54.2%
menthone         8.0-31.6%
(–)-menthyl acetate  2.1-10.6%
neomenthol       2.6-10.0%
1.8-cineol         2.9-9.7%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Ed.

Benefits Of Peppermint Essential Oil

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Peppermint clears sinuses, reduces nausea, helps relieve headaches 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."

The Heart of Aromatherapy: Peppermint clears congestion, soothes sore muscles and joints, supports digestion, eases nausea, uplifts and energizes, and focuses and sharpens the mind.

Aromatherapy 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 nerves 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 energy in the Stomach and intestines, making this essential oil one of the best for the digestive system.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Peppermint oil benefits include helping relieve digestive problems, sinus congestion, headache, muscle aches and pains, menstrual cramps, tension, fatigue, and apathy.

Uses For Peppermint Oil

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.

Hair Treatment

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 as usual.

Peppermint Oil Uses For Health

To use peppermint oil for headaches, 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 Aromatics

You can make a healing balm to help relieve the coughing 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
  1. Use a double boiler over low heat to melt the beeswax and carrier oil.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in the essential oils.
  4. 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 aromatherapy 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:

  1. Add 3 drops peppermint and 3 drops lemon essential oil to 1 cup white vinegar.
  2. Sprinkle the toilet bowl with baking soda.
  3. Add the vinegar mixture to the toilet bowl.
  4. Wait until bubbling stops.
  5. Scrub the bowl with a brush. Flush.

Source: An Aromatic Life

Repel Insects

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 Aromatherapy 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.

Buy Peppermint Oil

I recommend peppermint essential oil from Young Living.




Photo Credit: Simon Eugster, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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