Essential Oil 101: Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint is one of the most versatile essential oils that you can use in your DIY aromatherapy projects. I especially like to use peppermint essential oil on my homemade lip balm and massage oil because of its cooling and calming effect.

Peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and watermint and is one of the oldest European herbs used for medicinal purposes because of its antibacterial properties. Peppermint oil can be applied topically (provided it is diluted in a carrier oil) and taken orally.

Uses and Benefits

  • Relieve sore muscles, headache and stomach ache by rubbing peppermint massage oil to the affected areas. Peppermint oil has anti-spasmodic properties so it can calm the spasm that causes muscle cramps.
  • Peppermint oil is a natural alternative to breath fresheners. You can create your own toothpaste and mouthwash with peppermint oil as one of its ingredients.
  • Soothe digestion problems (flatulence or abdominal pain). You can either massage a few drops of peppermint oil (along with carrier oil) on your abdomen or drink peppermint tea to relieve an upset stomach.
  • Relieve nausea, motion sickness and respiratory problems (e.g. nasal congestion, asthma, etc.) by inhaling peppermint oil. You can add 2-3 drops of peppermint oil into humidifier or into a bowl of boiling water and breathe in the steam.
  • Treat dandruff and lice by adding a few drops of peppermint oil into your favorite shampoo.
  • Repel ants, cockroaches and mosquitoes because they are not fan of minty aroma of peppermint oil.
  • May treat symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) by taking enteric-coated peppermint capsules before meals. These capsules are specially coated so they don’t dissolve on stomach which can trigger heartburn for those people who are prone to such condition.
Side Effects and Precautions
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using peppermint oil.
  • People who are prone to heartburn are advised not to take peppermint supplement.
  • If you’re taking medications, then you have to consult first your doctor before taking peppermint supplement because it might have harmful interaction with your medications.

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