If you’re someone who’s into natural remedies and are always on the hunt for new ways to ensure you are feeling your best, you may have dabbled in essential oils before. Using essential oils can be a fantastic way to give your health a boost when it’s needed and can serve to heal many ailments you may face.
This said every essential oil has its own purpose. Some are more targeted towards helping you achieve a single task. While others are multi-purposeful, like peppermint oil, which we’re talking about here today.
Peppermint oil just happens to be one of the most versatile oils that you can use. In fact, it’s so versatile that just about everyone would benefit from having it in their plan. While most will turn to use regular peppermint oil, some may use other forms of peppermint such as peppermint spray, peppermint tablets, as well as peppermint essential oils.
As people have been using peppermint oil for health-related purposes since as early as 1000 B.C., there has been quite a bit of research done on it and we are now learning the many different ways it can provide advantages.
Let’s go over some of the best reasons to use peppermint oil so that you can see for yourself why it’s such a great investment to have in your medicine cabinet (or essential oil cabinet if you have one!).
Topical Relief From Muscle And Joint Pain
Sore achy joints? Just finished a hard workout and looking to find relief? The good news is peppermint oil can help. Simply rub this into the muscle and it can actually act as a painkiller and offer relaxing properties1.
Peppermint oil has a natural cooling effect, which most find very soothing on the skin and will instantly help you feel better.
Those who suffer from fibromyalgia may also notice that peppermint oil helps to calm down some of their symptoms. As this condition is also muscle and joint-related so that’s something important to note.
If you want to use peppermint oil for this purpose, you’ll simply want to add 2-3 drops to one area of your body a few times a day and rub it in with some force (this helps boost circulation and get the peppermint oil into the skin and tissues). Or you can simply add a few drops to a hot bath and soak in it for 10-15 minutes.
The bath would be good if you’re sore all over and battling aches and pains while rubbing it in topically is more localized.
Relief Due To Sinus Issues
If you have a stuffy nose, whether due to the common cold and flu or because you are suffering from seasonal allergies, peppermint oil can definitely assist you with these issues.
Peppermint oil will help to work as an expectorant in the body, opening up the airways and helping you breathe with ease again2. If you are pregnant or just don’t react favorably to common over the counter allergy or cold medications (or you don’t like their drowsy side effects), this makes peppermint oil a great alternative.
It can also help to reduce congestion and may be beneficial in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, as well as other respiratory conditions you may face.
If you are coming down with the common cold and flu, you might just find that peppermint oil is beneficial for helping you get past your illness. This is because it also presents some antimicrobial effects on the body, helping to wash away the invading bacteria that may be residing in your system.
When these conditions strike, chances are you would do just about anything to get past them.
Antioxidants are incredibly important to be taking in on a regular basis, yet sadly, something that many are missing out on. Antioxidants help to combat free radical damage that may occur, which is like the rust that slowly builds up on a car. Slowly that rust builds and builds and sooner or later, irreversible damage occurs. Oxidation, which is caused by free radicals can also lead to increased aging effects.
Fortunately, peppermint oil is a strong source of antioxidants, so it can help you increase your numbers3.
Improved Memory And Alertness
Another unique benefit of peppermint oil is that it can help to improve your cognitive state. By giving you better focus, concentration, and overall alertness4. It’s often said that one of the best things you can do if you are going into an exam or big work meeting, for instance, is to chew peppermint gum because it can help give your brain a big boost. Peppermint oil can do a similar thing.
Simply just inhaling the oil can help to get your brain working maximally and is readily available when you need it. In some cases chewing gum may not be an option (such as if you are giving a presentation and need to speak clearly), in which case using peppermint oil is a great alternative.
Enhanced Physical Energy
Athletes may also find that using peppermint oil helps to boost their physical energy as well. While it may not give you the same boost as say caffeine would, if you are exercising late at night or just sensitive to caffeine and don’t want to take it, peppermint oil can stand in its place.
Research has shown that a single dose of peppermint oil may help to improve overall physiological parameters taking place during the workout as well as help boost overall performance.
One area that peppermint oil can help improve is the function of the lungs during exercise. Helping you to take in more air than you normally would. This can help you side-step fatigue better, improving overall endurance rates and ensuring that you are not fatiguing prematurely.
Help For Headaches
If you’re one to suffer from headaches quite often, peppermint oil may be a great natural treatment that you’ll want to check out. Headaches can be very problematic for some people if they are suffering from them on a regular basis and at times, it can be challenging to focus on much else.
Many who deal with tension headaches or migraines find that peppermint oil can take the sting out of both of these scenarios and get you feeling your best quickly5.
You’ll want to apply the oil to your temples and forehead and rub in a circular motion for a few minutes to reap the full effects. Normally you’ll start noticing some improvements in how you’re feeling within the first 10-15 minutes.
This can be a significant improvement from taking over the counter drugs for headaches as your first choice. Most of those should not be taken on a regular basis anyway and could come with unwanted side effects. Plus, they can be very hard on the stomach.
Improved IBS Symptoms
IBS is another condition that many people deal with that can be quite unbearable at times. If you’re stuck in the bathroom and don’t even want to leave your house, it doesn’t take much to realize how significant a problem this is for you.
By using peppermint oil, you can actually help to lower the spasms taking place in the colon while also relaxing the muscles of the intestines. This will reduce the gassiness and bloating you feel and take control of your symptoms.
Do note that in some cases, peppermint oil won’t work right away. So this may be something you need to use on a daily basis for a few weeks at a time before you start feeling some improvements. But if you stick with it, you should see a reduction in abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, as well as that sense of urgency you feel when you ‘have to go.’
