Who doesn’t know mint? It is already often part of our daily life, and its Essential Oil may seem harmless, yet it must be handled with care.
The peppermint essential oil is very useful and effective to refresh the air in your home, to relieve pain but it also has remarkable properties on the digestive system (difficult digestion, heartburn, bloating or liver attack). Pain, physical or emotional shock, headaches, its fast action will surprise you thanks to its very anaesthetic effects.
A little bit of history about peppermint essential oil
- Botanical name: Mentha x piperita
- Mode of extraction: distillation of aerial part through water vapour
- Active components: 1,8 cineole, alpha-terpenyl acetate
- Aspect: very fluid liquid
- Colour: colourless to pale yellow
- Odour: fresh, intense, minty
- Monoterpenols: menthol (35-45%)
- Monoterpenic ketones: menthone (15%-30%
- Oxides (5-8%): menthofuran, 1,8-cineole
- Esters (3-6%): menthyl acetate
- Monoterpenes (3-18%): alpha pinene, beta pinene, limonene
Dangers and counter-indications of Peppermint EO
If in view of its good cutaneous tolerance it is possible to apply it pure (very punctually) that does not make it a harmless product.
The counter-indications of peppermint essential oil
Children: forbidden for children under the age of 8.
Pregnant women: forbidden during pregnancy, whatever the trimester and also during breastfeeding.
People suffering from epilepsy or a heart condition: be prudent as it could cause a crisis.
People suffering from hypertension: be prudent here too as this essential oil is hypertensive
Elderly people: not advised as it may be too strong
Irritation: this essential oil can be irritating. It is preferable to dilute it to a maximum of 5% in an oil for a massage application.
Hypothermia: if you use peppermint EO in too high a dose, the risk of hypothermia is real. It is refreshing but you should not abuse it. Avoid adding it to bathwater, even if properly diluted in a dispersant. The body can have difficulty in defending itself, especially for sensitive people
In any case, you should not follow a treatment with peppermint essential oil for a long time without medical advice.
Why use it ?
Eases joint and muscular pain:
It is a natural pain reliever and can be particularly effective for back pain and sore muscles or joints. A recent study has also shown that the cutaneous use of peppermint essential oil can relieve pain associated with fibromyalgia.
Reduces the desire to eat
A study conducted by Dr. Alan Hirsch at the Taste and Smell Research Institute of Chicago established that the inhalation of peppermint EO can affect the regions of the brain that modulate the hormonal secretions responsible for hunger and satiety. This property allowed many people who participated in this study to lose weight more easily.
Known for its energizing effect:
This EO is particularly recommended in case of low energy and general chronic fatigue. It will not only have the potential to give a boost to the body but it will also give a mental one because it facilitates concentration and helps to have a clearer mind.
Beneficial for the hair:
It is used in a large number of hair products because it is known to be rich in nutrients and stimulants for hair growth. Its antiseptic properties can help eliminate dandruff and lice. It also has a toning effect on the scalp.
Natural insect repellent:
ticks, ants, cockroaches or mosquitoes.
Calms skin inflammation:
It offers a cooling effect. A cutaneous use of peppermint essential oil – in mixture with lavender EO – can offer a good remedy against eczema or psoriasis
In a study conducted at the University of Kiel in Germany, peppermint oil was successfully used in combination with other essential oils to relieve migraines. In this study, the oils were applied to the forehead and temples. It can also be an effective alternative to aspirin and other fever medications.
It can be used to moisturise burned skin and relieve the pain caused by sunburn. To use, simply mix it with coconut oil and apply directly to the affected area
A study finds that peppermint essential oil can stop chemotherapy-induced nausea much better than standard treatments.
Can freshen breath and fight cavities:
It is said to be more effective than chemical mouthwashes in fighting cavities.
Peppermint essential oil: properties and usages
- Painkiller, anaesthetic: after a shock, for migraines, neuralgia, sciatica, arthritis, rheumatism, tendinitis and back pain
- Anti-nausea: travel sickness
- Anti-inflammatory: urinary tract infection or intestinal trouble
- Reduces aches and pains, the sensation of cold reduces the sensitivity of pain receptors
- Calms itches: hives, eczema
- Increases concentration and brings back energy
- Facilitates digestion, reduces intestinal gas
- Helps eliminate toxins from the body
- Stimulates and facilitates bile evacuation: improves digestion and allows the elimination of organic residue in the body, such as swallowed medication.
- Increases blood pressure in people with hypertension.
- Vasoconstrictor, it is recommended for heavy leg syndrome
- Fights bad breath
- Repels mosquitos
Energetic aromatherapy – mental clarity
- Facilitates concentration and vigilance
- Clarifies thinking and refreshes ideas
- Maintains vivacity
- Helps keeping a cool head (mental confusion, hyper-emotionality and anger)
- Centres back to the core, the essential
- Stimulates reflection and mental strength
- Provides the willpower to convince
- Soothes excesses of emotionality, irritable temperaments, lack of discerning power
- Helps get rid of « what’s on your mind » : digesting, saying…
How to use it?
All routes are allowed, but with caution (all 3).
Diffusion is not the most helpful usage of this essential oil because it contains neurotoxic ketones. Never diffuse on its own because it is an irritant, especially to the eyes. You can add in a synergy, particularly for its action against asthenia, but it should not be the strongest one in percentage used (5% is reasonable, 15% is an absolute maximum).
