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Peppermint Oil - What Is It and 15 Ways to Use It

History and Origin

Peppermint Oil was first used in Ancient times as an herbal remedy for many problems, perhaps most prominently for  indigestion, and was popularized in Europe during the early 18th century by a Swedish botanist. In modern times, Peppermint oil has been rapidly trending like never before in terms of medicinal and culinary use.

Usage in Modern Times

Many of your modern day foods and medicines use peppermint oil. In foods like gum and ice-cream, peppermint is heavily used as a flavoring additive due to its crisp and refreshing nature, and in medicine it is used to treat a wide variety of symptoms. Here are some according to WebMD: “the common cold, cough, inflammation of the mouth and throat, sinus infections, respiratory infections, and digestive problems.”

Location and Production

Peppermint oil is grown and harvested throughout the world in locations such as North America, Europe and Asia. The United States leads the world in peppermint production and is responsible for up to 75% of all peppermint produced in the world. Many of the cheap “essential oils” sold on the market today are in fact fake essential oils. Fake essential oils are very different from the real essential oils and do not offer much, if any, of the helpful properties real essential oils contain. For a reputable essential oils manufacturer, check us out at Aroma Foundry. We bottle our oils in California, have strict sourcing controls, and each batch is numbered, so you know you are getting the best quality. Learn more about our quality on “Our Process” page.

Active Ingredients and Properties

The Peppermint plant is a crossbreed between the water-mint and spearmint. The water-mint and spearmint are what makes the taste and smell of the peppermint plant so iconic, as the peppermint is a combination of both of the plant’s minty properties. Its active ingredient contains organic compounds by the name of Menthol and Mentone, two names you might have seen in your Chemistry class. Both of these ingredients contribute to many of peppermint’s amazing properties which include how it is antiseptic, anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral.

15 Peppermint Benefits and Uses

Peppermint oil can be used in a variety of ways, here are the 15 most useful ways which will help day to day life be much easier and can potentially change your life.

  • 1) Prevent or reduce “Halitosis” or more commonly known as bad breath.
  • According to a study done conducted by the Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, Peppermint is scientifically proven to significantly reduce bad breath. You can create your own home-made peppermint toothpaste, peppermint mouthwash and, in some cases, your own homemade peppermint remedies may in fact produce better results than store-bought items containing chemicals.

  • 2) Treating headaches and migraines.
  • One of peppermint’s many natural healing properties includes soothing pain and relaxing muscles, which is great for clearing a headache or migraine. Peppermint can be used to treat headaches and migraines by simply rubbing the peppermint oil on the forehead and temples to produce the desired effect.

  • 3)Treating acne.
  • Peppermint oil is also used to treat acne by reducing the redness or inflammation of your acne. Peppermint oil also reduces oil production on oily places like your nose or forehead, which in turns clogs up  fewer pores and produces less acne. High quality oils are required during treatment, which can be found here, as cheap oils are often not medicinal grade or are simply meant as perfumes and fragrances. Usage of these cheap oils can lead to severe side-effects such as irritation and damage of skin, and it is safer to go with the high-quality products like I have linked above than to save a few extra dollars and risk severe side effects.

  • 4) Preventing and treating bug-bites and itches.
  • One of peppermint’s amazing features is its anesthetic and antiseptic properties, which are defined as “to reduce or prevent pain” and “preventing infection by inhibiting the growth of infectious agents”. A few drops of peppermint oil combined with carrier oil on affected areas, according to studies conducted by the Hainan Medical University, can treat bug-bites and itches. Peppermint oil is already a natural repellent to insects such as mosquitos, flies, ticks, and spiders. A few drops of peppermint oil, combined with carrier oil and rubbed on exposed areas such as arms and legs, and you should be set against insects for the day.

  • 5) Hair-growth and adding it to your shampoo.
  • According to a study conducted in Korea, peppermint oil is great to vitalize hair-growth as a natural remedy for hair-loss and should be added to your shampoo to increase fragrance, promote blood circulation, and treat irritated scalp conditions, dandruff, and head lice.

