Peppermint oil is a multifaceted essential oil that can be used either internally, topically, or aromatically. It helps in boosting energy levels and can combat health conditions like infrequent allergy symptoms, nausea, muscle aches, digestive issues, and low energy complaints. The versatility of peppermint oil also extends to skin and hair health.
Internally, peppermint oil offers soothing effects on the colon and gastric lining, and when applied topically, its cooling effects helps in easing sore muscles. Its antimicrobial properties also come handy in addressing infections and keeping the breath fresh.
All of these points to the fact that peppermint oil holds enormous potentials. Below are 15 ways you can use peppermint oil to your everyday life. Check them out!
Soothing Joint and Muscle Pains
Peppermint essential oil is considered as a potent natural painkiller and muscle relaxant. It’s cooling, antispasmodic, and invigorating potentials are quite useful in easing a tension headache. Research has shown that topical application of peppermint oil alleviates pain associated with myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia. Likewise, it could also work as an analgesics when applied topically.
Respiratory Benefits, including Sinus Care
You can quickly free up your sinuses and remove scratchy throat by inhaling diffused peppermint oil. In its role as an expectorant, it clears the airways by removing mucus. Thus it is considered as a great essential oil for respiratory conditions such as colds, flu, cough, asthma, bronchitis, and others. Considering its scientifically-backed antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties, peppermint can be used to combat infections that grow into respiratory tract symptoms.
Unusual Allergy Relief
You will be amazed at how relaxed and cleared your nasal passage muscles when you apply peppermint oil. When that allergy comes, peppermint oil clears the muck and pollen lurking in your respiratory tract. Peppermint offers stimulating, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant qualities. Hence, it is regarded as a versatile essential oil for allergies.
More energy and better performance during exercises
Now is the time to ditch the unhealthy energy drinks, and replace with peppermint oil. All you need is a few whiffs, and you will be invigorated with all the energy you need for that long road trip or extensive study session. Inhaling peppermint oil can as well improving memory and alertness while giving you a bit more in physical performance during those workouts or training.
Research has shown that ingesting peppermint oil raises the energy levels of college athletes, alongside improved exhaling and breathing flow rates due to its beneficial effects on the bronchial smooth muscles.
By enhancing your circulation; relaxing tense muscles; and easing your gut, peppermint oil can effectively combat tension headaches or migraines. The researchers at the University of Kiel’s Neurological Clinic, Germany once carried out a clinical trial where they combined peppermint oil with ethanol and eucalyptus to achieve a considerable analgesic effect and reduced sensitivity to headaches. A blend of these oils was applied to the temples and forehead, where they increased cognitive performance, alongside mental and muscle relaxation effects.
Easing IBS Symptoms
The capsule form of peppermint oil when taken internally has shown to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), by reducing the spasms in the colon and gassiness, while easing the muscles of the intestines. Taking peppermint oil capsules as prescribed by the physician, reduces IBS symptoms significantly (by up to 50%). Notable improvements, alongside the improved symptoms, include reduced diarrhea, constipation, urgency at defecation, and abdominal pain, discomfort, or bleeding.
Improved Oral Health and Fresh Breath
Peppermint oil has been proven, over time, as a natural breath freshener. It is antimicrobial and antifungal. Thus, it gets rid of the fungus and bacteria that cause infections in the cavities. You can improve your oral health significantly, and achieve a fresher breath by including peppermint oil in your store-bought toothpaste. Better still, you can add a drop right under your tongue and then drink a glass of water.
Enhanced Hair Growth and Reduced Dandruff
If you are wondering how exactly peppermint oil improves hair, then read along. You will find peppermint oil in almost all high-quality hair care products. And what makes it a must-use? It is because it can nourish and thicken damaged hair with no side effects whatsoever. So, you can use peppermint oil as a natural treatment for thinning hair and scalp stimulation.
Menthol, a significant component of peppermint oil, offers antiseptic properties. Thus, it is employed in getting rid of germs that may be accumulating in your hair. And this is why you find menthol in many anti-dandruff shampoos.
