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Peppermint essential oil benefits and uses are many and varied. In fact, this is an oil you can use from head to toe!
Peppermint is an aromatic herb in the mint family. It’s a hybrid mint that’s a cross between spearmint and watermint. It can be found naturally in North America and Europe.
Peppermint essential oil is distilled from the flowering parts and leaves of the peppermint plant.
The Latin name for Peppermint is Mentha x piperita. The main chemical components of peppermint oil are menthol and menthone. However, there are many more as well.
Key Chemical Constituents of Peppermint Essential Oil
- 1.8-Cineole (Eucalyptol)
- Menthyl acetate
Peppermint oil has a sharp odor that’s cool and refreshing. Its taste is similar. You may be familiar with the coolness in your mouth after you chew peppermint gum or something with a peppermint flavor.
Peppermint has been used for health purposes for several thousand years. Records from ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt mention that it was used for digestive disorders and other conditions
Today, Peppermint is a common flavoring agent in foods and beverages, and peppermint oil is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.
Peppermint Essential Oil Combines and Works Well With
- Ginger essential oil
- Fennel essential oil
- Grapefruit Oil
While some of the benefits of peppermint essential oil are based off of individual testimony, research is ongoing into its health benefits.
I’ll share some of that research below.
Today, peppermint is often used for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other digestive issues such as nausea, the common cold, sinus infections, headaches, and other conditions. Peppermint oil is widely used for topical use for problems like headaches, muscle aches, joint pain, and itching. In aromatherapy, peppermint oil is promoted for treating coughs and colds, reducing pain, improving mental function, and reducing stress and even allergies.
Uses and Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil for a Cooling Effect (Muscle Strains, Skin, etc.)
One of the most fascinating things about Peppermint Essential Oil is the cooling effect it creates on your skin when applied topically. Interestingly, the oil doesn’t actually cool down your skin. Instead, the menthol constituent in the oil interacts with the cold-sensitive TRPM8 receptors in the skin, which then tell your brain that the menthol is cold when it’s actually not. Eucalyptol is another chemical constituent that can create a cooling effect.
This can feel amazing on your skin but using Peppermint essential oil topically can also help you ease your head and neck tension. Try diluting Peppermint to 5% in a roll-on bottle so you can apply it to your temples or neck next time you feel a headache coming on.
It’s also great for muscle aches and strains. Combine four drops of Peppermint with six drops of Rosemary in one ounce of carrier oil or unscented lotion. Apply and massage on the area of concern for relief.
Finally, for a soothing and invigorating foot soak at the end of a long day, add a few drops and ½ cup of Epsom salt to a foot basin (if you are using it as a bath, add a few more drops and up to two cups of Epsom salt). Dissolve in warm water and enjoy.
Peppermint’s cooling nature is also quite helpful for itchy, irritated and hot skin. For extra skin-soothing benefits, try diluting Peppermint in Aloe vera gel!
Peppermint Essential Oil for Digestive Support
One of the most common uses for Peppermint essential oil is to help calm an upset stomach or nausea. Keep it in the car for carsickness, as well.
It helps to relax the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract so that you can properly digest food.
During my chemo, I inhaled directly from the bottle or diffused it.
Peppermint Oil for IBS
Some of the most extensive research into the benefits of peppermint oil has focused on IBS. IBS is a chronic gastrointestinal (GI) condition that can involve abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
A recent study reviewing 12 trials examined the effectiveness of Peppermint essential oil capsules when compared to placebo capsules for the treatment of IBS. Researchers found that treatment with peppermint oil improved abdominal pain and other symptoms related to IBS.
The specific ways peppermint oil helps to ease the symptoms of IBS and other gastrointestinal issues are largely mostly unknown, however some researchers believe that it is due to Peppermint essential oil abilities to:
- relaxing the smooth muscles of the GI tract
- having an anti-inflammatory effect
- affecting the types of bacteria that naturally live in the GI tract
- decreasing pain sensation in the GI tract
Peppermint essential oil or menthol, one of its main chemical constituents, has been used in combination with caraway to treat functional dyspepsia. This condition’s symptoms include bloating and abdominal pain.
A recent article summarized the results of several studies involving Peppermint essential oil/menthol and Caraway essential oil. Overall, this combination when used to treat patients appears promising in relieving symptoms associated with functional dyspepsia.
In another review of studies of essential oils for GI conditions in children and adolescents found that Peppermint essential oil was effective at reducing the duration, frequency, and severity of abdominal pain when compared to placebo.
