Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil is one of the most versatile Essential Oils that has been used for years in traditional medicine. It is derived from the Peppermint plant – a hybrid between water mint and spearmint that grows in Europe and North America.
Peppermint leaves were found in Egyptian pyramids back to 1,000 B.C. During the 18th century, Peppermint became popular in Western Europe as an alternative remedy for respiratory conditions, nausea, vomiting and menstrual disorders.
Topically, Peppermint provides a cooling and relaxing effect that provide comfort to inflamed tissues, calm muscle aches and fights infections. Menthol, Peppermint’s main active ingredient, offers a cool sensation when applied on skin.
It is a very appreciated flavoring agents, used in chewing gum, ice cream, sweets, toothpaste, mouthwash and other products that contain mint.
Although no studies were reported in humans, the Peppermint Essential Oil research indicates it has promising Antimicrobial and Antiviral Activities, is a Strong Antioxidant, has Analgesic and Anesthetic Effects in the central and peripheral nervous system. Also, it has Immunomodulating Actions and Chemoprevention Potential (1*).
Peppermint was indicated to display possible therapeutic efficacy in Chronic Respiratory Inflammatory Disorders such as Bronchial Asthma, Allergic Rhinitis and Colitis (2*).
The effects of Peppermint Oil and Eucalyptus Oil preparations on Neurophysiological and Psychological Effects were investigated in 32 healthy subjects. „The combination of Peppermint Oil, Eucalyptus Oil and Ethanol increased cognitive performance and had a muscle-relaxing and mentally relaxing effect” (3*).
The spread of drug resistant pathogens is one of the most serious threats to successful treatment of Microbial Diseases and Peppermint Essential Oil has shown Significant Antimicrobial Inhibitory Effect when tested against cultures of Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus fecalis, Escherichia Coli and Candida Albicans (4*).
1. Potential benefits:
- Has respiratory benefits, providing relief to sinuses and helping with respiratory infections;
- Improves colds and coughs conditions;
- Relieve muscles and joint pain;
- Increase energy;
- Improve headaches, nausea and morning sickness;
- Improve concentration and mental acuity;
- Provide seasonal allergy relief;
- Supports oral health;
- Stimulates hair growth and reduces dandruff;
- Improve skin condition;
- Provide sunburn protection and relief;
- Improve muscles and joints condition.
2. How to use peppermint essential oil
Peppermint blends well with Rosemary, Lavender, Marjoram, Lemon, Eucalyptus and other mints.
Diffusing – in order to feel energized, add about 5 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil in a 3.4 oz (100 ml) diffuser. The room will get a fresh scent that’s invigorating and may even help you start breathing easier.
DIY beauty products:
1. Body scrub with Peppermint Oil:
- 1 cup of sugar;
- 1/2 cup of Carrier Oil (you can use olive, coconut, grape seed, almond);
- 10 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil;
- 3 drops green food coloring (optional).
Put the mix in a jar, keep it in the fridge and use for 3-6 months.
2. DIY refreshing body spray with Peppermint Oil:
- Vodka / distilled water;
- Few drops of Peppermint Essential Oil;
- Vegetable glycerin (optional, but makes the smell last longer).
Put the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well before each use.
3. Home rub for headaches, respiratory conditions – apply 2-3 drops in a teaspoon of Carrier Oil and massage your head, back of the neck, temples to help Mentally Relax, Improve Cognitive Performance and Provide Relief to Colds and Coughs.
4. Home-made toothpaste – try this home-made toothpaste recipe:
- 1/2 cup baking soda;
- 1/2 cup coconut oil;
- 1-2 teaspoon sea salt;
- 5-7 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil.
Put the mix in a small jar. Use a spoon to get the paste out and avoid contamination and wash it after each reuse.
3. Safety and precautions
Besides considering the general safety precautions applicable for all essential oils (click here), you should take the following concerns with lavender essential oil in particular:
- Peppermint Oil can cause heat burn if applied directly on skin, so proceed with care and dilute it in a Carrier Oil.
- Never ingest pure Menthol or Pure Peppermint, as it may cause irregular heartbeats. Pure Menthol is toxic in doses as small as 1 teaspoon.
Studies and research
- A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.)
- The anti-inflammatory activity of L-menthol compared to mint oil in human monocytes in vitro: a novel perspective for its therapeutic use in inflammatory diseases.
- Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetric headache parameters.
- Antimicrobial efficacy of five essential oils against oral pathogens: An in vitro study.
- WebMD: Peppermint Oil Uses, Benefits, Effects, and More.