Peppermint has been used in candies and sweets for ages, and not without good reason! Extracted from the Mentha Piperita plant, peppermint essential oil has a very distinct, fresh, menthol smell. The oil itself is light yellow in color, and has a viscosity like that of water. In aromatherapy, the oil is known to stimulate the mind and increase focus. It also has healing properties for the skin, cooling it and healing redness and itches. Furthermore it helps with headaches, sinus problems, chest congestion, and bolsters the digestive system.
The peppermint herb is endemic to the Mediterranean, and is now cultivated in many other countries like the USA, Italy, the UK, and Japan. The oil is extracted by steam distillation just before flowering.
Peppermint oil has many healing properties. It is an analgesic, antiseptic, anesthetic, antispasmodic, antiphlogistic, antigalactagogue, carminative, astringent, emmenagogue, cephalic, cholagogue, decongestant, febrifuge, expectorant, nervine, hepatic, stimulant, cordial, stomachic, vasoconstrictor, sudorific, and vermifuge.
Uses of Peppermint Essential Oil:
- Because of it invigorating properties, it is excellent for mental fatigue, stress and depression. It revitalises the sprit and encourages mental agility. For students, it can help to increase concentration. It helps to give relief from headaches and migraines. It can also help shock, nervous stress and vertigo. This strong oil clears the respiratory passage, and helps with coughs, sinus congestion, asthma and pneumonia.
- It is also helpful for the digestive system. It stimulates the gall bladder and bile secretion. It can be used against colic, dyspepsia, crams, spastic colon, flatulence and nausea.
- It can also give relief from toothaches, aching feet, muscle pains, rheumatism and painful periods. When applied to the skin, it can relieve skin irritation and itching. It can reduce redness and inflammation. Because of its cooling action, it is used for dermatitis, acne, scabies, ringworm and other skin diseases.
How to use:
- Peppermint oil blends well with rosemary, lemon, marjoram, lavender, and eucalyptus. It can be mixed with these to achieve different results.
- Vaporisers – Add a few drops of peppermint oil into a vaporiser to clear up coughs and headaches. It will energise the mind and spirit. When allowed to diffuse in a room, it can act as an insect repellent.
- Aromatherapy baths – Add a few drops of peppermint or blended oil into a hot bath. This will provide instant energy, and help with aches and pains in the body. It can also help with colic, bowel disorders, cough, and skin problems.
- Using a sprayer, spray this oil all over your room to keep away ants.
- Make a mouthwash with diluted peppermint oil to help with bad breath and gum problems.
- It can be made into a cream or lotion, which will cool the skin and help heal skin problems.
When diluted, peppermint oil is bearable, but otherwise it is very strong. Applied undiluted on the skin it may even burn the skin. It should not be used on babies or pregnant women.