The wonders of peppermint oil

written by Anthony Zappia | WELLBEING COMMUNITY BLOGGER



Peppermint (mentha piperita), like lavender, is quite versatile and should probably be included in your little kit of “must have” oils.

A study from the British Medical Journal in 2008 found peppermint to be effective in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, and research by Alan Hirsch has found evidence of peppermint being able to effect a sense of fullness after a meal.[1] Other studies have found evidence of peppermint’s ability to improve concentration[2] and memory[3].

It’s certainly one of the more popular essential oils in our household. We tend to use it for tummy aches, sore throats (at their onset) and in the car for long-distance trips to keep us alert. Oh, and before you rush out to buy peppermint tea, just keep this in mind: one drop of peppermint oil equals about 28 cups of peppermint tea.

Blend classification: Personifier
Odour: Type: Middle note (50-80 per cent of the blend); Scent: Minty, sharp, intense
Frequency: 78 MHz

Here are a number of ways that you can use peppermint essential oil:

1. Rub 4-6 drops over stomach and around the navel to relieve indigestion, flatulence, heartburn and diarrhea. You can also add a few drops to herbal tea for a similar effect.

2. Massage several drops of peppermint oil on to an injured area to reduce inflammation. If there is a cut, apply the peppermint oil around but not on the wound.

3. Rub several drops of peppermint oil on the bottoms of the feet to reduce fever.

4. Apply a drop of peppermint oil topically on unbroken skin to stop itching eg on a mosquito bite, or on a poison ivy or poison oak sting.

5. Inhale peppermint oil before and during a workout to boost your mood and reduce fatigue.

6. Inhale some peppermint oil before you set out on a long road trip.

7. For a sore throat or the onset of a cold, try 3-4 drops of peppermint oil with some lemon juice and honey. I’ve done a similar thing, but with lemon essential oil instead of the honey and lemon juice and it’s a knock-out (to the bug that is).

8. Massage several drops of peppermint oil on the abdomen to relieve nausea or travel sickness. Alternatively try inhaling the peppermint oil.

9. To relieve a headache, rub a drop of peppermint oil on the temples, forehead, over the sinuses (stay away from the eyes) and on the back of the neck.

10. To stop hiccups, apply a drop of peppermint oil on each side of the fifth cervical vertebra (up three notches from the large vertebra at the base of the neck).

11. Place two drops of peppermint oil on your tongue and rub another drop under your nose to improve alertness and concentration.

12. Diffuse peppermint oil in the room while studying to improve concentration and accuracy. Inhale peppermint oil while taking a test to improve recall.

13. Place a drop of peppermint oil on the tongue and inhale into the nose and sinuses to relieve congestion from a cold.

14. Add peppermint oil to food as a flavouring and a natural preservative.

15. To deter rats, mice, ants or cockroaches, place two drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball and place along the path or point of entry for these pests. You can also add 4-5 drops of peppermint to about 118ml (4oz) of water and spray your plants to deter and kill aphids. Just make sure you shake the water bottle.

16. Remove ticks by applying a drop of peppermint oil on a cotton bud and swabbing the tick. Wait for it to unhedge its head and then remove.

17. Mix one 15 ml bottle of peppermint oil into a 19L (5 gallon) tin of paint to dispel the fumes.

18. Place a couple of drops of peppermint oil on the pulse points of your wrist to cool off on a hot day.

19. Rub peppermint oil on your joints to relieve arthritis or tendonitis pain.

20. Place a drop of peppermint oil on your tongue to stop bad breath.

21. Inhale peppermint oil to curb your appetite.

22. Mix peppermint oil in a footbath to relieve sore feet. As peppermint oil will not mix in water, keep the water agitated while soaking feet.

Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

[1] Hirsch, A A Scentsational guide to weight loss. Rockport, MA: Element, 1997
[2] Dember WN, et al. Olfactory stimulation and sustained attention, Compendium of Olfactory. (Avery N. Gilbert, Editor)pp 39-46
[3] Moss, Mark, et al. Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang, The International journal of neuroscience 2008 118(1): 59–77.

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Anthony Zappia writes a regular blog about health and social issues, areas that he's passionate about. Twelve years ago he became especially interested in essential oils and their ability to enhance health and wellbeing. Anthony continues to follow the latest research and is himself a distributor of essential oils.