While peppermint may be synonymous in some minds with the candy, oil of peppermint has been used for centuries for digestive problems, sinus and respiration and more. The oil is created by steam distilling the leaves, stems and flower buds. But not all peppermint oil is created equal.
The properties of peppermint essential oil include:
(To read more about the properties and research done on peppermint and other oils, I highly recommend the book Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Uses of Essential Oils.)
Many factors affect the quality and purity of peppermint oil, including the variety of plants, the region it's grown in, growing practices (organic and sustainable or conventional), the harvesting (when and how), and the extraction methods used. Anywhere along the line, from planting and harvesting to bottling the oil, it can become contaminated with chemicals, by-products or miscellaneous foreign substances.
This is why it's important to know the methods and testing done by the essential oil company: to ensure that the following peppermint oil uses are effective, not just nice smelling or tasting.
There are several good brands out there, but my all-time favorite brand is doTERRA.
doTERRA third-party tests not just some batches, but EACH AND EVERY batch for purity. Couple that with their strict guidelines for growing, harvesting and extraction and we've found their oil of peppermint, and every one of their other oils, to be surprisingly more potent and effective than any other brand (even those certified organic).
And doTERRA's peppermint essential oil has be shown to be far more potent than any others: Just one drop of peppermint from doTERRA is equivalent to over 25 bags of herbal tea!
Read More: Choosing the best essential oils possible.
Traditionally, you can use oil of peppermint can be used in three ways. Use these suggestions unless otherwise noted below:
Aromatically - Can be diffused in the air or inhaled directly.
Topically - Can be applied directly to the skin or within a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, for young or sensitive skin. Start with one drop to 1-3 tsp of carrier oil and increase as needed.
Internally - Generally recognized as safe by the FDA (21CFR182.20) to be used in cooking, adding a drop to purified water or taken as a dietary supplement, diluting 1 drop in 1 tsp. honey or 4 oz of non-acidic, non-dairy beverage (not for children under 6 years old and in greater dilution for older children).
Sensitive - "Sensitive" means tha although some can apply the oil without any dilution, directly to the skin, those with sensitive skin should do a patch test or dilute before use.
Remember that this guide is in no way here to replace medical advice or your own judgment. Consult your doctor, always do a skin test and use caution. Essential oils may be natural, but that doesn't mean they aren't powerful.
Precaution: Use with caution if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant. Too frequent exposure can cause skin sensitivity.
Use oil of peppermint to wake up your senses first thing in the morning, or during the mid-day slump by using it aromatically or topically.
Great for immunity, you can use it aromatically, topically or probably best yet, find empty capsules, add one drop of peppermint and create your own peppermint oil capsules. Or add a drop to a large glass of water.
May help open the airways when used aromatically or by rubbing a single drop onto the chest.
Some parents have found it helps autistic kids balance strong emotions and increase positive feelings when used topically. Dilute one drop in 1-2 TB of coconut oil and dab a little on the chest. Avoid getting anywhere near the eyes.
May help fight off infections when applied over the infection. Be sure you know your own skin sensitivity before apply to already sensitive skin.
Peppermint has been shown to be supportive and regenerative of the nervous system when used topically and aromatically.
Because of the links oil of peppermint has shown to the nervous system, it's also thought to be helpful with brain injuries when diffused or used topically.
Peppermint is uplifting and invigorating and will aid in increasing energy levels and alertness. Diffuse through the room or apply to the skin.
Because of the antiviral properties (described above), oil of peppermint can be dabbed directly onto a cold sore. Only a small amount is needed!
Use topically (which will allow the oil to be absorbed into the blood stream faster) or take internally, such as in self-made peppermint oil capsules.
It's incredible at clearing the sinuses and breaking up phlegm. Inhaling from the bottle, diffusing through the room, using topically or even gargling in warm salty water for sinus drainage causing congestion in the throat.
Dilute 1 drop of peppermint in a small dollop of carrier oil and massage the abdomen in a slow, clockwise motion.
Cooling to the body
Rub a small drop or dilute it in oil, or even a small spritz bottle to cool the body down during hot weather. Avoid close proximity with the eyes though!
Massage the oil into the muscle with or without a carrier oil, depending on your own skin sensitivity.
Oil of peppermint is incredible for all things digestive, including serious diseases. Take this oil internally, such as adding a drop to your water throughout the day, or massage into the abdomen for faster absorption to your blood stream.
More peppermint oil uses for the digestive system include taking it internally or applying it topically to the abdomen in a counterclockwise direction to soothe the digestive system and help fight any infection with its anti-everything properties.
Dysmenorrhea (Pain during menstruation)
Gently massage oil of peppermint over areas of pain.
Because peppermint oil uses for invigoration, using it aromatically may also increase endurance, alertness and increased body (and thus body) function.
Peppermint may help revive anyone who has fainted with its strong (even eye-watering) aroma. Just hold the bottle under your nose and you'll see why.
Because of its antiviral, antibacterial and more properties, using this oil aromatically and internally is beneficial. The cooling affect it has may also help keep the fever from climbing too high.
Antiviral and antibacterial, its good for the immune system and can be used any way you'd like.
Gamma Radiation Exposure
No joke. Research published in 2004 by the Journal of Radiation Research found that it was possible to reverse the declines of critical antioxidants and enzymes in the liver and reduced oxidation in the tissues with peppermint oil. Uses include topically and internally. (And I have the strong urge to reference Hulk here but I'll refrain.)
Peppermint oil uses are best known for their soothing the digestive tracts and can be used topically and internally for gastritis.
The best way to use peppermint here is by adding a drop to your toothbrush or digesting a drop in a glass of water.
