Essential oil of peppermint, which is distilled from the leaves of the peppermint plant, has become one of the most popular oils in aromatherapy. The plant has been popular for its pungent flavor and its curative powers since the seventeenth century, when it may have been brought from the Orient by way of North Africa. In all its uses, peppermint oil is refreshing to the mind, body and spirit. The distinctive scent of peppermint essential oil can improve a person's concentration and focus. The way this works is that the scent actually triggers the hippocampus, a part of the brain linked to memory. The oil relieves not only mental fatigue but also nausea and dizziness. As a healing oil, peppermint is both antiseptic and anesthetic because of its high proportion of menthol. Thus, the essential oil, when inhaled, is extremely effective for fighting respiratory infections, from colds to bronchitis and sinusitis. When diluted and applied to the skin, the oil soothes and cools. This oil is particularly useful with older children.
If your mind is overtaxed and fatigued, you are likely to have trouble focusing and remembering. The good news is that you can reenergize your mind and memory by simply inhaling the fresh, pure scent of peppermint oil in an aromatic lamp. Combine peppermint oil with lemon oil for the greatest benefit.
8 drops of peppermint oil
5 drops of lemon oil
Peppermint oil has cooling, fever reducing and antiseptic properties, largely due to high levels of menthol, which is an antibacterial and anesthetic. The oil helps cure colds, bronchitis and sinus infections. It also aids healthy digestion by increasing digestive, liver and gallbladder secretions and relaxes cramped intestinal muscles. Plus, the scent clears the mind and eases mental tension.
For opening nasal passages
The high menthol content of peppermint oil reduces inflammation in the nasal passages during a cold, opening them up and improving breathing.
Mix a base oil, such as sweet almond oil, with peppermint oil and rub a few drops on your forehead and the nape of your neck. This can rapidly alleviate the pain of a headache and migraine.
For focusing the mind
Whenever you are weary and tense at the end of a taxing day, peppermint oil is a remedy that will revitalize you. It clears your thoughts and allows you to breathe deeply and freely again.
For a cleansing sauna
Regular visits to a sauna stimulate the body's own defenses. You can increase the detoxifying, fortifying effect of the sauna by adding a few drops of peppermint oil to the water poured on the sauna coals.
For fresh breath
Peppermint oil is an excellent natural alternative to mouthwash. It has a disinfectant effect, inhibits infection and prevents cavities and gum disease, while combating bad breath at the same time.
For motion sickness and nausea, place a few drops of peppermint oil on a cloth. Hold the cloth in front of your mouth and nose and breathe in deeply for a few seconds.
Effective for easing colds, sinus infections, bronchitis, fever, coughs, bad breath, headaches, intestinal cramps, diarrhea and mental exhaustion
Do not treat children with peppermint oil, since the high menthol content can irritate sensitive mucosa. If you have chills, avoid peppermint oil, because of its intense cooling properties. Keep your eyes tightly shut when inhaling peppermint oil, as the vapors can irritate them. The oil may also irritate sensitive skin. Pregnant and nursing women should avoid using the oil altogether.
Packs & compresses
- Cold packs with peppermint oil can reduce a fever. Mix 8 drops of peppermint oil and 1 tbsp. of vinegar in 1qt. of cool water. Soak 2 packs in the mixture, wring them out and place them on the calves of your legs. Replace as often as necessary until the fever abates.
- A compress with peppermint oil relieves the symptoms of a sinus infection. Mix 5 drops of peppermint oil in 2 cups of warm water. Lay a small cloth dampened with the mixture across your nose and over your cheekbones. Breathe deeply, keeping your eyes closed.
- Peppermint oil can help keep skin looking and feeling healthy. The oil reduces the oiliness that can produce skin blemishes. It is also known to help minimize the redness of broken capillaries by constricting the vessel walls. Mix the essential oil with a base oil before applying.
- For a cool, refreshing bath, add 2-4 drops of peppermint oil to a tub of tepid water.