Healthy Living

What Is Peppermint Essential Oil Used For?

What Is Peppermint Essential Oil Used For?

Key Takeaways

  • Peppermint is a popular hybrid plant between water mint and spearmint plants. 
  • The main ingredient of peppermint oil is menthol, which is the one that is mostly responsible for the oil's beneficial effects. 
  • Peppermint essential oil has the ability to improve the body's circulation, restore the gut, and relax all tensed up muscles. 

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are liquids that are usually distilled by steam or water from the leaves, flowers, stems, bark, or the roots of a particular plant. Essential oils in comparison to the normal “oil” do not have that oily feeling at all. Most of the essential oils have a clear appearance but some oils like patchouli, orange, and lemongrass have a yellow color. However, it is important to make it clear that essential oils, perfume oils, or fragrance oils are not the same. While essential oils are produced from the parts of true plants, perfume oils or fragrance oils are artificially created using artificial substances, and therefore, do not offer the same therapeutic benefits of essential oils.

The composition of the essential oils provides valuable psychological and physical benefits where one could achieve these benefits either by applying the oil over the skin or by inhaling it. Inhalation of the oil will cause the oil molecules to enter the lungs and get absorbed into the bloodstream.

So what is peppermint essential oil?

Peppermint oil comes from Mentha piperita, a plant that is native to the Middle East and Europe but now commonly seen in many other regions of the world. Peppermint is a popular hybrid plant between water mint and spearmint plants. Peppermint oil is extracted from the entire plant before it flowers. The essential oils are collected by steam distillation of the entire plant. It is a very concentrated oil compared to most of the other steam distilled essential oils. 

The active ingredients of peppermint oil include menthol and menthone. The main ingredient of peppermint oil is menthol, which is the one that is mostly responsible for the oil's beneficial effects. As you all know, menthol has this certain characteristic of giving a very cool and refreshing sensation. In addition, peppermint oil provides a very calming effect that can help relieve sore muscles when it is applied topically. Peppermint oil is also commonly used as a food flavoring as well as a fragrance in many soaps and cosmetics.

How can essential oils be used for health?

Essential oils can be used in several ways to get their beneficial effects on health. Although there are many ways to use essential oils, and the most common practices include aromatic diffusion, consumption through the diet, and by application of the oil on the skin. These methods will allow the essential oils to bring out their pure beneficial effects on your health.

Health benefits of peppermint oil

Peppermint essential oil has several health benefits. Some of the benefits include:

  • Natural breath freshener
  • Contains antimicrobial properties
  • Fights indigestion 
  • Improves concentration
  • Helps resolve digestive issues
  • Clears and relaxes the respiratory tract
  • Helps ease muscle pain

Another advantage of peppermint essential oil is that it is a cost-effective natural solution, which can replace expensive pharmaceutical drugs.

With the wonderful health benefits of peppermint oil, there is no reason why you would not use this amazing essential oil.

1) Peppermint oil for hair

Peppermint essential oil is commonly used all around the world as an herbal remedy treatment for hair loss. Learn how peppermint oil helps promote hair growth.

Our hair is a part of our identity and losing it is not the best feeling in the world. Hair loss is a common problem experienced by both males and females at some point in their lives. For males, it is kind of a normal thing to develop male type baldness as they grow older. However, if females experience baldness as they grow old, it would be one of the most distressing things in their lives. Therefore, many people, especially females, look for natural or herbal remedies to reduce or prevent hair loss as well as to promote the natural growth of hair. And of course, peppermint essential oil is one of the most effective natural remedies for such issues.

There are several ways that you can use peppermint essential oil to promote hair growth. So to get the maximum benefit out of peppermint oil, the following methods can be tried out:

Adding peppermint oil to your shampoo 

You can add 4-6 drops of peppermint essential oil to the shampoo or conditioner of your choice and apply it on your hair. Massage the shampoo or conditioner to your hair and leave it for a few minutes to get its nourishing effect.

Daily hair massage using peppermint oil

You can add two drops of peppermint essential oil to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and rub it on your hair. It should then be left on your hair for at least 30 minutes. This will help stimulate new hair growth in your head. However, it is important to make sure that you do not develop any irritation from the peppermint oil mixture. To test for any adverse reactions, you can apply a little bit of the oil mixture in a small area of your skin to ensure that you are not allergic to it. At the same time, be careful when the oil is applied on your hair and make sure that it does not reach your eyes.

