Peppermint Oil and Uses
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is an aromatic herb that is a cross between the spearmint and watermint plants, and its cultivation dates back to ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece. Peppermint has been used therapeutically in traditional herbal medicine as a tonic for stomach upset and as an oil vapor and tea for coughs and decongestion.
Peppermint oil is distilled from the peppermint plant and contains the volatile compounds menthol, menthone, and isomenthone.4 Menthol is the most abundant of the three and provides peppermint with its signature scent.
Peppermint essential oil is among the most multipurpose oils that are used worldwide similar to lavender essential oil. It has properties to kill microbes due to which it is used in various oral and skin issues. It is also beneficial in promoting the health of your overall body and mind.
Peppermint essential oil has a wide variety of beneficial effects on your overall health.
Peppermint essential oil is used for various medicinal purposes. It helps in removing harmful bacteria, relieving gas and muscle spasms, and soothing and disinfecting inflamed skin.
When used as a massage oil, it helps in releasing stress and muscle tension. When you rub peppermint essential oil into your feet after diluting it with a carrier oil it works effectively to reduce fever naturally.
Peppermint essential oil has astringent properties. Hence, on topical application, it helps in closing the skin pores and tightening the skin.
It also acts as an efficient anaesthetic (a numbing agent) due to the warming and cooling sensations it produces when applied to the skin. Therefore, it numbs the skin and reduces the sensation of pain. It also calms inflammation and redness of the skin.
Traditionally, people have used peppermint essential oil as a cooling rub on the chest to relieve chest congestion.
Moreover, when you use it on the skin after diluting it with a carrier oil (for example coconut oil) it can help in promoting a healthy and safe renewal of the skin. Hence, it can provide relief from irritations of the skin such as sunburns.
When you use it in shampoos, it helps in stimulating the scalp and removing dandruff.
Peppermint essential oil also finds its use in aromatherapy. Due to its expectorant properties, it helps in clearing the nasal passages. This relieves nasal congestion and encourages easy breathing.
Peppermint essential oil also helps in stimulating circulation and balancing the levels of hormones. It also reduces the feelings of tension and irritability, promotes energy, and enhances mental focus.
Due to its analgesic properties, when you smell the peppermint essential oil, it helps in relieving headaches.
It has digestive properties that help in reducing the appetite; thereby, promoting the feeling of the fullness of the stomach.
When you dilute an inhale or rub a small quantity of peppermint essential oil behind your ear, it can help in reducing the feelings of nausea.
BENEFITS OF PEPPERMINT OIL
The main chemical constituents of Peppermint essential oil are Menthol, Menthone, and 1,8-Cineole, Menthyl acetate and Isovalerate, Pinene, Limonene and other constituents. The most active of these components are Menthol and Menthone. Menthol is known to be analgesic and is thus beneficial for reducing pain such as headaches, muscle aches, and inflammation. Menthone is known to be analgesic as well, but it is also believed to show antiseptic activity. Its invigorating properties lend the oil its energizing effects.
Used medicinally, Peppermint essential oil has been found to eliminate harmful bacteria, relieve muscle spasms and flatulence, disinfect and soothe inflamed skin, and to release muscle tension when used in a massage. When diluted with a carrier oil and rubbed into the feet, it can work as a natural effective fever reducer.
Used cosmetically or topically in general, Peppermint acts as an astringent that closes pores and tightens the skin. It's cooling and warming sensations make it an effective anesthetic that leaves the skin numb to pain and calms redness and inflammation. It has traditionally been used as a cooling chest rub to relieve congestion, and when diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut, it can promote the safe and healthy renewal of skin, thus offering relief from skin irritations such as sunburn. In shampoos, it can stimulate the scalp while also removing dandruff.
When used in aromatherapy, Peppermint essential oil’s expectorant properties clear the nasal passageway to promote the relief of congestion and to encourage easy breathing. It is believed to stimulate circulation, reduce feelings of nervous tension, soothe feelings of irritability, boost energy, balance hormones, and enhance mental focus. The scent of this analgesic oil is believed to help relieve headaches, and its stomachic properties are known to help suppress the appetite and promote the feeling of being full. When diluted and inhaled or when rubbed in small amounts behind the ear, this digestive oil can reduce the feeling of nausea.
Due to its anti-microbial properties, Peppermint oil can also be used as a cleaning solvent to sanitize and deodorize the environment, leaving behind the trail of a fresh, cheerful scent. Not only will it disinfect surfaces, but it will also eliminate bugs in the home and function as an effective insect repellant.
As illustrated, Peppermint essential oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:
Antiseptic, astringent, cordial, nervine, sudorific.
Analgesic, cephalic, cordial, decongestant, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, stimulant.
Analgesic, anesthetic, anti-galactagogue, anti-phlogistic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, cordial, decongestant, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hepatic, nervine, stimulant, stomachic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor, vermifuge.
USES OF PEPPERMINT OIL
In a diffuser, Peppermint oil can help to enhance relaxation, concentration, memory, energy and wakefulness.
When used topically in homemade moisturizers, the cooling and calming effects of Peppermint essential oil can relieve sore muscles. Historically, it has been used to reduce itchiness and the discomfort of inflammation, headaches, and joint pains. It can also be used to relieve the sting of sunburns.
In a diluted massage blend or bath, Peppermint essential oil is known to relieve back pain, mental fatigue, and coughs. It boosts circulation, releases the feeling of having tired feet, relieves muscular pain, cramps, and spasms, and soothes inflamed, itchy skin among other conditions.
Well-known for its anti-microbial and anti-fungal qualities, a few drops of the oil can be added to homemade spray cleaners and spritzed on areas that are particularly in need of anti-bacterial care, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Peppermint makes an effective and natural deterrent for house pests and insects.
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