Peppermint oil is one essential oil that has been around for a long time. Its uses in human civilization can be dated as far back as 1000 BC.
When you consider the array of benefits and the variety of ways in which peppermint oil has been used in day to day lives, it’s no wonder that peppermint oil is a staple in many people’s cabinets. Its benefits are vast and so broad in scope that one article isn’t enough to do it justice.
However, to spread awareness about these essential oils’ positive health benefits to our body, we have constructed a comprehensive list of benefits associated with peppermint oil. We hope it helps encourage you to keep this essential oil in close proximity to you and your loved ones.
What is Peppermint Oil?
An aromatic herb, peppermint, belongs to the mint family. It’s a hybrid between watermint and spearmint and is naturally found in North America and Europe. Peppermint oil is very sharp in odor and taste, which is both cool and refreshing.
The essential Peppermint oil, on the other hand, is extracted from these peppermint plants and, as mentioned before, has a variety of substantial health benefits and uses. Apart from its obvious mouth freshening abilities, peppermint oil is widely used to relieve nausea, stomach issues, cool overworked muscles, etc.
The main chemical components that constitute Peppermint oil are menthol (50-60%) and menthone (10-30%).
10 Uses of Peppermint Oil
1. Reduce Nausea
Peppermint oil today, is a very popular remedy for nausea, due to its many anti-nausea properties. In a 2016 study, 34 post-op
patients were studied for post-operative nausea. They were all offered a nasal inhaler containing peppermint oil. It was found that their nausea levels were significantly different than before.
The patients were later asked to rate their feelings of nausea on a scale of 0-5, with 5 defining strong nausea. The average score went from 3.44 before inhalation, to a significant drop to 1.44 just two minutes after using a peppermint oil inhaler.
To cure nausea, simply inhale peppermint oil directly from the bottle. You can also rub 1-2 drops of peppermint oil behind your ears for the desired effect.
2. Promote Skin Health
Peppermint oil has been proven to have calming, toning, and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. It can also be used as an antiseptic due to its antimicrobial properties. Apart from this, peppermint oil can be an effective remedy for a variety of skin ailments such as blackheads, chickenpox, ringworm, scabies, greasy skin, sunburn, dermatitis, itchy skin, etc.
To apply peppermint oil topically, use 2-3 drops of it in combination with equal parts lavender essential oil to the area of concern.
3. Mouth Freshener
For centuries, peppermint oil has been a very popular herb used as a potent mouth freshener. Peppermint oil contains antimicrobial properties that effectively combat oral pathogens like candida Albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus fecalis, Escherichia coli, etc.
It is this ability of peppermint oil to effectively kill bacteria and fungus in the mouth that makes it a potent natural substitute for oral health.
A drop of peppermint oil with your store brought toothpaste, or a drop under your tongue before drinking a glass of water will help significantly in preventing cavities and infection in the mouth.
4. Promote Hair Growth and Scalp health
You are probably unaware of the fact that peppermint oil is an active ingredient in many high-quality hair care products, as it can naturally thicken and nourish damaged hair. It can be used as both a natural stimulant for hair growth and also as an effective remedy to avoid scalp infection.
The menthol in peppermint oil acts as a potent antiseptic that helps remove germs that may have built up in your hair. It is also used in anti-dandruff shampoos.
Simply add 2-3 drops of peppermint oil to your shampoo or conditioner to start seeing positive results.
5. Relieves Itchiness
There have been researches that suggest that menthol found in peppermint oil is responsible for inhibiting itching. A study consisting of 96 pregnant women diagnosed with pruritus was tested to verify Peppermint’s ability to heal the symptoms.
The women applied peppermint oil in combination with placebo or sesame oil twice a day for two weeks. The results showed a significant difference in itch in the treated group as compared to the group treated with a placebo.
To cure itchiness, simply apply 2-3 drops of peppermint oil to the concerned area, or add 5-10 drops to a warm water bath.
6. A Natural Bug Repellent
Bugs hate the smell of peppermint oil. Which, of course, makes it a great substitute for getting rid of small pestering creatures like ants, cockroaches, spiders, etc. Peppermint oil is counted amongst other plant-based oils such as pine, cedar, thyme, etc. as an effective repeller against malaria, filarial, and yellow fever vectors for 60-180 minutes.
A study has also shown that peppermint oil provides complete protection from against mosquitos for a whole 150 minutes, with only 0.5 ml of oil applied to the skin.
7. Improve IBS Symptoms
Peppermint oil has proven to be an effective remedy in naturally healing irritable bowel syndrome(IBS). Peppermint oil reduces spasms in the colon, relaxes the muscles of your intestines, and thus helps reduce gassiness and bloating. People who take peppermint oil have shown a significant reduction in IBS symptoms like reduced abdominal bleeding, diarrhea, constipation, and urgency at defecation.
You can take 1-2 drops of peppermint oil internally with a glass of water, or apply 2-3 drops to your stomach topically.
8. Alleviate Headaches
Tense muscles, bad gut health, and hindered circulation in the body can be key factors for a throbbing headache. Peppermint oil helps improve gut health, soothes tense muscles, and improves circulation, thus alleviating the headache.
Simply apply 2-3 drops of peppermint oil topically to your forehead, temples, or the back of the neck for the desired result.
9. Relieve Muscle and Joint Pain
Pain can push us to pop in multiple pain killers with their own baggage of harmful side effects. With peppermint oil, you get a natural pain killer and muscle relaxant that can help you keep those pills at a safe distance from you.
Peppermint oil has cooling, antispasmodic, and re-invigorating properties. We have already discussed how peppermint oil help relieves headache.
For pain relief with peppermint oil, apply 2-3 drops to the concerned area or add 5 drops to a warm bath for relief.
10. Sinus Care and Common Cold
Inhaling peppermint oil can help unclog sinuses and also help heal a scratchy throat. Peppermint oil acts as an expectorant that helps clear mucus, open airways, and prevents congestion that causes difficulty in breathing. Peppermint oil helps cure a cold, flu, cough, asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions effectively.
It also helps clear the mucks and pollen from your respiratory tract during allergy season. You can make a homemade vapor rub with peppermint oil in combination with coconut oil and eucalyptus oil. Alternatively, You can also apply 2-3 drops of peppermint oil to your temples, chest, and back of the neck.
The Bottom Line
There are currently multiple studies that are still being conducted to truly understand the potential of peppermint oil in making lives better. Studies that also show its promise inhibiting cancer growth and other chronic diseases have made many scientists hopeful of its application in the future.
That being said, today, peppermint oil is available in many variants serving a variety of purposes.
You can find peppermint oils, peppermint spray, and peppermint tablets in the market on the basis of your desired purpose. With it’s antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, peppermint oil is an essential oil that needs a special place in your medicinal cabinet.