Peppermint oil is an oil that can provide a pleasant cooling sensation when applied topically and that many find very calming. Peppermint itself is a hybrid between spearmint and water mint, while the oil is collected via steam distillation using the leaves. The most active ingredient is menthol at 35-45%, followed closely by menthone at 10-30%.
People have been using peppermint since back in 1,000BC (the good old days) for a range of purposes and it’s still being used today. Read on to see some of the various different things you can do with just a dab of this oil…
Muscle Pain Relief
The soothing sensation of peppermint oil make it useful as a topical pain killer. At the same time, its ability to relax the muscles make it especially helpful for treating muscle aches such as back pain.
Any type of menthol can be useful for clearing out the sinuses, especially when you’re struggling to get to sleep with a cold. One way to use this is to apply it directly to the chest at night where it can be inhaled during sleep. Another option is to add it to a bowl of hot water and to drape a towel over it so you can inhale the fumes.
The antimicrobial properties of peppermint oil make it an excellent choice for naturally freshening the breath. It’s bacteria that create halitosis and peppermint fights these while also masking the smell with menthol.
You can also use peppermint oil as a key ingredient in your shampoo which will add a pleasant smell and help to kill off more bacteria.
If you’ve ever chewed on minty gum to give your brain a little kick, then you’ll know how effective menthol can be for waking you up.
Along with vinegar, peppermint oil makes for a great natural bug repellant. Rub a little on before going out and you’ll keep the bugs at bay while simultaneously freshening up your scent.
Peppermint oil is great when taken after dinner. Look for the oil in capsule form and swallow in order to combat the symptoms of indigestion and IBS as well as to freshen up your breathe.
It is commonly held that peppermint oil can be useful for treating nausea. This is once again true for many mint flavored foods and supplements.
There is a long tradition of applying oils, including peppermint oil, to the scalp in order to treat headache. This practice was more recently backed up in a study conducted at the Neurological Clinic, University of Kiel, Germany (1).
As with all these things, it’s worth taking these suggestions with a pinch of salt. Peppermint oil is unlikely to cure a pounding migraine and Paracetamol will still outperform it anyway. Still, if you enjoy natural remedies, there are a ton of uses for this oil and at the very least you’ll be able to benefit from the pleasant smell.
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