Essential oils are becoming more popular as a way to treat common ailments without breaking the bank on a doctor’s visit.
While it’s important to get a professional’s opinion on serious or ongoing complaints, a versatile essential oil can tackle many of the complaints that a medicine cabinet full of over-the-counter drugs will.
Peppermint essential oil is a great relaxing agent, having anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties as well. A quick overview of things peppermint oil can help with:
- Cold and cold-like symptoms
- Skin issues
While there are some safety concerns with essential oils of all types, you can rest assured that with some basic information you can use peppermint oil to improve your life dramatically.
What is Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint is part of the mint family and is often used in baking. It’s easy to grow – sometimes too easy – and thrives in a lot of different conditions. It was originally a cross between watermint and spearmint and has since become its own species. It’s indigenous to Europe and the Middle East.
Peppermint essential oil is oil that has been distilled out of dried plant matter. While you can distill your own essential oils at home, you usually are better off purchasing them at the store.
Typically, you can find essential oils at most organic food stores and some specialty shops. If you can’t find it nearby, there are several online retailers you can purchase it from.
Uses for Peppermint Oil
Peppermint essential oil is one of the most versatile oils out there. It’s typically either applied topically, inhaled, or added to another carrier, like shampoo or bath salts.
In most applications, you want to mix the peppermint essential oil with another oil, like almond or coconut oil, before applying it to your skin. Pure essential oils are very strong and should never be applied directly to your skin.
There are plenty of uses for peppermint oil in every part of your home. Here are 21 common uses for it.
Clear Chest Congestion
Putting peppermint oil in a diffuser or adding a couple of drops to a steamy bath can help to clear out any chest or sinus congestion you’re having.
In addition to helping clear your chest congestion, you can use it to help tackle colds in general. It helps to relax your upper respiratory tract, helping to relieve many of the primary symptoms of a cold. Use it in a diffuser, apply it to your chest, or add it to a bowl of hot water and breath in the steam.
For Pain Relief
Peppermint oil’s anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe sore muscles and joints. Simply apply it to where you have the aches and pains. Be sure to cut it with a carrier oil first.
As an Energy Boost
While peppermint oil has relaxing properties most of the time, it can also give you energy. For an energy boost, add a drop or two to a hot bath. It’ll add quite the pep to your step!
There is evidence that the high menthol content in peppermint essential oils helps to reduce itchiness. Just rub a drop or two of diluted essential oil to your skin.
Between being anti-inflammatory and reducing itchiness, peppermint oil is great at tackling dandruff. You can add a couple of drops of peppermint oil to your shampoo or just rub diluted oil onto your scalp while showering to reduce the amount of dandruff you have. It may even help with hair growth!
A number of insects hate the smell of peppermint oil. Adding some to window ledges or other entry points can help limit the number of pests that enter your home.
Rats and mice also hate the smell – which is good to know if you have them as pets. Take a cotton ball soaked in peppermint oil and stuff it in the areas they’re getting in. This will deter them from entering your house.
Get Rid of Nausea
By relaxing your muscles, peppermint oil can help with nausea as well. Adding a drop or two of peppermint oil to pressure points – behind your ears in particular – or your stomach can help reduce nausea.
Peppermint oil, when diluted properly, can feel cool on your skin as well as helping with inflammation. When heavily diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil, peppermint oil can do wonders to soothe your skin after getting too much sun. It can also help with other minor burns and can provide limited protection from further damage, particularly when paired with coconut oil.
Essential oils are naturally anti-microbial. You can use this to your advantage and apply some peppermint oil to blemishes to help dry them out and combat bacteria. Be extra careful not to get any oil in your eye when applying it.
Eliminating Head Lice
Insects are not a fan of peppermint oil, and head lice are no different. You can use it to help eliminate adult lice.
While you should be cautious before using peppermint oil on children, mixed in with shampoo it can help get rid of lice. Be sure to also use a nit comb.
Peppermint oil is naturally relaxing, helping relax your airways and having an anti-inflammatory effect. It can also help relieve any congestion you have. Just apply a drop or two to your chest or use it in a diffuser.
Peppermint oil’s pain soothing abilities extend to headaches and migraines as well. Applying some diluted peppermint oil to your temples and the back of your head can help loosen muscles and ease the pain of headaches.
Heartburn can sometimes be worsened by spasming muscles in your digestive tract. If you apply peppermint oil to your stomach, you can relieve some of the symptoms of heartburn and stomach aches. The oil works to reduce inflammation and relax your muscles.
Gas and Indigestion Relief
If you’re feeling bloated, rub some peppermint oil to your stomach area. This will help relax your abdominal muscles and allow the bloat to pass more easily.
Overall, peppermint essential oil does wonders for your skin. The anti-microbial properties of essential oils help you fight off infection and keeps your skin looking good. Be sure to dilute it with a carrier oil first.
In addition to using peppermint oil to relieve routine aches and pains and deter pests, it also adds a pleasant smell to your house. You can also add a drop or two to potpourri to freshen it.
If you’re interested in making your own massage oils, peppermint oil is a great choice. It’s relaxing, and anti-inflammation properties make it an ideal option for massage. Be sure to dilute it heavily before using it for massage.
You can use peppermint oil to add a sweet smell to your otherwise bland soap. Add a couple of drops into liquid soap (be sure to mix it well) or meltdown soap base and add a couple of drops before pouring it into a soap mold.
If you don’t feel like adding it to your bath directly, you can mix it into Epsom salts and create simple bath salts.
Essential oils are helpful, but they come with risks. Pure essential oils are very strong. Even if you don’t have an allergy to peppermint or whatever plant you’re using, test a bit on your skin before applying it liberally. There’s always a chance you may have an allergic reaction.
Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil – such as almond or olive oils – before applying it directly to your skin. Never ingest essential oils or put it on sensitive parts of your body.
If you have pets, do some research before using it in the house to ensure that the oil is safe for them. Sometimes even diffused essential oils can be harmful to their health.
Consult your doctor before using on young children. Essential oils are intense for your skin and body – it’s only amplified in children.
Be sure to purchase from a trusted vendor – it’s not uncommon to find artificial fragrances labeled as “essential oils” or to see essential oils cut with a cheaper carrier oil before being sold. Essential oils are expensive, but a little goes a long way.
And as always, if your symptoms worsen or you start to have a reaction, be sure to seek out professional medical help as soon as possible.
The uses for peppermint oil are nearly endless, and a small bottle can help improve your life.