Peppermint is one of my favorite plants, mainly because I can grow it without any trouble. Yes, I know it grows like a weed and is a nuisance in many gardens, but that makes no difference to me. I still love it. It grows on its own, smells good, and helps keep the bugs away. I also have fond memories of my Dad growing it in his garden. I remember sticking a peppermint leaf in my mouth every time I walked by the plant. So naturally, peppermint oil was one of the first essential oils I tried and learned to use. It turns out peppermint oil is one of the most versatile oils in existence. As a result it is often thought of as a staple oil and is a good oil to start with.
I actually have spearmint growing in my garden. Peppermint is a sterile hybrid of watermint and spearmint. Peppermint and spearmint have slightly different tastes but for all other purposes they perform almost identically as an essential oil. So I’m using “Peppermint” to mean “mint” in general in this post. Peppermint oil contains menthol, a compound that may stimulate muscles, and can chemically trigger a cooling sensation in the brain when eaten, inhaled or applied to the skin. This sensation can help alleviate pain and discomfort. Peppermint oil also has the following properties: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, astringent, digestive, insecticide, and stimulant.
I use peppermint in my diffuser most mornings to get going. Since my boys work right alongside of me they get the same benefit and are energized for the day.
Blends Well With:
Basil, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Rosemary, and Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil
Plant Parts Used:
Peppermint Oil is extracted through steam distillation.
How To Use Peppermint Oil
Indigestion—Peppermint oil can help with indigestion and hiccups (the kind that are a result of indigestion). Place one drop in a large glass of water and drink up. You can also choose to rub peppermint oil diluted in a carrier oil on your skin around your stomach.
Bad Breath—Since Peppermint oil is an antiseptic you can gargle with a mixture of water and oil. Place one drop of oil in 6 oz of water and gargle. You can also add peppermint oil to homemade toothpaste.
Nail Care—The anti-fungal properties can help you avoid nail fungus. Apply to nails diluted with a carrier oil.
Headache—Peppermint oil has long been used to help alleviate tension headaches. Apply diluted oil around the temples and the base of the neck.
Skin Care—Peppermint provides a natural cooling sensation when applied to the skin, which can alleviate pain. Use diluted peppermint oil to lessen the pain of bruising (do not use on open sores or wounds). It also improves the texture of oily skin and can be used in homemade astringents.
Congestion—If you have a hard time breathing because of a cold or allergies, peppermint oil can help. Place two to three drops in your diffuser and breathe easier.
Increases Immunity—Peppermint oil has a high concentration of vitamins C and A and as a result boosts your immune system. Place one drop in a glass of water and drink during cold and flu season.
Sore Muscles—Peppermint has anti-inflammatory properties which can help with sore muscles. Sore muscles are caused by inflammation in the muscles; rubbing diluted peppermint oil on those muscles can provide relief.
Anti-Itch—Peppermint can help stop itchiness because of its antiseptic properties and its cooling sensation. Apply a few drops of peppermint oil diluted in a carrier oil on the affected area.
Stress—Like many essential oils peppermint oil can relieve stress because of the effect of aroma therapy on the senses and the brain. Diffuse a few drops of peppermint oil or rub diluted peppermint oil on your temple for a stress break.
Concentration—Rub a drop or two of diluted peppermint (with a few optional drops of diluted orange oil) on the back of your neck or diffuse a few drops of peppermint oil and watch your ability to focus improve.
Helps With Emotional Eating—If you are eating and not hungry, inhaling or gargling with peppermint oil can help. Place a few drops of peppermint oil in your diffuser or place a drop of peppermint oil in water and gargle. Your desire to eat will diminish because you have a peppermint taste in your month or you’re inhaling the oil through the diffuser.
Revitalize—If you need quick pick-me-up (think kids) then put a few drops of peppermint oil in your diffuser and watch you and your kids re-focus and feel revitalized.
Cooling—Sometimes I just get hot in the summer. It’s not a heatstroke or dehydration, I’m just hot. If I apply a drop or two of diluted peppermint oil on my feet I feel cooler.
Bug Repellent—Peppermint oil is one of the ingredients in my own insect repellent that keeps away all kinds of biting bugs. However, spiders hate peppermint too. So a few drops of peppermint in a diluted oil around patios and overhangs works wonders.
Bathroom Scrub—The first time I made my own bathroom cleaner I used peppermint to make it scented. It is antiseptic so it helps kill germs but just having my bathroom smell like peppermint instead of chemical bathroom cleaner had me hooked.
All Purpose Cleaner—You can also add peppermint oil to your all purpose cleaner of ½ cup water and ½ cup vinegar. It will make everything smell fresh and clean.
Pet Odor Control—Do you have an indoor cat and a kitty litter box? Or, maybe you have a puppy or an older dog who have accidents. A little peppermint oil in the litter box or in the cleaner you use to clean up after your pets helps control odors.
Achy Muscles Blend
Use caution when ingesting any essential oil or applying undiluted oil to your skin. Use caution when using essential oils on children, use only the lowest diluted dosage. Children should not consume peppermint oil because it may cause distressed breathing. See more cautions and possible drug interactions here and here.
Don’t forget that I highly recommend Spark Naturals for all your essential oil needs and when you use coupon code AWCOW you’ll get 10% off your purchase. Click here to order their peppermint oil. Click here to order their spearmint oil.