Essential Oil of Peppermint: Uses, Benefits, and Precautions
While the aroma of peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita) may be synonymous in some minds with the candy, it's a lot more than flavoring. The essential 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, and the aroma of a quality brand can be very sweet, and obviously minty, in nature.
It's most often used to support the digestive, nervous, and respiratory systems, as well as muscular and joint health. It's very cooling to the skin, which may be too tingling for sensitive skin or children. And whatever you do, don't get it near your eyes. Not fun. (I have many times made the mistake of touching my face too soon after touching peppermint oil. Some of us are slow learners.)
- Promotes healthy respiratory function and clear breathing
- Alleviates stomach upset
- Frequently used in toothpaste and chewing gum for oral health
Emotionally and spiritually, the essential oil of peppermint is uplifting and rejuvenating to the heart and mind. It helps a person rise above stress, pain, sadness, or fear, and regain the sense of zest and joy for Life and their role in it.
In this way it may be good for someone experiencing grief, hopelessness, and even pessimism, or even help a person digest the happenings of their life with trust and understanding both in their ability to manage what comes their way, as well as for the process of Life itself. If you tend to experience emotional stress in your digestive system (like "knots in your stomach" perhaps), this can be a good one to use.
How to Use Peppermint Essential Oil
Traditionally, the essential oil of peppermint uses these application guidelines. Click the banner to understand what each symbol means and to learn how each is used safely and effectively:
Precautions of Essential Oil of Peppermint
Be aware that peppermint can cause the eyes to water, even when the oil is near but not in the eye. Use with caution if you're pregnant or nursing as oil of peppermint can decrease lactation (if this occurs try fennel essential oil to increase). Always test for skin sensitivity prior to widespread use and use on the feet when possible. Excessive use of any oil can lead to skin sensitization. Keep out of eyes, ears, or nose. Not all oils are created equal, so test brands carefully, and never use an oil in a way not recommended by its maker.
Popular Uses of Peppermint Essential Oil
- Use a drop of Peppermint with Lemon in water for a healthy, refreshing mouth rinse.
- Rub on the stomach or take internally for occasional digestive discomfort.
- Add a drop of Peppermint to a homemade chocolate shake for a yummy twist.
- Rather than grabbing an unhealthy snack mid afternoon, re-energize by applying Peppermint to the palms of hands and deeply inhaling.
- Use it to get rid of ticks. Drop 1 drop on the tick and wait a few minutes. The tick will either back out or fall off easily.
- Use a drop or two on your temples to help enhance mental clarity.
Inspiration for Using Peppermint Essential Oil
Invigorating Lip Balm: Heat 2 Tbsp of oil with 1 Tbsp beeswax until combined then stir in 10 drops Peppermint essential oil. Use once cool and firm.
Soothing Skin Salve: Combine 2 cups oil with 1/4 cup beeswax, heat until combined. While still hot, stir in 20 drops Peppermint and 15 drops Lavender essential oils.
Cooling Spray: Combine water and peppermint in a spray bottle, mist for cooling effect.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON QUALITY
Not all oils are created equal. Because of a lack of industry standards and a lack of regulation on terms such as "natural" or "pure", much of what you find at the drug store is NOT a therapeutic grade of essential oil and may lack real quality or even contain contaminants or adulterants (way more common than you'd think).
A LOT goes into creating a high quality essential oil. A good brand should follow these guidelines:
- Proper plant varieties
- Each plant grown indigenously for the healthiest plant
- Grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc
- Harvested with precise timing to ensure peak properties
- Extracted with proper temp and pressure to preserve oil molecules
- Third-party testing of every batch
- Stand behind the internal use of their oils