Post-operative nausea is often a problem for patients. In one small study researchers studied the effect of inhaled Peppermint essential oil on postoperative nausea. They concluded that patients rated their level of nausea as lower after inhaling Peppermint essential oil.
Upset Tummy DIY Inhaler
- 7 drops Cardamom essential oil
- 5 drops Ginger or Fennel essential oil
- 3 drops Peppermint essential oil
- 1 blank inhaler
Add to an blank inhaler and sniff when your stomach is upset or if you are feeling indigestion or heartburn.
Add the essential oils to your aromatherapy inhaler and use as needed for an upset stomach or indigestion (if you aren’t a DIYer, you’ll love DiGize from Young Living, instead)
Peppermint Essential Oil for Relief from Pain & Inflammation
Peppermint essential oil is one of my favorite oils for joint pain and inflammation! My husband and I love using Peppermint essential oil to help relieve sore muscles, reduce muscle tension, and to help with headache relief.
Peppermint essential oil cools and relieves. If you want more of an icy/hot effect, you can easily combine peppermint essential oil with warming oils such as black pepper or clove bud for a cooling and warming synergy.
One study looked reviewed the effectiveness of the topical application of a 10 percent menthol solution for migraine treatment. They found that when applied to the forehead and temples, participants had a longer duration of pain relief and less nausea and light sensitivity compared to placebo.
Another recent study examined the effect of peppermint oil tablets on people with difficulty swallowing and non-cardiac chest pain. Over half of the participants reported an improvement in their symptoms.
Peppermint oil in a gel, water, or cream applied topically to the nipple area of breastfeeding women might be helpful for reducing pain and cracked skin. Menthol, which is in peppermint oil, should not be inhaled by or applied to the face of an infant or small child because it may negatively affect their breathing. Peppermint oil should therefore be used only after breastfeeding and then wiped off before the next breastfeeding session.
A small amount of research suggests that peppermint oil might be helpful to reduce spasms during certain procedures, such as endoscopy or barium enema examination.
Pain Be Gone Oil Blend
- 4 drops of White Angelica essential oil
- 4 drops of Marjoram essential oil
- 4 drops of Pine essential oil
- 4 drops of Peppermint essential oil
- 1 fl oz of Trauma Oil
- 1 glass bottle with coned cap (1 fl-oz)
Add the essential oils to 1 fl oz of trauma oil. Cap the bottle and shake gently to blend. Apply to sore areas you are experiencing pain as needed.
Peppermint Essential Oil for Mental Clarity & Focus
Peppermint essential oil is known for being a natural mental stimulant and so uplifting! Whether you are studying for a final exam, trying hard to meet a deadline, or simply feel exhausted, this oil will help provide mental clarity and focus.
I love to diffuse Peppermint essential oil with Grapefruit essential oil to brighten and refresh the mind.
It promotes energy and alertness, making it ideal for any time of the day. Bring it out bright and early in the morning, during that dreaded afternoon slump, or once you make it back home to the family after a long day.
Magnificent Mental Clarity Blend
- 4 drops of Idaho Blue Spruce essential oil
- 4 drops of Orange essential oil
- 2 drops of Peppermint essential oil
- 1 fl oz of Lotion – Unscented
- 1 glass jar (1 fl-oz)
Add the essential oils to 1 oz of unscented lotion. Stir gently to blend. Apply freely during the morning and afternoon for a burst of mental energy.
Peppermint Essential Oil as an Effective Antibacterial Agent
Peppermint essential oil is known for its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. This essential oil helps keep those icky germs at bay!
A couple drops in your diffuser is georgously minty and helps purify the air! Peppermint essential oil is a fabulous choice when crafting DIY cleaning products for use in your bathroom, kitchen, and on floors.
Fabulous Foaming Peppermint & Eucalyptus Soap
- 50 drops of Eucalyptus Globulus essential oil
- 30 drops of Peppermint essential oil
- 6.5 fl ozs of Castile Soap
- 1 fl oz of Jojoba Oil
- 1 PET bottle with foamer cap (250 ml)
Add 6.5 fl oz of castile soap to an empty 8 oz PET Bottle (250 ml) with a foamer cap or a soap dispensing bottle. Add 1 fl oz of Jojoba to the bottle containing the castile soap. Add the essential oils to the castile soap. Add foamer top to the bottle and shake gently to blend.
Peppermint Essential Oil for an Immune System Boost
When you’re stressed and tired, this can put additional stress on your immune systems and leaves you at risk for colds, flu, and other infections. Especially during cold and flu season, it is a great idea to use Peppermint essential oil to help boost the immune system and keep our systems running smooth.