According to research, the menthol content present in peppermint oil is good for preventing itching. A result of a triple-blind clinical trial conducted on 96 random pregnant women with pruritus showed a significant improvement in the subjects when peppermint was introduced. Pruritus usually comes with annoying and continuous itchiness that hardly gets relieved. The pruritus patients applied a combination of sesame oil and peppermint two times a day for 14 days. And in the end, the itch was less severe compared to the group that applied placebo instead.
Natural bug repellant
Humans find the smell of peppermint oil nice. However, the same cannot be said of insects and bugs. Such insects as mosquitoes, cockroaches, spiders, and ants, alongside mice and even lice all, find the smell of peppermint harmful. Hence, they avoid it at all cost.
Peppermint, alongside clove, thyme and patchouli, cedar, lemongrass, pine, and geraniol are the most used plant essential oils capable of repelling bugs. Either singly or when combined, these oils are proven repellants to malaria, filarial and yellow fever vectors, and they are usually effective for 2-3 hours after application.
Patients experiencing postoperative nausea due to cardiac surgery had their nausea levels reduced by applying a nasal inhaler laced with peppermint oil. The ‘before’ nausea levels of these patients were way higher than what was obtained after they inhaled peppermint.
When asked to rate their feelings of nausea using a scale of 0-10 where 10 is the highest level of nausea, the average score reduced significantly from 6.58 to 2.88, after just two minutes of applying peppermint oil.
Combating Colic Symptoms
Research has hinted on the possibility of peppermint oil serving as an effective natural colic remedy. Simethicone and peppermint oil have been found to offer the same results when used in treating infantile colic. However, peppermint oil did not cause the usual side effects observed in prescribed Simethicone medications. Simethicone is a medication used for treating stomach discomfort, bloating, and gassiness.
Even with these great potentials of peppermint oil in treating colic symptoms, it is highly advisable that you consult your child’s pediatrician to discuss the treatment plan before proceeding.
Improve your skin
When applied topically, the calming, softening, anti-inflammatory, and toning effects of peppermint oil on the skin is quite impressive. Likewise, the antimicrobial and antiseptic properties also come handy in keeping the skin free of germs and bacteria.
So, if you are looking for an effective method of combating blackheads, chicken pox, greasy or itchy skin, you can apply some peppermint oil on your skin. It is also effective in reducing scabies, skin inflammation, sunburn, and dermatitis among others.
Protection or relief from Sunburn
The ability of peppermint oil to hydrate burnt skin makes it an effective pain reliever in instances of sunburns. Likewise, you can apply peppermint oil to prevent sunburn. The Sun Protection Factor, SPF of peppermint oil is considerably higher compared to other common essential oils like rose, tea tree, eucalyptus, and lavender oils.
For excellent protection of your skin against sunburns or to heal your skin after sun exposure, you can combine a half teaspoon of coconut oil with 2-3 drops of peppermint. Apply the mixture directly to your skin regularly. Alternatively, you can make a natural homemade sunburn spray to achieve the same results – pain relief and healthy, natural skin rejuvenation.
Possible anti-cancer properties
There are high anti-cancer potentials associated with peppermint oil. However, these must be suggested for more research. A couple of laboratory studies have confirmed the chances of peppermint working as a potent anti-cancer agent. In one of such studies, menthol – a significant component of peppermint – was found to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. It does this by regulating and enhancing cellular processes while inducing cell death when necessary.
Peppermint – a hybrid species of spearmint and water mint – offers a wide range of beneficial effects when applied either internally, topically, or aromatically. It is one of the earliest European herbs and has been explored extensively for medicinal uses. Most of the therapeutic effects observed in peppermint oil are due to the menthol content it contains.
Famous for its cooling and stimulating properties, peppermint oil also has expectorant, antispasmodic, and antimicrobial properties. Furthermore, it is useful in boosting energy and relieving pains.
As you can see peppermint oil can help with so many things. Give it a try!
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