6 Reasons You Need Peppermint Essential Oil in Your Life
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil has a clean, minty scent that is energizing and refreshing. The oil comes from the fresh flowering peppermint plant, which is common in Europe and North America. Peppermint oil has many practical applications, making it an essential oil you'll always want to have on hand.
Natural Energy Booster
We all need a pick-me-up from time to time, and peppermint essential oil is a natural alternative to energy drinks and caffeine. I like to use it on those afternoons when I’m dragging a bit. I often add peppermint and lavender essential oil to my diffuser (for more on diffusers, see How to Get the Most Out of Your Essential Oils). This mix of essential oils is both energizing and relaxing; it's one of my favorite combinations.
In addition to providing an energy boost, peppermint essential oil may also help improve concentration and focus for people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Upset Stomach and Nausea Relief
When I was pregnant with my kids, I drank a lot of peppermint tea, and I still drink it when I'm feeling queasy or nauseous. Like peppermint tea, peppermint essential oil is helpful for an upset stomach, car sickness, nausea, or indigestion. And research has found that it can help relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
You can rub a drop of diluted peppermint oil (I like to dilute it in fractionated coconut oil) for relief of these symptoms. Inhaling the scent of the oil from a diffuser has a similar effect.
Headaches and Muscle Soreness
Peppermint essential oil contains menthol, which is helpful for both headaches and for easing muscle soreness. Early research indicates that peppermint essential oil may help ease tension headaches. One study found that applying peppermint essential oil to the temples in a concentration of 10% was roughly as effective as acetaminophen (Tylenol) in relieving tension headaches. To help soothe sore muscles, massage diluted peppermint oil into the affected muscles, or add a few drops to a warm (not hot) bath, and soak for 15 minutes or more.
Relief of Respiratory Symptoms
This oil is an excellent expectorant and decongestant, so it is helpful for clearing clogged and congested sinuses. The menthol in peppermint oil in particular is a good decongestant because it thins mucus and also helps to loosen and break up phlegm. Therefore, peppermint essential oil is sometimes found in chest rubs that are intended to help relieve respiratory congestion. And it's an important ingredient in our Breathe Easy products as well. It also contains rosmarinic acid, a compound that counters inflammation-causing chemicals that can trigger asthma.
Healthy Teeth, Skin, and Hair
Because of it’s fresh taste, peppermint oil is found in many natural toothpastes and mouthwashes. It may also be more effective than the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine in preventing the accumulation of cavity-causing biofilm on the teeth. To use peppermint oil in your dental care routine, just add one drop to your toothpaste, and brush and rinse as usual.
When added to skin care products, such as lotions, it gives those products antiseptic and antimicrobial properties and creates a cooling sensation on the skin by constricting the capillaries. Peppermint oil can also help heal cracked lips, so it's an excellent ingredient for lip balms.
Peppermint essential oil can help eliminate dandruff and even lice, can help control frizzy hair, and may even contribute to hair growth. To use peppermint oil for your hair, just add 10 to 20 drops to your shampoo, shake well, and wash as usual.
Natural Insect Repellent
This oil can also be used to repel insects and keep them out of the house. Add a couple of drops of peppermint oil to cotton balls, and place them around the house wherever needed. Clove essential oil can be used for the same purpose.
With so many different ways to use peppermint essential oil, you'll always want to have it on hand! How do you use peppermint oil?
Caution: Like all essential oils, peppermint is very concentrated, so it must be diluted before it is applied to the skin. Undiluted peppermint essential oil may cause burning or irritation. Make sure you dilute peppermint (and all other essential oils) before use. For more information about how to dilute essential oils, see our post on An Introduction to Lavender Essential Oil.
Children under the age of 6 generally do not tolerate peppermint well. Keep it out of their reach, and avoid using peppermint essential oil on them.
Axe, Josh. "Top 25 Peppermint Oil Uses and Benefits." Dr. Axe. Web. 14 December 2017.
"Bronchitis." University of Maryland Medical Center. Web. 14 December 2017.
Mercola, Joseph. "Peppermint Oil: A Potent Oil with the Power of Menthol." Mercola.com. Web. 14 December 2017.
"Tension Headache." University of Maryland Medical Center. Web. 14 December 2017.
About the Author
Hi, I'm Katie! I love writing for the Blog and working as a Verefina Communications Specialist! I'm also the creator of An Ever Green Life, a blog that seeks to empower my readers to make changes that will improve their health and help protect our environment.