Any recipe with peppermint essential oil as an ingredient is going to help boost and stabilize a compromised immune system.
Peppermint oil also has mild antimicrobial properties. Various studies have been performed to determine its effectiveness against different types of bacteria and fungi as well as viruses.
One study concluded that incubating peppermint oil with several strains of Staphylococcus aureus, some of which were antibiotic resistant, inhibited the production of an important bacterial toxin. This effect was dose-dependent, meaning that the effect increased with rising doses of Peppermint essential oil.
While this result is promising, the antimicrobial activity of peppermint oil may depend on the species of bacteria.
Peppermint Essential Oil for Respiratory Support
We’ve already talked about how Peppermint essential oil is cooling and calming, but those same properties make it ideal when you are making experiencing breathing issues due to colds, allergies and possibly even asthmatic symptoms.
Seasonal Allergy Inhaler
- 9 drops of Hyssop ct 1-8-cineole Oil
- 5 drops of Black Spruce Oil
- 3 drops of Lavender Oil
- 1 drop of Peppermint Oil
- 1 blank inhaler
Drop the essential oils onto the cotton wick of a blank inhaler, then place wick inside the inhaler. Snap on the end cap and unscrew the cover to inhale. Keep handy in your purse or pocket and use as needed.
Peppermint Essential Oil for Skin and Hair Health
Peppermint oil is often added to cosmetic products. There’s. not a ton of research, however, on the potential benefits of peppermint when applied to the skin and hair.
A small study examined the topical application of peppermint oil and the effect that it had on chronic itching. Researchers found that a one percent solution of peppermint oil led to improvements in how long itchiness lasted and the severity of the itch.
A different small study looked at the effect of applying peppermint oil on the skin to reduce itching during pregnancy. Researchers found that applying a 0.5 percent solution of peppermint oil twice a day for two weeks significantly reduced itch severity compared to the control.
An additional study on mice compared peppermint oil to minoxidil (Rogaine) and control compounds. The researchers found that a three percent solution of peppermint oil led to growth of thick, long hair in mice after four weeks of treatment, similar to results obtained using minoxidil. WHAT? WOW!
Other Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil
A few studies suggest that peppermint oil may help with other things, such as:
A 2020 review noted that peppermint has antiviral activity against viruses such as the herpes simplex viruses and influenza type A.
Peppermint oil is antibacterial against some species of bacteria — including Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus — in laboratory tests.
A small study of students suggests that peppermint oil may improve several measurements of athletic performance, such as jumping ability or grip strength.
Some Great Ways to Use Peppermint Essential Oil
- Diffuse Peppermint while working or around kids while doing their homework for an environment that is focused and energized.
- Add Peppermint to hot bathwater and enjoy the revitalizing scent and soothing aromatic steam.
- Inhale or apply it to your chest before and during a tough workout for a stimulating scent.
- Apply it topically to fatigued areas following physical activity for a cooling sensation.
- Put focus first in study areas with this crisp, cool aroma.
- Wake up shared family spaces first thing in the morning by infusing them with this icy scent.
- Refresh your cooldown space after a vigorous workout with its chilling fragrance.
- Peppermint essential oil has an invigorating aroma that can help create a focused environment when diffused and can create a cooling sensation when applied topically, especially after physical activity.
- Dilute 1 drop with 4 drops of V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex or olive oil. Test on a small area of skin on the underside of your arm and apply to desired area as needed.
Amazing Diffuser Blends with Peppermint Essential Oil
Candy Cane Kisses
- 4 drops Stress Away essential oil
- 3 drops Christmas Spirit essential oil
- 3 drops Peppermint essential oil
Afternoon Slump Pick-Me-Up
- 4 drops Peppermint essential oil
- 6 drops Orange essential oil
- 2 drops Idaho Balsam Fir essential oil
Get ‘er Done
- 6 drops Inspiration essential oil
- 4 drops Peppermint essential oil
Safety and Precautions for Peppermint Essential Oil
People who should avoid using peppermint oil include:
- People with a specific enzyme deficiency, called G6PD deficiency, should avoid using peppermint as an extract or an oil in aromatherapy.
- People taking certain medications. Peppermint oil aromatherapy can inhibit an enzyme called CYP3A4, which is responsible for breaking down many different types of medication. If you’re taking any prescription medications, talk to your doctor before using peppermint oil.
- Children and babies. You should avoid applying peppermint oil to the faces or chests of babies and young children. Side effects can occur from inhaling the menthol present in peppermint oil.
- Peppermint aromatherapy can also be toxic pets such as dogs and cats.