Peppermint oil is truly one of the most versatile essential oils. It’s a must-have for your natural supply list. I use peppermint in my toothpaste and mouthwash, for headaches, in my DIY air freshener and cleaners, and in so many other ways! How is peppermint oil extracted, why is it so beneficial, and what are some of the ways you can use it?
What Is Peppermint Oil and Why is It Beneficial?
I was surprised to learn that peppermint is a hybrid species of spearmint and water mint. It has a pleasant and refreshing scent. Peppermint oil is steam distilled from the fresh or partially dried leaves of the plant. The oil comes from the underside of the leaves.
The beneficial properties of peppermint include:
- Analgesic (pain reliever)
It is primarily the menthol found in peppermint that gives it these properties.13 surprising uses for peppermint oil.Click To Tweet
Uses for Peppermint Oil
- Relieves nausea, heartburn, or gas. Inhale directly from the bottle or diffuse to alleviate symptoms. I take a bottle with me on long car rides for motion sickness. You can also add a drop to a glass of water and drink.
- Calms a sore throat. Mix 1-2 drops of peppermint oil in a glass of warm water and gargle.
- Decongestant and cough relief. Inhale directly from the bottle or diffuse to relieve congestion. You can also mix a few drops with a carrier oil and rub on your chest. This is especially great right before bed.
- Pain relief. Add 10 drops of peppermint oil to 2 tablespoons of warm olive and coconut oil and use as a massage oil. This remedy is great for arthritis pain, joint pain, and muscle pain.
- Headaches and migraines. Inhaling the oil is one of the quickest ways for me to find headache relief. You can also mix a drops with a carrier oil and massage into your temples, forehead, and the back of your neck.
- Heals acne blemishes. Mix 1 drop peppermint oil, 1 drop eucalyptus oil, and 6-8 drops of water. Apply directly to pimples but be careful not to get in your eyes, nose, or mouth. Leave on overnight if possible.
- Relieves itching. Mix a few drops with a carrier oil and apply to the skin. Or whip up a batch of this anti-itch clay. It works wonders for my husband’s skin allergies!
- Cool down burns. The cooling properties of the menthol will cool burned skin fast. Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with water and spray on the affected skin. This is great for sunburns, too!
- Treats dandruff and encourages hair growth. Simply add a few drops of peppermint oil to your shampoo. Or try my personal favorite shampoo and conditioner-it completely cleared up my husband’s dandruff.
- Numbs toothache. Add a drop to a cotton swab and apply to the sore tooth. The peppermint disinfects, reduces inflammation, and numbs the pain.
- Freshens breath. I like to use peppermint oil in my DIY toothpaste and mouthwash, found here.
- Improve focus and relieve stress. Simply diffuse peppermint oil or inhale from the bottle for a quick boost.
- Repel pests, including insects and mice. Put a few drops on cotton balls and place anywhere you have a pest problem. You will need to replenish every couple of weeks, but it also keeps your home smelling minty fresh! We used this trick to keep mice out of our car and storage shed.
- Add to homemade cleaners. I love the fresh smell of peppermint. My favorite all-purpose DIY cleaner only requires 3 ingredients: 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, and about 40 drops of peppermint oil. Add all ingredients to a spray bottle and shake to mix.
A Note of Caution
Some may be allergic to certain oils, so do a small skin test on your arm or leg. Never test on your face or neck! Peppermint oil can irritate the skin, so it’s best to mix with a carrier oil before using.
So get your own bottle of peppermint oil here, and then let me know what you use it for in the comments!