What is Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint oil is one of the many essentials oils which have been used for thousands of years.
Peppermint contains medicinal elements that make it a unique essential oil that has been adapted all around the world.
These are natural oils typically obtained by distillation and have the characteristic fragrance and healing properties of peppermint.
Peppermint, scientifically known as Mentha balsamea Wild, belongs to the mint family and is a hybrid mint of watermint and spearmint.
Like other mints, peppermint has elongated leaves with serrated edges, and a cluster of purple flowers crowns the stem in summer.
Native to Europe and the Middle East, the popularity of the plant has seen it spread to many regions of the world.
Peppermint Oil is Used for
Clinical evidence from modern research has confirmed peppermint oil as one of the most valuable herbal remedies.
They have discovered many peppermint oil uses.
The oil has menthol and menthone as the most active ingredients and is extracted through steam distillation of the fresh aerial part of the flowering plant.
Other compounds available in this oil are carboxyl esters, mainly menthyl acetate, menthofuran, 1,8-cineol, limonene, pulegone, caryophyllene, and pinene.
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It also contains terpenoids and flavonoids such as:
- and kaempferol 7-O-rutinoside
Peppermint has a cooling sensation and calms the body.
Additionally, it has microbial properties which are useful in alleviating bad breath and soothing the digestive system.
It has a long history in flavoring sweets, toothpaste, and mouthwashes among other things.
However, its usage has been extended to the treatment of common health challenges such as headaches, coughs,
irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion.
PEPPERMINT OIL USES
Relief from Colds, Coughs and Sore Throats
Peppermint oil has vital properties that relieve a patient from the weakening symptoms of flu, colds and sore throats.
Its analgesic properties act as natural painkillers relieving sore throat pain.
Peppermint has antibacterial components that fight off the accompanying throat infection.
It also reduces the swelling of swollen tonsillitis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Colds are usually accompanied with congested nasal pathways due to building up of mucus.
Peppermint OIl Decongestant
It opens up your nasal passage by thinning the mucus inside the airways offering much-needed assistance to your breathing system.
These same decongesting properties also provide relief to congested chests.
When mixed with the soothing properties of eucalyptus oil, mucus in the chest area is thinned, and coughs are relieved.
Peppermint oil is also used as an antihistamine as it clears out pollen and other allergens from your airways.
Peppermint Oil Essential
There several ways to take advantage of these multiple
healing properties in peppermint for your flu and cough treatment.
You can inhale through nostrils which gives instant relief.
Alternatively pour some oil in hot water, cover your head with a towel over the water and inhale the peppermint infused vapor for about 8-10 minutes.
Massaging the oil on your chest area or the area between your nose and mouth decongests the chest and nasal passages.
For sore throat pain relief, pour a few drops of the oil and a bit of salt in warm water, then rinse several times a day.
Peppermint Oil Pain Relief
Aching muscles and joints often occur to a large proportion
of the population at some point in their life.
Physically active persons like athletes, patients who have rheumatoid arthritis and engaging in back-breaking work suffer
from muscle and joint pain quite often.
Over the counter, painkillers are usually loaded with chemicals.
Peppermint oil offers a natural and safe analgesic to occasional or persistent aches and pain.
It also acts as a muscle relaxant due to its anti-inflammatory components.
Pain is numbed, and its antiseptic properties offer a cooling pain relief effect.
It usually is topically applied to the aching joint or massaged into the sore muscles.
For better results, one can make a healing balm by mixing a few drops of peppermint oil with eucalyptus oil.
Alternatively, pour several drops of the soothing oil into your warm water bath and soak for 15-20 minutes.
This will have a calming effect on your entire body.
Peppermint Oil for Hair
Healthy lustrous hair and a scalp free of dandruff or itchiness
are achievable with the introduction of peppermint oil in hair care regimen.
Massaging the oil into your scalp increases the blood flow to your hair follicles bringing with it additional nutrients.
This increased blood flow stimulates hair growth as it rejuvenates the hair follicles.
It also curbs hair thinning as well as preventing the further hair loss for those suffering from permanent hair loss.
Peppermint has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe frequently irritated scalps.
Dandruff, the white scaly flakes found on the scalp, is kept at bay by routine application of peppermint oil in your scalp.
These antiseptic properties also offer a soothing, cooling effect on your scalp, especially on stressed hair and scalps.
