Peppermint Essential Oil’s Uses and Benefits
Mints have been cultivated since ancient times in China and Japan. In Egypt there has been evidence of peppermint (Mentha piperita) found in tombs dating back from 1000 BC.
Peppermint essential oil is used extensively in Eastern and Western medicine for a number of ailments, including the following:
- Skin Care: acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, varicose veins, itching, soothe and cool skin.
- Circulation, Muscles and Joints: neuralgia, musculoskeletal pain, nerve pain, chronic fatigue.
- Respiratory System: asthma, bronchitis, respiratory infections, halitosis, sinusitis, coughing.
- Digestive System: colic, cramps, motion sickness, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, heartburn, indigestion, nausea.
- Immune System: colds, flu, fevers.
- Nervous System: headaches, migraines, mental fatigue, nervous stress, vertigo.
Other uses include helping with depression, aid in memory, focus and mental performance. It’s a flavoring agent in pharmaceuticals and in foods, especially chewing gum, sweets, alcoholic and soft drinks. Peppermint oil is used in soaps, toothpaste, cosmetics, detergents and perfumes. It’s even effective as an appetite suppressant.
Peppermint essential oil is one of the most versatile oils there is. It has a refreshing, invigorating scent. It can be used aromatically, topically and internally. Peppermint oil has many different medical properties. It’s an anti-inflammatory, antitumoral, antiparasitic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, analgesic, digestive stimulant and pain reliever.
Peppermint essential oil’s uses and benefits are numerous as you can see. We’re going to touch on just a few of these today.
Peppermint oil has a refreshing and invigorating scent. It promotes a sharper memory, better concentration levels and clearer thinking. Peppermint is known to have therapeutic properties that combat mental fatigue, depression and stress. It can create a stimulating, focused atmosphere, and topically, will give a cool, tingling sensation to the skin. This can be very soothing after a long day of work or a vigorous workout. A pilot study was done that showed peppermint oil reduced mental exhaustion and moderate burnout.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine. The symptoms are cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, or both. What peppermint essential oil does to relieve symptoms is to relax the muscles of your intestines, reduce spasms in the colon, and help to reduce bloating and gas.
A systemic review of 12 random clinical trials was conducted involving 835 adult patients from around the world. This review showed that globally IBS symptoms improved greater for peppermint oil patients when compared to a placebo, as well as abdominal pain. Their conclusion was that peppermint oil is a safe and effective therapy for abdominal pain and global symptoms in adults with IBS.
Alleviate Headaches and Migraines
Migraine and other types of headaches such as tension headaches and sinus headaches are painful. Migraines include a throbbing headache, light and noise sensitivity, sensitivity to smells, nausea and vomiting. It is usually treated with pain relievers and anti-nausea medication.
Peppermint helps relieve headache pain because it contains menthol. Menthol leaves a tingling, cooling effect on the skin that can cause a slight numbing effect. This helps your muscles relax and eases pain.
In a double-blind, parallel, randomized, controlled trial, 120 adult patients with migraine diagnoses were treated with either lidocaine, peppermint essential oil or a placebo intranasally (through the nose). The results were that 41.5% of the lidocaine patients and 42.1% of the peppermint essential oil patients responded highly to treatment considerably. So in conclusion, peppermint oil caused considerable reduction in the intensity and frequency of headache and relieved a majority of patients’ pain similar to lidocaine.
To use peppermint essential oil aromatically, diffuse up to 1 hour 3 times a day or directly inhale 5-10 times a day to curb appetite. Topically, dilute 1 drop essential oil with 4 drops carrier oil and apply 1-2 drops on location, abdomen, temples or wherever needed. To improve concentration, alertness, and memory, place 1-2 drops on the tongue.
Peppermint is one of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs out there. For centuries, it’s been used to help improve people’s lives both mentally and physically. Peppermint essential oil’s uses and benefits are endless. You will never run out of reasons to use it, and you should always have it on hand. You’ll be glad you do.
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