Peppermint essential oil (Mentha x piperita) has been used as a medicine in England since 16th century but the strong medicinal properties of these leaves were already known for thousands of years before that (Tisserand R., 1992). Greeks & Romans used peppermint in their food & beverages. Currently, Peppermint oil is extensively used as a flavoring agent & also as a fragrance component in mouthwashes, toothpastes, detergents, soaps & perfumes. This essential oil also has wide spread use in aromatherapy & holistic healing.
Peppermint essential oil used in 1% or even less dilution can relieve any kind of skin irritation or itching due to its natural skin soothing properties. Cleansing & decongesting the skin from dirt, grime as well as bacterial or fungal infection are other notable skin benefits of this oil.
Due to its strong anti-bacterial & anti-fungal properties peppermint essential oil is effective in treating dandruff & other scalp infections (Mills S. & Bone K., 2000). It has a stimulating & soothing effect on the scalp when used in the right concentration.
Benefits for respiratory system
For seasonal infection, cold & influenza associated with fever & headache peppermint essential oil can work wonders. It works as a decongestant, anti-bacterial agent as well as analgesic, promoting quick relief from the symptoms.
Benefits for digestive system
Peppermint essential oil is a known carminative & it promotes digestion. Being an effective remedy to control vomiting & nausea it is ideal for quickly reliving travel sickness. The oil also suggested for treating bile duct obstruction & liver damage (Blumenthal M. et al, 1998).
Benefits for nervous system
Peppermint essential oil helps in proper blood supply to the brain thus promoting a refreshing & calming effect. The natural analgesic & anesthetic properties of this essential oil relieve headache & neural pains.
How to use Peppermint essential oil
To get relief from headache & migraine pain blend 1 drop of peppermint essential oil with 2-3 drops of sesame oil & apply it directly onto the temples, forehead & at the back of the neck for quick pain relief. For best results, use the treatment as soon as the pain starts.
For relief from cold & cough, inhale 8-10 drops of the peppermint essential oil from a clean handkerchief for 10 minutes at the onset of the infection. Repeat as needed. Peppermint essential oil can be used in the same way for controlling travel sickness.
To fight acne & bacterial infection on the face, add 8-10 drops of the peppermint essential oil in 50ml of hot water & take the steam on the face for 10 minutes. It will clear & also tighten the skin pores.
For treating dandruff & scalp infection mix 5 drops of peppermint essential oil with 5ml each of Aloe Vera extract & coconut oil. Apply the mixture onto your scalp, leave on for 30 minutes & then wash off with plenty of water & a mild hair cleanser.
In case of minor stomach discomfort, rubbing 1 drop of pure peppermint essential oil mixed with few drops of carrier oil lightly on the stomach can bring quick relief.
Add 3 drops of peppermint essential oil in 100ml of cool, boiled water & use it for rinsing your mouth after meals to get rid of bad breath. Due to its analgesic & anesthetic properties it can also be used for relief from toothache.
Keya Seth Aromatherapy products enriched with Peppermint essential oil –
Skin, Body & Hair care range: Aromatic Spa Conditioning Body Wash
- Tisserand R. Mint family matters. The International Journal of Aromatherapy, 1992.
- Mills S, Bone K. Principles and practice of phytotherapy. Churchill Livingstone, UK, 2000.
- Blumenthal M. et al. The complete German commission E monographs: Therapeutic guide to herbal medicine. American Botanical Council USA, 1998.
- The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy by Salvatore Battaglia. Second edition.