Peppermint oil seems to increase blood flow by dilating blood vessels. use just a tiny dab over the source of the pain, being careful to avoid the eyes, or use aromatically through the room with a diffuser.
Although oil of peppermint can be taken internally, it's generally suggested to use it topically for heartburn by rubbing it into the chest.
Rub topically on the back of the neck as soon as heatstroke may be a concern.
According to Modern Essentials, you can also use this oil topically over the site of any hernia.
Apply topically (diluting according to your own sensitivity) to any outbreaks for the antiviral effects.
Can decrease itching when applied topically to the site. I recommend diluting 1 drop of oil in 1-2 tsp of coconut oil to soothe the skin.
Peppermint oil uses include a wonderful cooling affect. Use topically or adding to a spritz bottle, avoiding contact with eyes.
Peppermint oil is supportive and may be regenerative to the nervous system. Diffuse aromatically or use topically and frequently.
According to Modern Essentials, you can use peppermint topically or aromatically to support a healthy thyroid function.
Soothe the digestive system by taking oil of peppermint internally, massaging into reflex points and over abdomen in a clockwise direction or diffusing in the air.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
It's suggested to add 1 drop of oil to each glass of water you drink throughout the day. You may also massage it into reflex points or over the stomach.
Peppermint oil uses include soothing itching skin. I'd recommend diluting it in a small amount of coconut oil and gently massaging it into the affected areas.
Rub into the soles of your feet for invigoration and grounding.
Lactation (Decreasing Milk Supply)
Massage a small diluted amount into the breast 1-2 times a day.
Oil of peppermint is mental stimulating. Use while you're studying or working on stressful projects to increase mental processes.
Massaging a small amount over the areas of pain can increase blood flow and relieve pain with its analgesic properties. You can also diffuse it through the room if the aroma is too strong otherwise.
Add a drop to car seats or on a small cloth to rest on the dashboard for driving. Add a drop to shirt collars or hankies for boats, planes, etc.
This staph infection is known to not respond to antibiotics, but applied topically peppermint oil's antibacterial properties can help fight infection.
This central nervous system disease can benefit from the regenerative properties of peppermint when applied topically and inhaled aromatically.
Massage oil of peppermint into aching muscles for a cooling, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving affect.
Peppermint oil uses include aromatic benefits, but massaging the oil into the area of concern can promote proper function, and maybe even healing.
Use in the same manner described above for motion sickness.
Massage into the areas of concern for relief of pain and inflammation.
Gently massage topically and or use aromatically to support and heal the nervous system.
Decrease inflammation, clear the sinuses, open airways and and soothe irritation by inhaling oil of peppermint or massaging a very small amount around the sinuses, careful to avoid the eyes.
Relieve itching and promote healing by gently massaging diluted peppermint oil into the affected area.
Massage the oil over the hips, starting from the center of the sacrum and moving outward.
Sense of Smell (Loss)
Peppermint is incredibly invigorating to the senses. Inhale directly from the bottle, or diffuse through the room.
Wakes up the senses and invigorates the mind. Diffuse or inhale directly or massage into the chest, shoulders and neck.
Inhale directly, or massage a very small amount over the sinuses.
Dilute with water and spritz over wounds as they heal to prevent infection an soothe any itching.
Dilute and apply very carefully to the tissues around the eye, but avoid direct contact within the eye.
Massage oil of peppermint into the tendons around the elbow to decrease inflammation and relieve pain.
You can diffuse, but the most potent peppermint oil uses include massaging a drop into the throat and chest, gargling with warm salt water and adding a drop to each glass of water throughout the day.
Drop 1 drop on the tick and wait a few minutes. The tick will eithr back out or fall off easily. Use lavender essential oil on the tick bite to fight infection.
Diffuse aromatically, use in homemade cleaning solutions, massage it into feet and consume in water or peppermint oil capsules to fight infection.
This has been my husband's favorite of peppermint oil uses. He religiously adds a drop to all his water and has found great relief. It can also be massaged into the stomach to be quickly absorbed into the blood stream.
Very gently massage peppermint oil with lemon, lemongrass and cypress starting from the lower legs up (always toward the heart) 1-2 times a day.
Take oil of peppermint internally with water or honey, or diffuse or inhale until it can be taken internally.
Other possible peppermint oil uses include: soothing colic, freshening breath, easing gas, and all manner of digestive problems, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, menstrual irregularity, depression, anger, physical or mental fatigue, food poisoning, hysteria, liver problems, nervous system conditions, elevating senses, toothaches, tuberculosis, poison ivy/oak and cooking.
Edible peppermint oil uses include: Candy making; baking; homemade toothpaste or mouthwash; a natural water, juice or tea flavoring. I've been wanting to try a homemade lemon or limeade with a drop of oil of peppermint. It sounds so refreshing for hot summer months!
Do you have another use for this essential oil? Comment below!
Because quality is everything when it comes to essential oils, never buy your oils from the grocery store. Although they may be suitable for aroma, they aren't the quality you need for health purposes. This is why we support and affiliate for our favorite brand, doTERRA essential oils. You can purchase your peppermint essential oil oil directly from us by clicking the button below.
There are several ways to get your hands on OnGuard essential oil: retail, discounted, or wholesale.
But retail sucks.
So we recommend purchasing a discounted or wholesale account (similar to something like Costco) to get the best prices on this or other oils. Which is the best fit for you will depend on your needs.
Making natural health choices such as learning these peppermint oil uses, is an important step toward sustainability.
When you're ready for a few more steps check out the articles below.
Whatever step you take, remember to have fun!
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