  • 6) Cancer prevention and remedy.
  • According to studies conducted in the US and Japan, recent research has shown that one of peppermint’s most active organic compounds, menthol, is effective in exerting “cytotoxic activity against several cancer cell types”. Cytotoxic Activity is defined as “Any agent or process that kills cells” and is used in Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy.. Some of these cancer cell types treated by Peppermint oil include prostate cancer, breast cancer, and leukemia. These newly found studies are the main driving force behind peppermint oil’s increasing popularity, and more research is currently underway to discover more types of cancers peppermint can help treat.

  • 7) Clearing up sinuses and respiratory issues.
  • Peppermint oil can be used to help clear up stuffy noses and sinuses caused by things such as: the common cold, asthma, allergies, inflammation, or infection. There are many ways to use peppermint oil including: inhalation from the bottle, inhalation using a diffuser, and inhalation using steam from boiling water.

  • 8) Treating digestive problems and a upset stomach.
  • According to studies also conducted at  Hainan Medical University, which is located in China, peppermint’s antiseptic property can be used to treat digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and bloating. The antiseptic property comes from the active ingredient Menthol, whose properties includes preventing bacteria and inflammation from occurring.

  • 9) Stress management.
  • Essential oil, particularly peppermint oil is used to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. Simply the aroma of peppermint oils can help these problems. You can use this with a diffuser or simply inhale directly from the bottle.

  • 10) A relaxant for muscle soreness, spasms, and pain.
  • As you already know, peppermint’s anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties can be used to soothe a wide variety of muscle problems. When peppermint oil is massaged onto affected areas, it can disperse the lactic acid, which is the main problem behind muscle soreness and pain. Additionally, the smell of peppermint will increase blood circulation throughout your body, which increases the rate of recovery within your muscles.

  • 11) Make your mind feel focused and motivated.
  • When inhaled, peppermint oil has been shown to wake you up and increase your mental focus  and is a healthier alternative to unhealthy energy drinks. A simple whiff of peppermint oil in the morning is a great way to start your day!

  • 12) Natural treatment for Herpes.
  • In a study conducted in 2003, peppermint oil was shown to heavily affect and reduce the Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2.  Peppermint oil is an effective and extremely cost-efficient method to naturally treat the herpes virus, which can be otherwise drug-resistant to high-cost alternatives.

  • 13) Cleaning Agent.
  • Peppermint oil makes for a great all-natural cleaning solution. Its combination of antiseptic properties and fresh minty smell produce a great spray to be used around the house such as cleaning the counter or bathroom floor, and combined with its natural insect repellent, this is a must-have item in every household. The antiseptic properties prevent bacteria from growing on surfaces on which you use everyday, such as kitchen counters or a dining table.

  • 14) Killing Aphids on plants.
  • Aphids are little insects which destroy plants, and can get very annoying to remove from your garden. An all-natural solution without destroying your plants is to combine water with pepper-mint oil and spray onto affected plants. This solution will kill the aphids and repel any insects from attempting to destroy your plants.

  • 15) Weight-loss and hunger suppression.
  • The aroma of peppermint oil can lead to reduced cravings and hunger, perfect for those looking to lose weight or go on a diet. The smell of peppermint can help conceal cravings for food, and therefor make you eat less.

    Concerns and potential side-effects:

    When applying peppermint oil onto skin, please combine with carrier oil to prevent heavy concentration of essential oils in a certain area. This is to avoid skin reactions such as drying out, or redness. These reactions are completely normal but can be avoided by diluting the peppermint oil with carrier oils.

    Use peppermint oil in low amounts (a little goes a long way) , and avoid using peppermint oil on children under the age of 7.

    Please consult your doctor or physician before using peppermint oil, as you may have an allergic reaction, or it may conflict with current medication.

    Overdose of peppermint oil can lead to several of the following symptoms: slow breathing, rapid breathing, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, blood in urine, no urine production, convulsions, depression, dizziness, twitching, unconsciousness, uncoordinated movement and flushing.

