The fragrance and flavour of peppermint oil is instantly recognisable and widely loved. It's used in everything from lollies, toothpastes, balms and rubs. Peppermint though isn't just a popular flavour. It also boasts antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant, analgesic and antiedema properties.
Peppermint leaves were used by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks to soothe their stomachs. The plants was also used by Europeans in the 18th century for stomach ailments and menstrual disorders. The variety of peppermint with remedial effects is Mentha Piperita ; a cross between water mint and spearmint.
Here are some of peppermint's uses:
1. Muscle and Joint Pain Relief –Peppermint essential oil is a very effective natural painkiller and muscle relaxant. It is especially helpful in soothing an aching back, sore muscles, and melting away a tension headache. Apply diluted with a carrier oil on location.
2. Sinus and respiratory Care – Peppermint acts as an expectorant and may provide relief for colds, cough, sinusitis, asthma, and bronchitis. Peppermint essential oil has the ability to open your airways and act as a decongestant. Inhalation method (Use 1-2 drops and rub in palms of hands, cup over nose and mouth and inhale) or diffuse.
3. Natural Energizer – A whiff of peppermint essential oil is like a breath of fresh air. It clears your mind and helps perk you up when you're feeling fatigued.
4. Hair and Scalp care –Add 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil to your regular morning shampoo and conditioner to stimulate the scalp, remove dandruff and eliminate lice.
5. Allergy Relief –Peppermint oil is works by relaxing muscles in the nasal passages and helps clear out the muck and pollen.Use inhalation method or diffuse.
6. Relief for itchiness –Use in combination with with lavender oil and a carrier oil for a soothing itch relief balm.
7. Fever –Mix peppermint oil with a carrier oil and apply on neck, chest and on the soles of feet to help stabilize a fever.
8. Natural Bug Repellant – Dilute in carrier oil and apply to skin to protect against mosquitoes. Spray diluted peppermint oil on surfaces or pop a few drops into your floor cleanser to repel cockroaches, ants and spiders.
9. Skin Health - It's anti inflammatory properties make it useful for alleviating eczema and psoriases especially when mixed with lavender. The anti-microbial properties make it an excellent remedy for acne. Use diluted with a carrier oil.
10. Headaches and migranes - Peppermint oil has the ability to improve circulation and relax tense muscles. All of these conditions can cause tension headaches or migraines making peppermint oil an excellent natural treatment. Apply diluted to forehead and temples.
11. Relieve Bloating and Indigestion -Peppermint oil has been established as a natural alternative to drugs like Buscopan to reduce spasms of the colon. It works by relaxing the muscles of your intestines, which can also reduce bloating and gas. Drink as a tea or apply diluted around the navel.
12. Reduce Nausea – Drinking good quality peppermint tea or rubbing 1-2 drops behind your ears and using the inhalation method can help to reduce nausea.
13. Immunity - Peppermint oil has powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal effects, which is why it is used in so many alternative treatments. It is composed of camphor, menthol, and carvacrol, which are resistant to certain dangerous bacterial strains like E. coli, salmonella, and staph infections. The full range of resistance to bacteria is not quite known yet, but studies continue all the time.
14. Circulation - Studies have shown that as soon as the essential oil vapor touches the end of the olfactory nerve endings, there is an almost instant increase in pulse rate and blood circulation; helping to oxygenate the body's organic and increase metabolism.
15. Surpress food cravings - Peppermint has always been used in after dinner teas and chocolates as it not only helps with digestion but also affects the brain's satiety centre; helping you feel more content after a meal.
Peppermint oil's main components are menthol and menthone. Other constituents found in the oil are menthyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, limonene, beta-pinene, and beta-caryophyllene.
Avoid peppermint when pregnant or breastfeeding. Use only pure top quality peppermint essential oil and avoid synthetic diluted versions. At Orli we recommend Earth Yard's range of certified organic, single origin essential oils.