Peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil is one of the oldest European herbs used for therapeutic purposes and is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves of the plant.
Peppermint essential oil is known for it’s anti-nausea benefits and its ability to soothe digestive difficulties, freshen breath, and to relieve colic, gas, headaches, muscle discomfort, heartburn and indigestion. It also has analgesic (pain relieving), antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral and invigorating properties.
Peppermint essential oil exhibits a cooling sensation and a calming effect on the body. This makes it great at helping to soothe muscles and ease headaches.
Menthol is what provides peppermint with its trademark cooling and analgesic effects.
Peppermint essential oil can be used topically, aromatically and internally.
For children and those with sensitive skin, use a 1:1 ratio of peppermint essential oil to carrier oil (such as fractionated coconut oil) when using topically, and apply directly to the area of concern or to reflex points. You can also diffuse or inhale the aroma directly. To use it internally, take 1-2 drops under your tongue, use in a beverage or as a flavoring in food.
8 Uses for Peppermint Essential Oil
- Muscle Discomfort Peppermint essential oil has been shown to decrease muscle discomfort, soothe sore and achy muscles and help relieve tension headaches. Use a 1:1 ratio of essential oil to carrier oil and apply a couple drops to the affected area.
- Respiratory Health Peppermint oil acts as an expectant and helps to soothe allergy symptoms and stuffy nasel pathways. Use a 1:1 ratio of essential oil to carrier oil and apply topically to your chest and back of your neck. You can also soak a towel in hot water with 10 drops of peppermint oil and then create a steam bath by placing the towel on your head and breathing in the aroma for a few minutes.
- Energy Boosting Diffuse it or apply it topically to invigorate, stimulate and help improve concentration and focus. Apply topically to temples, wrists and the back of your neck.
- Headache Relief Peppermint oil may help to improve circulation and soothe and relax tense muscle. Apply topically to your forehead and temples for relief.
- Soothe Allergy Symptoms Peppermint helps to relax the muscles in the nasal pathway and clear out mucus and pollen. Diffuse or apply topically with a 1:1 essential oil to carrier oil ratio to your forehead, neck and chest.
- Soothe Digestion Peppermint oil helps to soothe the muscles of the intestines and may reduce nausea, gas, bloating and soothe Irritate Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Diffuse, apply topically to your abdomen, or take 1-2 drops internally.
- Freshen Breath, Teeth & Gums Because of its antimicrobial properties peppermint essential oil may help kill bacteria that lead to bad breath, cavities and unhealthy gums. Add 1 drop to toothpaste or use with water as natural mouthwash.
- Hair Loss & Regrowth Research shows that peppermint oil may increase the number, size and thickness of hair follicles, as well as, be beneficial for overall scalp health. Combine 1 drop of peppermint and 1 drop of rosemary essential oil, with a few drops of carrier oil and massage into problem areas. More on this here.
Peppermint Essential Oil Precautions
Some medications may adversely interact with peppermint oil so consult your healthcare provider with concerns about drug interactions.
Peppermint essential oil may decrease milk supply so use with caution when breastfeeding.
When using any essential oil, especially internally, use only the highest quality essential oils that are 100% certified pure, therapeutic grade, to ensure you’re getting a pure oil and not one with unwanted and harmful chemicals and toxins.
Quick Thoughts: Peppermint Essential Oil
- Peppermint may relieve pain and tension in muscles.
- Peppermint exhibits natural cooling effects and is naturally energizing and invigorating.
- Peppermint essential oil may soothe digestion and gut discomfort.
- Peppermint essential oil may be use to help reduce headaches and ease nausea.
- Diffuse 5 drops of peppermint essential oil to help awaken and energize your mind and body.
Read Next: Frankincense Essential Oil Benefits and Uses
If you’d like to start incorporating more essential oils and natural solutions into your everyday life, get Dr. Sara O’Connell’s free eBook: 10 Natural Health Hacks Every Woman Needs to Know.