Peppermint is a hybrid species of spearmint and watermint (Mentha aquatica). The essential oils are gathered by CO2 or cold extraction of the fresh aerial parts of the flowering plant. The most active ingredients include menthol (50–60 percent) and menthone (10–30 percent).
You can find peppermint in several forms, including peppermint essential oil, peppermint leaves, peppermint spray, and peppermint tablets. Menthol is the most active ingredient in peppermint and it gives the leaves their invigorating and energizing effects. Menthol oil is commonly used in balms, shampoos, and other body products for its beneficial properties.
Not only is peppermint oil one of the oldest European herbs used for medicinal purposes, other historical accounts date its use to ancient Japanese and Chinese folk medicine. It’s also mentioned in Greek mythology when the nymph Mentha (or Minthe) was transformed into a sweet-smelling herb by Pluto, who had fallen in love with her and wanted people to appreciate her for years to come.
The many peppermint oil uses have been documented back to 1,000 B.C. and have been found in several Egyptian pyramids.
Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil
Today, peppermint essential oil is recommended for its anti-nausea benefits and soothing effects on the gastric lining and colon. It’s also valued for its cooling effects and helps to relieve sore muscles when used topically. In addition to this, peppermint essential oil displays antimicrobial properties, which is why it can be used to fight infections and even freshen your breath. Pretty impressive, right?
Peppermint essential oil is one of the most versatile essential oils out there. It can be used aromatically, topically and internally to address a number of health concerns, from muscle aches and seasonal allergy symptoms to low energy and digestive complaints. It’s also commonly used to boost energy levels and improve both skin and hair health.
Peppermint has significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities. It also works as a strong antioxidant, displays anti-tumor actions in lab studies, shows anti-allergenic potential and pain-killing effects helps to relax the gastrointestinal tract, and may be chemopreventive.
It’s no wonder why peppermint oil is one of the most popular essential oils in the world and why I recommend that everyone has it in his or her medicine cabinet at home.
How to Uses
- The top uses for peppermint oil and peppermint benefits include its ability to:
- Relieve muscle and joint pain
- Provide sinus care and other respiratory benefits
- Provide seasonal allergy relief
- Increase energy and improve exercise performance
- Alleviate headaches
- Improve IBS symptoms
- Freshen breath and support oral health
- Promote hair growth and reduce dandruff
- Relieve itchiness
- Repel bugs naturally
- Reduce nausea
- Improve colic symptoms
- Improve skin health
- Provide sunburn protection and relief
- What are the side effects of peppermint essential oil? For people with a sensitivity to peppermint oil, it may cause headaches, heartburn, and adverse skin reactions. It should not be used on the skin of infants or young children
Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid.
Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with a carrier oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.
Blends well with Sweet Orange, Frankincense, Tea Tree.
Want to add Peppermint oil to your next diffuser blend? Luckily, there are plenty of essential oils that pair well with Peppermint oil, and can help you to make a lovely homemade diffuser blend. Peppermint essential oil blends well with Oregano, Marjoram, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary, and Melaleuca (Tea Tree oil) essential oils for diffusion.
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