2) Peppermint oil for headaches

Headaches can be a result of blocked sinuses, migraines, or tension. Peppermint essential oil can help relieve a headache whatever the cause is. Inhaling diffused peppermint essential oil has the ability to clear blocked sinuses, thereby causing some relief to the irritated throat. Peppermint also has an additional beneficial effect of acting as an expectorant, which may provide some relief to colds, cough, and sinusitis. All of these conditions may lead to tension headaches and migraines, and peppermint oil is truly an excellent natural remedy for such conditions.

Not just that, peppermint essential oil has the ability to improve the body's circulation, restore the gut, and relax all tensed up muscles. 

Researchers from the Neurological Clinic of the University of Kiel in Germany conducted a study with essential oils. In their study, the oils were tested and specifically applied to the forehead and temples. They found out that the use of a combination of essential oils, which included peppermint oil, produced a significant pain-relieving effect with minimal headache sensitivities.

There are five different ways you can use peppermint essential oil for headaches. They include:

  1. Adding a few drops into the bath - Having a bath alone will help reduce the intensity of a headache. However, if you add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to your bath, the relaxation benefits can be increased.
  2. Steam inhalation of peppermint oil – How can you do this? Prepare boiling water and pour it into a bowl. Add a few drops of peppermint oil and then cover your head using a towel, close your eyes, and inhale the steam slowly through your nose. However, it should not be done for more than two minutes. Steam inhalation is usually effective in sinus headaches, especially if there are signs of congestion.
  3. Adding peppermint oil to the massage oil you use - Add 3-5 drops of peppermint essential oil to one ounce of either sweet almond oil, warmed coconut oil, or mineral oil. After making this mixture, you need to make sure that you are not allergic to it. Therefore, apply this mixture first to a small area on the forehand and observe. If you do not develop any kind of allergic reaction within the first 24 to 48 hours, then you are safe to use this oil mixture. Once you know that you are not allergic to it, take a small amount of the oil mixture and apply it to the temples of your head, back of your neck, shoulders, and chest. Applying the oil will help relax the muscles in these areas, and thus, relieve a tension headache. Research has also proven that getting a massage for a duration of at least 30 minutes, will help relieve the symptoms of a headache within a period of 24 hours.
  4. Inhaling peppermint oil alone is beneficial - You can diffuse some of the peppermint essential oil into the air with the help of a diffuser. You can also inhale the peppermint essential oil directly from the bottle. If the strength of the peppermint oil is too strong for you, add a few drops of the oil into a piece of cloth or tissue and breathe it in.
  5. Drinking peppermint tea - Although it is not advisable to take peppermint oil orally, you can always make a nice warm cup of peppermint tea using peppermint leaves. Having this refreshing cup of peppermint tea will help you think more clearly and make you feel more alert.

Peppermint or mentholated candies has been used for several decades for digestive ailments, so you can give this a try as well.

3) Peppermint oil for bedbugs           

Peppermint oil is one of the best ways to get rid of the bedbugs that hang around in your house. Although we get a refreshing feeling with the scent that the peppermint oil gives, bedbugs do not feel the same way. Bedbugs simply hate the smell of peppermint because the smell they get triggers an allergic reaction in them. Therefore, when they are exposed to the scent of peppermint oil, bedbugs die due to allergic reactions.

Using peppermint essential oil is one of the most effective ways to get rid of bedbugs. The advantage of using peppermint essential oil is that you no longer have to use those bad-smelling insecticides to eliminate bedbugs. You can simply use peppermint oil, which not only kills the bedbugs, but also gives a very nice refreshing smell to your house.

How will you spray the peppermint oil?

You can pour peppermint oil into a small bottle and spray it on all the areas where you think the bedbugs hide. Although peppermint oil gives off a nice refreshing smell, not everyone is fine with it. Hence, make sure that you or any of your family members are not allergic to this oil. In case anyone in your family has an allergy to the oil, then you should think about using another alternative such as lavender essential oil.

Is peppermint extract the same as peppermint oil?

Peppermint oil is the pure concentrated oil that is also known as the essential oil. It is derived from the stems and leaves of the peppermint plant. The essential oils are collected by steam distillation of the entire plant. It is very concentrated compared to most of the other steam distilled essential oils. This steam distilled oil is then exposed to high levels of temperature and pressure steam. The increased temperature and steam will cause the oil to be evaporated out of the plant, thus producing a vapor. The vapor is a mixture of the steam and the oil, which should be cooled down and condensed to separate out the peppermint oil.

Peppermint extract is produced by mixing the essential oil with a medium such as alcohol to give flavor to the peppermint oil. You can soak the peppermint leaves or stem in a tub of alcohol and leave it there for some time to allow the alcohol absorb all the oil from the plant. The final product of this process is a peppermint-flavored alcohol.