Peppermint EO can be used in a transport vehicle (car, bus, boat) to make the journey more agreeable. Indeed, this oil is an excellent remedy against motion sickness and to fight drowsiness.
Inhalation in the case of a head cold is absolutely forbidden, there are essential oils with 1,8-cineole that are much more effective.
In a spray
Spraying a solution of Peppermint essential oil will soon make its energising fragrance felt, its freshness and purifying qualities in the home will get rid of unpleasant smells in your living space.
– 5 drops of Peppermint EO
– 1 tablespoon of alcohol
– add 50 ml of water
Should be handled with great care given its content of ketones. It is possible to use it, except in particular cases with sensitive people, by this route within the framework of punctual use and with reasonable doses (only 1 drop by dosage, not more than 4 times per day)
The oral route can be useful for digestive problems (pain, facilitate digestion), vomiting, gas and bloating or urinary tract problems. If you choose the oral route, be sure to dilute this essential oil on a suitable medium (vegetable oil, honey, breadcrumbs …) and ask the advice of a doctor.
PEPPERMINT IN COOKING
In salty dishes. to give a touch of freshness to your dishes and facilitate digestion. In a soup, a dressing or a sauce.
In sweet dishes. to give a refreshing and minty note to fruity or chocolate desserts.
In fact, mint and fruit or mint and chocolate combinations are part of our habits. In a cake batter, a chocolate mousse, always respecting this rule: no more than one drop per recipe! We test, we taste, and if the flavour of the oil was too light, we start the recipe again with ONE drop more.
And in drinks? in festive cocktails (like the famous Mojito) or homemade fruit juices
Precautions of usage
In order not to transform a dish with EO into an inedible preparation, it is necessary to incorporate the EO in very small quantity (1 to 2 drops for 4 people). It is always necessary to dilute it in a fatty support (such as an oil or fresh cream), before adding it to your preparation.
Some people recommend using the milder mint (mentha spicata) instead of peppermint in cooking.
Its cutaneous tolerance is rather good thanks to monoterpenols, ketones, oxides and esters. The only drawback would be attributed to monoterpenes, but they are very minor in number.
Pure on a very small surface (place of shock, temples for migraine) or diluted (at 5% maximum) in an VO for a larger surface. The application surface must remain quite small because peppermint EO cools the area very strongly (risk of chilling, or worse hypothermia)
However, there are two things to remember:
- Never in a bath
- Only on a SMALL surface
Its most known use, it is in pure application, 1 drop on the temples to calm migraines or dizziness. Put a drop on your finger, then with the finger, massage the temple.
The shampoos with the smell of menthol have a “fresh”, “clean” feeling and have an anti-dandruff action thanks to its antifungal properties.
No wellness massage relaxation of the whole body with peppermint.
Conservation of peppermint essential oil:
Sheltered from light, in a cool and dry place. It oxidizes and turns into resin quite easily and its evaporation and cold crystallize the menthol it contains.
Peppermint essential oil: practical advice
Aches and pains and headaches
Peppermint is effective against pain and migraines thanks to its analgesic effect. Its very anaesthetic action with an ice-like effect makes it an essential oil to relieve various pains.
To get some relief, apply 1 drop of pure EO on a finger then massage the temples and forehead, being very careful not to get it in your eyes.
If the pure peppermint essential oil irritates your skin, dilute it in 2 drops of VO. You can repeat it up to 3 times a day.
- Physical choc, pain:
Apply immediately peppermint EO, when the physical shock occurs, the pain will be stopped immediately. The bruise following the aggression will be very reduced, even non-existent: indeed, thanks to its capacity to decrease the calibre of the blood vessels (vasoconstriction), the bruise will not appear. The effect is super fast and long-lasting.
Difficult digestion, liver attack
1 drop on a sugar cube to be dissolved in an infusion, or in a spoonful of honey
Massage the stomach 3 to 5 times a day until improvement.
Fight against physical, mental or sexual fatigue by taking:
↪ 1 pure drop of EO under the tongue (apply with a finger), 3 times a day, until improvement.
Nausea, travel sickness
↪ 1 pure drop of EO on a sugar cube or a spoonful of oil, in diffusion in a tissue trapped in the ventilation.
↪ 1 drop of peppermint on a neutral tablet or sugar cube or a drop of pure oil under the sole of the feet 😊
Pour 1 drop of peppermint EO + 4 drops of solubol in a glass of water (half a glass). Mix well the 3 ingredients, then make a mouthwash and spit it out. You can repeat it after each meal or whenever you need to freshen your breath.
- Inhale peppermint EO just before a meal in order to reduce your appetite.
- Dilute 2 drops in a VO and apply to your wrists in the morning, on the abdomen and the temples.
- 1 drop of EO in your floor cleaning products.
Versatile and indispensable in the natural medicine kit, peppermint has many benefits.
Local analgesic by “cold effect”, it is also tonic and stimulating for the heart.
Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic, it can also get rid of all germs, microbes, fungi and other micro-organisms harmful to your health or your home.
Antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, it has beneficial properties for the whole digestive system.
It is necessary to know the precautions of use of this essential oil and to respect the indications of dosage.