Peppermint (menthe piperita) is a common essential oil used for a variety of things from stomach ailments, illness, headaches among many others. I found it interesting that the US is one of the main producers of peppermint essential oil and most of it is cultivated in the Pacific Northwest. Peppermint candy/gum has never been a favorite flavor of mine, but peppermint essential oil is a must have in my cabinet for a variety of different circumstances.
First and foremost, peppermint EO is excellent for many digestive system ailments. Some conditions that benefit from peppermint EO range from mild nausea and flatulence, to severe problems such as colitis, diverticulitis, crohn’s disease and IBS. After diluting peppermint it can be applied directly to the abdomen for cases of indigestion, if you experience nausea and vomiting caused by food poisoning mix 1 drop of peppermint with 1 tsp of honey and ½ C of warm water. Stir this together and drink for immediate relief IF you are comfortable ingesting essential oils.
Another common use for peppermint is illness aversion. It is an anti-bacterial, anti-infectious and antiviral oil that can be mixed with marjoram and lavender, diluted in oil and added to a baking soda, Epsom/Himalayan salt detox bath.
Detox/Illness prevention bath recipe
3 drops peppermint
3 drops marjoram
4 drops lavender
1 tsp oil (fractionated coconut, grapeseed, cammelia)
½ c baking soda
½ – 1 C Epsom/Himalayan salt
Mix together, dissolve in hot water and add to bath.
If you do happen to become ill, peppermint EO is a natural decongestant that works to loosen mucous and relieve sinusitis. Diffusing or breathing peppermint EO directly is beneficial for these symptoms. Drinking peppermint and lemon tea, especially while in the detox bath, can also encourage perspiration that can help kill any active viruses and bacteria. Using a cool compress with diluted peppermint may help to reduce fevers as well. And peppermint is always a go to for headaches whether they are mild or migraines. Apply diluted oil to temples, back of neck and spine, or diffuse for relief.
Finally, there are some other important uses for peppermint that can’t be missed out on. The first is using peppermint EO as an insect/rodent deterrent. Ants, mice and rats especially avoid peppermint. Apply to thresholds of doors or windows. It can also be dripped on a cottonball and put in any location pests are causing problems. I’ve even used it on cottonballs in my garden to keep out ants.
Another use for this powerful oil is its ability to stimulate people with mental/physical exhaustion, tension, fatigue and apathy. It is terrific in diffuser blends for these types of problems. Peppermint has also been known to alleviate muscular aches, pains, spasms and injuries. As well as nerve issues and vertigo, dizziness and fainting.
Peppermint is a powerful EO that must be diluted and should always be tested before using on the skin. It should be avoided by anyone who is pregnant, nursing or under the age of nine. If you happen to come into contact with undiluted peppermint EO and you feel a burning sensation do not use water! Rub the area with coconut oil or some other oil and the burning sensation should subside. Even though peppermint EO should be used with care, it is a wonderful oil that packs a big punch!