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May 4, 2017

The 10 Main Uses for Peppermint Essential Oil You Need to Know

uses for peppermint essential oil
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Peppermint essential oil is suitable for both internal and topical use. It should be noted that therapeutic grade or food grade essential oil is the only preparation that one should ingest. The oil from the category of aromatherapy grade is not suitable. Therapeutic essential oils are steam distilled to carefully extract the oil from the plant leaves. There are many uses for peppermint essential oil. It is antimicrobial, antiseptic, insect resistant, energizing, and good for digestion.

The benefits and uses for peppermint essential oil date back to 1,000 BC. Peppermint oil was actually found in the pyramids of ancient Egypt. Let’s review some of the uses for peppermint essential oil in more detail. Although the uses are not limited to health conditions, please be mindful of using essential oils to treat medical conditions. Always consult with your health care professional for advice.

10 Uses for peppermint Essential Oil to Boost Your Health

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Peppermint essential oil has been used to treat IBS by both western and alternative practitioners. This oil can reduce colon spasms, gas, and bloating by relaxing the muscles of the intestines. For this reason it can also help with diarrhea.

  • You can add a drop of essential oil to your water bottle and sip on it throughout the day.
  • It is also available in capsule form.

2. Colds and Sore Throats

Inhaling diffused or steamed peppermint oil can loosen mucus membranes of the sinus cavities and lungs. This helps shorten the duration of an upper respiratory infection. It acts as a decongestant. The oil can be soothing to a sore throat.

  • A good way to clear breathing passages is to place a drop or two of peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils in a bowl of boiled water. Then, breathe in the steam.
  • You can also mix a few drops of oil into a carrier oil, such as coconut or sweet almond. Use the mix as a vapor rub on your chest and neck.

3. Relieve Nausea

One of the common uses for peppermint essential oil is for the relief of nausea.

  • You can add it to ginger tea and sipped on. Ginger and peppermint work well together for nausea.
  • Also, you can also diffuse it into a room as aromatherapy for nausea.

4. Fight Fatigue

  • Just opening a bottle of peppermint oil and sniffing it can be an instant energy boost. It will wake you up faster than downing a sugary sports drink or a cup of coffee.
  • You can also place a drop on the back of your neck or behind your ears to improve your concentration.

5. Treat Dandruff

Peppermint is a great antiseptic.

  • Add a couple of drops to your shampoo and/or conditioner. This stimulates your scalp and fight dandruff and head lice.
  • Or you can add a couple of drops to bath water to help soothe dermatitis, rashes, and sunburn.

6. Breath Freshener

Peppermint has been added to commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes for decades, if not longer.

  • A little bit of this oil put into water for a gargle will freshen breath. But it will also kill any bacterial overgrowth in your mouth. Moreover, it may help to prevent cavities and gum diseases.

7. Headache Relief

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) cites one of the uses for peppermint essential oil is in the treatment of headaches. A study showed that peppermint oil and ethanol had a significant analgesic effect with a reduction in sensitivity to headaches. This combination has the ability to improve circulation and relax tense muscles.

  • Applying essential oils to areas of the forehead may reduce pain from headaches.
  • In fact, applying peppermint oil mixed with a carrier oil like jojoba will help to relieve muscle tension in other parts of the body. This is especially helpful after a workout. Just massage it directly into sore or tight muscles.

8. Insect Repellent

As mentioned above, peppermint can help with lice. That is because it is a natural insect repellent. One of the most successful uses for peppermint essential oil is in natural insect repellent products. Bugs just don’t like mint. Here is an insect repellent recipe that works for both humans and pets. You can also spray this in areas where you see ants and spiders in your home.

To get rid of dust mites and bed bugs in carpets try a mixture of:

  • 2 cups of baking soda;
  • 2 TBS food grade diatomaceous earth;
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil;
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil.

Place all of this in a glass jar with a metal lid. Shake well to mix then poke some hole in the lid. Shake this onto your carpets and let sit overnight. Vacuum the next morning. Bugs will die and your house will smell fresh.

9. Disinfecting Surface Cleaner

One of the most excellent uses for peppermint essential oil is as an ingredient in household cleaning solutions. With its antimicrobial properties, peppermint oil is terrific for cleaning and sanitizing bathroom and kitchen surfaces, plumbing fixture, and door knobs.

  • Add a few drops of this oil and some citrus essential oil into equal parts water and distilled white vinegar. Wipe down and disinfect your home.

10. Cooking and Flavoring

A pure therapeutic or food grade peppermint essential oil can turn into a tasty add to desserts, such as ice cream or mint brownies. You can make a mint hot coco with just a drop.

  • Add a drop to your morning smoothie for cool and refreshing flavor and an energy boost.

Refreshing Up

As you can see, there are many uses for peppermint essential oil. It can be used medicinally, as a cleaning agent, or as a flavor enhancer. Therapeutic, food grade peppermint essential oil is considered safe when you handle the appropriate amounts.

High quality essential oils are more expensive than the aromatherapy grade oils that are available in health food markets. That should not be a deterrent because it only takes a drop or two to benefit from these natural oils. If you have a little extra cash, it is worth investing in a diffuse product to take advantage of the aromatherapy benefits of peppermint essential oil.

Let us know what your thoughts are on peppermint essential oil and any other suggestions you might have to add to the uses discussed here, including any helpful recipes. We look forward to feedback from our readers.


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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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