For excellent results, add a few drops of the peppermint oil to your shampoo and in your hair oil.
Massage it on your scalp on a regular basis to give you dandruff free healthy scalp and lustrous locks.
Peppermint Oil for Concentration and Increase Energy
By spraying it in a room or using a diffuser, peppermint instantaneously changes its atmosphere.
On a hot summer day, it brings out a cooling effect while waking up your senses which in turn increases your energy.
Alternatively, reinvigorate yourself by infusing some peppermint oil to your regular massage oil.
A hot bath infused with peppermint oil or inhaling hot water infused with this essential oil soothes your body as well as refreshing your mind.
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Peppermint Oil for Mice
Bugs like mosquitoes and fleas can be very annoying. Mice and
other rodents can be equally terrifying and annoying.
You can use peppermint oil for mice elimination.
It’s potent and robust smell is usually repulsive to most of these small animals.
Rodents have a high smelling ability. These highly sensitive noses are quickly irritated by the intense peppermint smell wading them away.
Peppermint also repulses insects like mosquitoes hence make an excellent natural insecticide.
To keep these annoying bugs and rodents away, soak cotton wool
balls in peppermint and put them in corners and dark areas where these little animals are likely to hide.
Peppermint can also be sprayed in your vegetable garden to ward off bugs that infest on your vegetables and flowers.
Peppermint OIl for Skin
Peppermint oil breakdowns the grease on oily skin improving the overall texture and appearance of the skin.
The anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint reduce inflammations and offer soothing, cooling relief to the skin.
Acne is also naturally treated with peppermint.
The antimicrobial properties control the amount of oil secreted from your pores preventing pore blockage or clogging.
This prevents the acne from spreading as well as gradually eliminating it.
Peppermint oil comes in handy by calming the inflammations, reducing the pain and hydrating the skin which naturally heals the skin.
Burn victims also benefit from topical application of peppermint oil as the menthol component in peppermint reduces the inflammation while the
analgesic properties offer pain relief.
The cooling effects of menthol offer much needed soothing to the affected burn areas.
Adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your lip balm will leave you with naturally hydrated lips with a bonus of the cooling, tingly feeling on your lips.
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Peppermint oil is topically applied to the skin when mixed with carrier oils like olive or coconut oil.
It can be combined with water to form a spray which is then sprayed on the affected skin area.
Peppermint OIl for Babies
Infants can suffer from a myriad of health complications of which over the counter medicine is not ideal or safe to use as treatment.
The most common problem is fever which can skyrocket very quickly if not properly managed. Peppermint oil is a great fever reducer in infants.
Apply it on the baby’s feet or rub it on their chest to regulate the fever symptoms.
Colic is another problem some infants go through. The endless, incessant cries of a baby for hours on end can be very frustrating, and energy was draining to the baby and its caregivers.
Peppermint oil is a natural alternative to pharmacy bought colic relief medicine.
A few drops of the oil in the babies bath water relaxes the baby and reduces colic discomfort.
Teething in babies can be a painful experience to some of them.
Rubbing the gum with a clean cloth with a few drops of this oil gives soothing, cooling relief to the inflamed gums as well as acting as a painkiller.
Chest congestion due to colds and flu can be reduced by rubbing some oil on the baby’s chest.
Mucus is broken down decongesting the airways making breathing more comfortable for the baby.
Peppermint OIl Stomach Pain
Irritable bowel syndrome affects a considerable percentage of women in the population.
The symptoms are alleviated by the anti-inflammatory compounds of peppermint.
Peppermint aid in relaxing the stomach and intestinal walls which in turn encourage efficient bile flow through the digestive system.
Fats are now easily broken down, and the ingested food is digested and excreted more efficiently.
Peppermint is ingested as capsules as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.
When your stomach produces a lot of gas which may lead to bloating and increased flatulence, peppermint easily counters this effect.
The muscle relaxing properties help the gastrointestinal muscles to relax reducing stomach cramping, pains and bloating.
Massage a few drops of peppermint oil and olive oil on your stomach to ease the indigestion symptoms.
Alternatively, drink water infused with peppermint oil before meals to prevent gas buildup and to bloat.
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Peppermint Oil Dental Care
Halitosis or bad breath syndrome can be embarrassing and can
affect your self-esteem.
Menthol gives you fresh breath while giving you a bonus cooling effect in your mouth.
