Peppermint oil is one of the most versatile essential oils out there. It can be used aromatically, topically and internally to address a number of health concerns, from muscles aches and seasonal allergy symptoms to low energy and digestive complaints.
It’s also commonly used to boost energy levels and improve both skin and hair health.
A review conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University found that peppermint has significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities. It also:
-works as a strong antioxidant
-displays anti-tumor actions in lab studies
-shows anti-allergenic potential
-has pain-killing effects
-helps relax the gastrointestinal tract
-may be chemopreventive
It’s no wonder why peppermint oil is one of the most popular essential oils in the world and why I recommend that everyone has it in his or her medicine cabinet at home.
What Is Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint is a hybrid species of spearmint and water mint (Mentha aquatica). The essential oils are gathered by CO2 or cold extraction of the fresh aerial parts of the flowering plant.
The most active ingredients include menthol (50 percent to 60 percent) and menthone (10 percent to 30 percent).
You can find peppermint in several forms, including peppermint essential oil, peppermint leaves, peppermint spray and peppermint tablets. The active ingredients in peppermint give the leaves their invigorating and energizing effects.
Menthol oil is commonly used in balms, shampoos and other body products for its beneficial properties.
Not only is peppermint oil one of the oldest European herbs used for medicinal purposes, but other historical accounts date its use to ancient Japanese and Chinese folk medicine. It’s also mentioned in Greek mythology when the nymph Mentha (or Minthe) was transformed into a sweet-smelling herb by Pluto, who had fallen in love with her and wanted people to appreciate her for years to come.
The many peppermint oil uses have been documented back to 1000 B.C. and have been found in several Egyptian pyramids.
Today, peppermint oil is recommended for its anti-nausea impacts and soothing effects on the gastric lining and colon. It’s also valued for its cooling effects and helps relieve sore muscles when used topically.
In addition to this, peppermint essential oil displays antimicrobial properties, which is why it can be used to fight infections and even freshen your breath. Pretty impressive, right?
Top 15 Uses and Benefits
Some of the many uses and benefits of peppermint oil include:
1. Relieves Muscle and Joint Pain
If you are wondering if peppermint oil is good for pain, the answer is a resounding “yes!” Peppermint essential oil is a very effective natural painkiller and muscle relaxant.
It also has cooling, invigorating and antispasmodic properties. Peppermint oil is especially helpful in alleviating a tension headache. One clinical trial indicates that it performs as well as acetaminophen.
Another study shows that peppermint oil applied topically has pain relief advantages associated with fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome. Researchers found that peppermint oil, eucalyptus, capsaicin and other herbal preparations may be helpful because they work as topical analgesics.
To use peppermint oil for pain relief, simply apply two to three drops topically to the area of concern three times daily, add five drops to a warm bath with Epsom salt or try a homemade muscle rub. Combining peppermint with lavender oil is also a great way to help your body relax and reduce muscle pain.
2. Sinus Care and Respiratory Aid
Peppermint aromatherapy can help unclog your sinuses and offer relief from a scratchy throat. It acts as a refreshing expectorant, helping open your airways, clear mucus and reduce congestion.
It also is one of the best essential oils for colds, the flu, cough, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions.
Lab studies show that the compounds found in peppermint oil have antimicrobial, antiviral and antioxidant properties, meaning it may also help fight infections that lead to symptoms involving the respiratory tract.
Mix peppermint oil it with coconut oil and eucalyptus oil to make my homemade vapor rub. You can also diffuse five drops of peppermint or apply two to three drops topically to your temples, chest and back of neck.
3. Seasonal Allergy Relief
Peppermint oil is highly effective at relaxing muscles in your nasal passages and helping clear out the muck and pollen from your respiratory tract during allergy season. It’s considered one of the best essential oils for allergies because of its expectorant, anti-inflammatory and invigorating properties.
A lab study published in the European Journal of Medical Research found that peppermint compounds displayed potential therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders, such as allergic rhinitis, colitis and bronchial asthma.
To help relieve seasonal allergies symptoms with your own DIY product, diffuse peppermint and eucalyptus oil at home, or apply two to three drops of peppermint topically to your temples, chest and back of neck.