Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint is a herb indigenous to Europe, and is a cross between watermint and spearmint. Peppermint oil is extracted from the fresh, flowering herb by steam distillation. This oil has been in use for thousands of years and has numerous health benefits.
Essential oils are made from herbs, and have many therapeutic uses, especially in aromatherapy. Many skincare and hair care products have essential oils as one of their main ingredient. They have the odor or flavor of the plant from which it is extracted; and are typically used in perfumes and flavorings.
The peppermint herb belongs to the Lamiaceae plant family. As mentioned, the essential oil extracted from this herb finds its use in various traditional and holistic medicines. It assists in treating various health problems such as nausea, headaches, toothaches, cramp, diarrhea, sore throats, indigestion, mental fatigue, flatulence, etc. Its fresh, minty flavor is not only refreshing but stimulating as well. Let's take a look at some of the health benefits of this essential oil.

Peppermint Oil Uses


Immune System

The oil helps to boost the immune system, thereby preventing a number of infections and diseases.

Respiration

This oil contains high menthol content, which helps in clearing the respiratory tract. If you place 1-2 drops of the oil on your handkerchief and inhale, it provides relief from nasal congestion. The oil also assists in other respiratory problems such as, asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis cough and cold. Due to its healing properties, it is used in various cold rubs too. When these rubs are rubbed on the chest or back, they provide relief from nasal and respiratory congestion.

Fresh Breath

The oil helps to get rid of bad breath. Add a few drops of oil to a glass of water and gargle with it. This will give a fresh, minty breath.

Dental Care

Oil of peppermint is present in many toothpastes and aids in dental care. It helps to remove bad breath and fights germs, thereby protecting the teeth and gums. If you have a bad toothache, take a little quantity of oil on an ear bud and dab it on your infected tooth, this might help to reduce the pain a little. Don't forget to visit the dentist though!

Indigestion Problems

The oil helps to deal with indigestion problems such as gas, motion sickness, and stomach upset. It is also used for treating heartburn when used along with caraway oil. People with a low appetite can also benefit from this oil.

Skin Care

The only thing our skin needs in summer is a cooling effect. Add a few drops of oil to your daily cream, mix it well and apply it on your skin that is exposed to the sun. It cools and relieves sunburns, reduces skin blemishes and also helps to prevent itchiness or other skin infections. If you have skin rashes, you can add a drop of oil to your bathing water, but before doing this consult your dermatologist.

Stress Levels

This essential oil helps to deal with stress-related problems. Add 2 to 3 drops of this oil to your bathing water, and see how it helps you to get rid of mental exhaustion, stress levels and depression. If you have a severe headache, apply diluted peppermint oil on your forehead and massage for sometime. The headache will get better and might stop too.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The oil helps to ease irritable bowel syndrome. There are capsules available which contain this oil. These capsules are specially meant for any stomach ailments and can be taken by adults as well as children.

Benefits of Peppermint Oil

Apart from many uses, the oil has a lot of nutritional value too. It contains iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and vitamin B. Due to the abundant use of this oil, it is immensely valued. Some have also used this oil for treating acne. Take a few drops of this oil in a cup of water and mix well. Now dip a cotton ball in this solution and apply on the face (avoid the eye area), leave it for 10 minutes and rinse off. You can notice the difference. If you feel a lot of burning sensation, immediately wash your face with cold water, though a slight burning sensation is natural due to the menthol content. The oil also has many antiseptic benefits. Some of the properties like, analgesic, digestive, clarity, respiratory, and repellent properties, make it a versatile essential oil.

How to Use Peppermint Oil

You can use the oil in your glycerin soap recipes too, or you can simply buy soaps containing this oil. It blends well with lavender, lemon, benzoin rosemary, and eucalyptus. People who suffer from athlete's foot can massage this oil into their feet by mixing it with petroleum jelly (1 drop for a tablespoon of petroleum jelly). Aloe vera is the best base for mixing this oil. If you are suffering from dandruff or a flaky scalp, applying aloe vera with a few drops of oil of peppermint is one of the best dry scalp remedies. It also helps to get rid of lice in the hair. To get rid of cellulite lines, dilute the oil and rub it over the affected area.
Hope I have provided you enough information on peppermint essential oil. If you get any side effects, after using this oil, consult your physician immediately. Now that you know a lot about this oil, why not add one to your essential oil collection?

Written by: Madhumita Shivade for Buzzle.com