    Studies have shown that peppermint oil should not be used on pregnant women as it is shown to reduce overall milk production. Please take extreme caution. Many oils are risky to use while pregnant. Please consult a physician before using essential oils while pregnant.

    Conclusion:

    Peppermint oil is an extremely useful item to have in your household. It is a jack of all trades in a sense, as it contains many properties and ingredients to help different issues. The many health benefits are simply too good to pass up in favor of the few minor potential side-effects. To get you started, here is a special coupon PEPPER10 to be used on our website. Thanks for reading, and if you are interested in reading about other essential oils click here. Here at Aroma Foundry, all our essential oils are hand bottled in California, and sourced appropriately from their native countries and states to give you the most premium product available on the market.

    Resources:

    PEPPERMINT: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2017

    Haghgoo, Roza, and Farid Abbasi. "Evaluation of the Use of a Peppermint Mouth Rinse for Halitosis by Girls Studying in Tehran High Schools." Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry. Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 2013. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.

    Hur, M. H., J. Park, W. Maddock-Jennings, D. O. Kim, and M. S. Lee. "Reduction of Mouth Malodour and Volatile Sulphur Compounds in Intensive Care Patients Using an Essential Oil Mouthwash." Phytotherapy Research : PTR. U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2007. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.

    "Anesthesia: MedlinePlus." MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

    "Antiseptic." The Free Dictionary. Farlex, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

    Ali, Babar, Naser Ali Al-Wabel, Saiba Shams, Sham Alam Khan, and Firoz Anwar. "Essential Oils Used in Aromatherapy: A Systemic Review." Science Direct. Hainan Medical University, n.d. Web.

    Oh, Ji Young, Min Ah Park, and Young Chul Kim. “Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs.” Toxicological Research 30.4 (2014): 297–304. PMC. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

    Wang, Y., X. Wang, Z. Yang, G. Zhu, D. Chen, and Z. Meng. "Menthol Inhibits the Proliferation and Motility of Prostate Cancer DU145 Cells." Pathology Oncology Research : POR. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

    Kim, S. H., S. Lee, S. R. Piccolo, K. Allen-Brady, E. J. Park, J. N. Chun, T. W. Kim, N. H. Cho, I. G. Kim, I. So, and J. H. Jeon. "Menthol Induces Cell-cycle Arrest in PC-3 Cells by Down-regulating G2/M Genes, including Polo-like Kinase 1." Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 08 June 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

    Park, Eun-Jung, Su-Hwa Kim, Byung-Joo Kim, Sung-Young Kim, Insuk So, and Ju-Hong Jeon. "Menthol Enhances an Antiproliferative Activity of 1α,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 in LNCaP Cells." Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. The Society for Free Radical Research Japan, Mar. 2009. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

    Ali, Babar, Naser Ali Al-Wabel, Saiba Shams, Sham Alam Khan, and Firoz Anwar. "Essential Oils Used in Aromatherapy: A Systemic Review." Science Direct. Hainan Medical University, n.d. Web.

    Schuhmacher, A., J. Reichling, and P. Schnitzler. "Peppermint Oil Exhibits Antiviral Activity against Herpes Simplex Viruses Type 1 and 2, including an Acyclovir Resistant Strain of HSV-1." Peppermint Oil Exhibits Antiviral Activity against Herpes Simplex. N.p., 02 July 2015. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

    ALANKAR*, SHRIVASTAVA. 187. N.p.: Warner Brothers, 1997. A Review on Peppermint Oil. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

    West, Diana, and Lisa Marasco. "Ten Nursing Pitfalls." LLLI | Ten Nursing Pitfalls. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2017. 

    Ilmberger, Josef, Eva Heuberger, Claudia Mahrhofer, Heidrun Dessovic, Dietlinde Kowarik, and Gerhard Buchbauer. "The Influence of Essential Oils on Human Attention. I: Alertness." Chemical Senses. Oxford University Press, 01 Apr. 2001. Web. 08 Apr. 2017.

     

     


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