Peppermint Essential Oil Benefits & Uses

Posted on August 6, 2016 by Rebecca Graham

Peppermint essential oil has a long history of use which is documented as far back as 1000 B.C. It is said to have been found in the Egyptian pyramids. With uses that range from easing digestive issues, to soothing sore muscles, to enhancing mood, to flavoring confections, peppermint oil is an essential oil that should be in every medicine chest and kitchen.

Precautions 

Peppermint oil tends to be pretty strong and of a higher concentration than other oils, so it is best to be cautious. It is generally a good idea to dilute it with a carrier oil before use. It is also recommended not to use peppermint oil on children. And while peppermint essential oil is generally safe, it may not interact well with certain medications, so if your taking medications, talk to your doctor first.

Topical Uses

Use a few drops of peppermint oil with a carrier oil such as almond oil or jojoba as a chest rub when suffering from a cold. Menthol, which is derived from mint, can be helpful with congestion, stuffiness and cough. It is a common ingredient in natural and commercial chest rubs. 

If you have had a long day and your muscles are aching, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to your bath to soothe those sore muscles and help relax. You can also add lavender and geranium oils for a soothing combination to help relieve stress and stiff muscles.

If you are suffering from the summertime itch of mosquito bites or rashes, rub some peppermint essential oil-- again, cut with a carrier oil-- on to the affected area. As it turns out, the cooling properties of peppermint oil are also great for calming the itch of bug bites and rashes.

Great For Digestive Issues

 One of the most common uses for peppermint oil is nausea. Placing a drop of peppermint oil on the wrists or simply inhaling the scent can help to ease nausea.

Several studies have indicated that peppermint oil capsules with a special coating designed to prevent the capsule from breaking down until reaching the intestines, can help to relieve some of the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome-- symptoms such as bloating, gas and abdominal discomfort. On the flip side of that, however, without the enteric coating, peppermint oil can cause heartburn. So, if you are going to take peppermint oil internally, do it correctly.

The scent of peppermint can also help to curb digestion by making you feel full.

Aromatic Uses

Cold symptoms such as cough and congestion can be eased with a peppermint steam. In a metal or glass bowl add two to three drops of peppermint oil to a bowl full of boiling water. Place your head 10 to 12 inches from the bowl and cover yourself with a towel to keep the steam inside. Breath in.

If you are feeling drowsy, the scent of peppermint has been shown to help perk people up and make them feel more energetic. It can also be helpful for concentrating. Some parents of children with ADHD swear that using the scent of peppermint in the room when their child is preparing to do school work makes all the difference.

Other Uses

Got an ant problem? Ants do not like the scent of peppermint. Simply put a cotton ball with peppermint oil in the path that those little pests are taking and they will not stick around for long.

Add a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil to the inside of your trash can to help cut down on the odor and give the place a fresher scent.

The uses for peppermint essential oil are nearly endless. As one of the most popular essential oils around, it is definitely one you should keep in your cabinet.