To treat IBS, you’ll need to get the peppermint oil into your digestive tract, so add a few drops of it to a glass of water and then drink the water down. Do this before most of your meals and you should start to notice the benefits6.
Some people do find some relief in applying it topically to the abdomen as well, but generally speaking, using it internally is your best option.
Those who are struggling with IBS will also definitely want to get their hands on a good probiotic product. A lack of healthy bacteria in the gut can also be a primary reason for the development of IBS in the first place.
A product such as P3-OM will help restore your levels back to where they should be quick while helping your good bacteria thrive from then onward. Just doing this can often provide relief for those who are dealing with unwanted digestive woes.
An article about the importance of peppermint in your health care plan would not be complete without some mention of its impact on your breath and dental hygiene.
Not only can peppermint help to make your breath nice and fresh, but it’s also great for helping to lower the level of unwanted bacteria that reside in the mouth as well.
While it’ll never be an excuse for not brushing or flossing, it can definitely be used to help keep the breath as fresh as possible and prevent cavities long term.
Used in conjunction with a good oral health routine, your dentist will see a noticeable difference at your next appointment.
Hair Loss Help
Hair loss is something that many people experience, at any point in their lives and it can be quite devastating while going through it. While for some, hair loss is just temporary and will grow back shortly after (such as those losing hair due to stress or because of pregnancy), for others, hair loss is a more permanent thing – or so it seems.
While those who have true alopecia may not ever see their hair regrow back, many who are dealing with hair loss can see some regrowth when they treat their scalp with the right products.
Peppermint oil may help7. In some research, it’s been noted that when peppermint is applied to the scalp for a period of four weeks, there is an increase in the number of hair follicles residing on the scalp. It also showed improvement in overall follicle depth and some thickness of the hair as well.
Many people who are dealing with this condition try other over the counter shampoos and conditioners, typically which contain minoxidil and peppermint oil proven to be more beneficial.
So you might just want to take the natural route if you are dealing with hair loss and looking for fast and effective treatment.
If you wish to give this a try, you’ll want to simply add 2-3 drops of peppermint oil to your shampoo and conditioner and then make sure to leave the shampoo and conditioner on the hair for at least a few minutes while you’re in the shower. Or, take a bath and let it soak in the hair for a while. The steam and heat from the water will help the oil to penetrate the scalp and get it working optimally again.
Alternatively, you can just apply a few drops of peppermint oil directly to the scalp where you are experiencing hair loss during the shower, rubbing it in for a few minutes before rinsing.
Help For Itching
It’s a topic that few people ever really want to talk about, but if you’re dealing with severe itching, you are no doubt after a solution – and fast. Itching, no matter where it is on your body is downright uncomfortable and if it’s in a place where it’s not appropriate to do it or one that’s hard to reach (such as that one spot on your back!), it is a real drag.
The good news is that peppermint may help you get past the itchiness if you are using it regularly. This is another treatment where you will want to apply the peppermint oil for a few weeks before evaluating results. As it can take a bit of time to really see the full effects taking place, but with consistency, you should notice improvement.
To use peppermint oil to help fight itching, simply apply a few drops to the impacted area or again, soak in a warm bath that you’ve added some peppermint extract to.
If bugs seem to flock to you during the summer months, you’re likely good friends with bug spray by now. But it’s no secret bug spray comes with a rather off-putting scent – one that makes most people avert their noses.
The good news is that peppermint can offer similar benefits but with a much nicer scent. Most people won’t mind putting peppermint on their body and it offers a similar benefit of shooing those bugs away.
This can also work well if you are at home and trying to avoid having bugs flock to your deck. Put a lit peppermint candle on the deck and soon, they won’t be a problem.
Finally, one last thing you may find peppermint oil useful for is lowering the level of nausea you experience on a day to day basis if you are someone who has this issue. Often it’s situational nausea that is the problem – nausea after operations for instance or due to pregnancy. When this is the case, peppermint oil may help to provide some fast and effective relief.
The method of using peppermint oil in this situation would be to simply inhale it when you are feeling nauseous and you should find that this helps decrease the symptoms8.
Another method for those who are experiencing it regularly is to add a drop of peppermint oil to a glass of water and drink that to help calm your tummy down.
So there you have some of the best ways that peppermint oil can help you with your health. As you can see, it’s useful for a wide array of different uses, so just about everyone can benefit from having it in their plan.
This list is by no means all-inclusive. However, realize that there are many other uses for peppermint oil not mentioned here. So please do your own research and see if perhaps could be helpful for something you’re dealing with.
- Argoff, Charles E. “A review of the use of topical analgesics for myofascial pain.” Current pain and headache reports 6.5 (2002): 375-378.
- McKay, Diane L., and Jeffrey B. Blumberg. “A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.).” Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives 20.8 (2006): 619-633.
- Singh, Rajinder, Muftah AM Shushni, and Asma Belkheir. “Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Mentha piperita L.” Arabian Journal of Chemistry 8.3 (2015): 322-328.
- Ilmberger, Josef, et al. “The influence of essential oils on human attention. I: Alertness.” Chemical Senses 26.3 (2001): 239-245.
- Kligler, Benjamin, and Sapna Chaudhary. “Peppermint oil.” American family physician 75.7 (2007).
- Pittler, M. H., and E. Ernst. “Peppermint oil for irritable bowel syndrome: a critical review and metaanalysis.” The American journal of gastroenterology 93.7 (1998): 1131-1135.
- Oh, Ji Young, Min Ah Park, and Young Chul Kim. “Peppermint oil promotes hair growth without toxic signs.” Toxicological research 30.4 (2014): 297.
- Pasha, Hajar, et al. “Study of the effect of mint oil on nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.” Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal 14.11 (2012): 727.