It is found in leading toothpaste and mouthwashes for regular dental care.
You can make your mouthwash by mixing a few drops of the peppermint oil in water and swishing it in your mouth after brushing your teeth.
Gum and toothaches are painful experiences that we go through from time to time.
Anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint give relief to gums by reducing the swellings and inflammations.
Pain is also reduced as peppermint is a natural painkiller.
It also decreases the formation of cavities if regularly used as part of your oral hygiene.
Peppermint Oil Increased Blood Circulation
The body’s internal organs thrive on the nutrients and oxygen
supplied to them through the bloodstream.
When blood circulation is not at its optimal, our body’s metabolism is greatly decreased.
Inhaling peppermint vapor awakens the olfactory nerve endings.
Blood rushes to these nerve endings which in turn increase blood circulation.
The body’s organs get oxygenated blood, increasing the body’s metabolism.
Dementia and other nerve-related degenerative diseases can be
kept at bay as there is increased supply of oxygenated blood to our brains.
Peppermint Oil for Weight Loss
Peppermint can help your weight loss journey by helping you feel full.
You can use it in your diffuser at meal times to trick your brain or rub it on your chest or temples.
Peppermint Oil for Cancer
Studies are still being conducted on the effect of menthol on
Preliminary studies show a significant effect in preventing
the growth of prostate cancer cells.
It has also been seen to protect your cells against the harmful effects of radiation which often lead to cell death.
Chemotherapy is accompanied by a myriad of side effects which include nausea.
This can be managed by inhaling some peppermint vapor.
More clinical studies are underway to find the true potential
of this medicinal oil on cancer prevention and management which will go a long way in alleviating the symptoms and complications associated with cancer.
Peppermint Cleaning agent
Many essential oils, including peppermint, are known to have antibacterial and antiseptic properties and are widely used as natural disinfectants and deodorizing agents.
Peppermint has a cool, invigorating scent which makes a priceless addition to home-made spray cleaners and natural deodorant sprays.
Its antiseptic properties, you can use peppermint oil to reduce bacteria, fungus, and other microorganisms on many surfaces in the house.
Add peppermint oil to green your laundry routine.
You can also sanitize the kitchen and nix mold in the bathroom – all while making your house smell clean.
All you need is about 30 drops of peppermint oil, a ¼ cup of vinegar and a 500ml spray bottle.
You then pour the vinegar and the peppermint oil into the spray bottle and fill with water.
Shake well and use it to clean and disinfect your hard surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom.
Peppermint Oil Benefits
You do not have to spend money commercially-produced air fresheners.
With its invigorating scent, peppermint essential oil is an excellent
ingredient for homemade air fresheners.
It helps in to boosting the energy levels and improving concentration.
Making a homemade freshener is as easy as pouring a half a cup of jasmine rice into a small container, adding 15 to 20 drops of peppermint oil, and stirring the mixture to spread the oil evenly.
Do you normally get allergic reactions and skin irritation after using fabric softeners?
Peppermint oil will come to your rescue.
You can easily replace the chemical-laden fabric softeners with peppermint oil.
All that you need to do is to mix a few drops of peppermint oil with your unscented laundry detergent.
Although they have many powerful uses and applications,
essential oils, including peppermint oil, may cause allergic reactions in some people.
Health professionals have advised that any new essential oil must be
introduced into the body in a gradual manner.
For example, when you start using peppermint oil, start by applying on a small area either on the arm or the leg (Dont test with your face) and observe for at least 24 hours for any adverse reactions. It is also worth noting that since peppermint essential oil
is a hot oil it has the potential to cause skin and mucous membranes irritation.
Consequently, it is advisable to mix peppermint oil with a carrier oil.
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If you are going to be using peppermint oil orally, it is important to consider taking it in quantities commonly found in food or as advised by your doctor, Ingesting peppermint, especially in excessive quantities, may cause side effects such as heartburn, flushing, mouth sores, and headache.
Moreover, peppermint extracts may adversely interact with other medicines. Always take necessary precautions.
When taken with other natural supplements, peppermint may affect their absorption, and you should allow at least 3 hours between taking them.
For example, it reduces the absorption of Iron when the two are taken together.
t also increases the absorption of quercetin when taken at the same time.
From the above, it is evident that this prolific plant has many wonderful and practical applications.