Cooling, sharp, pungent, minty - miscellaneous scents are associated with the breath-taking fragrance of Peppermint Oil.
The benefits of this oil extracted from the Peppermint plant are so multifarious that it’s the fifth-most produced essential oil in the world.
Ayurveda, one of the most reliable and renowned ancient sciences states that the Peppermint essential oil calms all the three doshas. Did you know that Peppermint can be added to your massage oil to help maintain the balance of the Ayurvedic doshas?
Not only this, Peppermint oil also has a unique ability to facilitate the flow of energy from within.
Do you ever experience those days when you feel drained of energy? Try adding a few drops of Peppermint essential oil in your diffuser and to feel the fresh minty aroma invigorating your mind and body!
The Peppermint oil is extracted through the steam distillation process of the fresh leaves or partially dried leaves of Peppermint, a native herb of the Mediterranean region.
There are hundreds of species belonging to the mint genus and Peppermint is one among them. It stands distinguished in the mint family owing to its peppery, pungent flavor from the piperita species. The word Peppermint is derived from the Latin word piper which means pepper.
Peppermint oil has a variety of uses and purposes, hence just like Lavender oil, it also bags the credit of being the most versatile oil in the world.
Menthol and Menthone, the main chemical components present in the Peppermint oil are eminent for their cooling, energizing and pain relieving properties, providing the oil with many unique benefits.
Kama Ayurveda Peppermint Essential Oil
You might be amazed to know that the earliest evidence of Peppermint as a medicinal herb dates back to 1000BC!
The dried Peppermint leaves were found in the Pyramids of Egypt and even the ancient Romans used to cultivate Peppermint in their gardens. Stepping on the Peppermint grown in the garden helped in spreading its wonderful aroma which was considered to have numerous health benefits.
Even today, the oil continues to be used for cosmetics, aromatherapy and for treating certain illnesses. Let’s now look at some of the top benefits of the peppermint oil.
The calming and soothing effect created by inhaling the Peppermint oil helps in relaxing the stomach muscles and facilitating the overall process of digestion. Any kind of cramping effect or over-contraction of the muscles that gives rise to nausea is also relaxed with the use of Peppermint oil.
This oil is known to provide relief from itching caused by bug-bites, ivy, hives. Some people suffering from diabetes, liver, or kidney-related diseases also experience an itching sensation on the skin. Topical application of this oil (after dilution with a suitable carrier oil) assists in reducing this sensation. Chronic pruritus (itching lasting for more than 6 weeks) can also be treated naturally with the help of this oil.
Did you know that the pattern of baldness seen in male and females is usually a result of reduced blood flow to the hair follicles. Peppermint oil has vasodilation based properties due to the high menthol content. This increases the blood flow and allows blood circulation to the scalp, thereby promoting hair growth. The oil also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce dandruff related symptoms such as itchiness and scalp/hair dryness.
Peppermint oil is effective against migraine as well as tension-related headaches. The menthol content works by easing the pain and promotes relaxation. The fragrance of the oil and its chemical constituents help in opening up the sinuses and enhance the oxygen flow. This oil is also known to relieve congestion and headaches caused by the severe cold.
The aroma of the peppermint oil is known to eliminate stress, improve memory retention, and promote relaxation. It induces alertness and brings clarity to a person’s thought process as well. It is also stated that this oil is known to improve the athletic ability of an individual, improve cognitive functioning, and increases the pain thresholds considerably. It even works to eliminate stress caused by anxiety or fear.
Peppermint oil is among the most popular oils known to enhance concentration, give a definite focus, and considerably boost mental clarity. Studies conducted in 2012 state that inhaling the aroma of this oil is known to boost the mental accuracy by 28%. Hence, it is widely known to vitalize memory and alertness.
The peppermint oil is known to cleanse the skin and scalp. It promotes a balance in the oil content by combating excess oil secretion. Irritated skin caused by acne or any kind of allergies could also be healed gradually with its consistent use. Peppermint oil does not dry out the hair completely, when it reduces the excess oiliness it is known to effectively retain the required hydration.
Lack of motivation, extreme fatigue, tiredness, and confusion are very often seen by those with PMS. Since the aroma of this oil is specifically known for its invigorating and energizing ability, a sniff of it can vastly turn around your mood, enliven as well as boost your energy levels. It is also known to relieve nausea and bloating when diluted and applied over the stomach, thereby relaxing and eliminating any digestive related issues encountered during PMS.
With the current rise in the usage of chemicals and harmful toxins in the majority of the insect repellants, this oil works as a safer option to effectively get rid of cockroaches, bed bugs, and ants. The terpene and menthol content of this oil works as a natural fumigant. Some studies state the usefulness of using this oil in repelling mosquitoes as well. Also, spiders could be eliminated with the use of this oil as its strong scent drives them away.
As peppermint oil is known to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory properties, it works effectively as a pain reliever. It can soothe muscle cramps, joint pain, inflammation, and provides relief to sore muscles. The next time you face discomfort or cramps after any heavy workout, this oil could come handy. Also, it's known to give relief to migraine-related headaches and calms the mind.
Peppermint possesses natural-decongestant properties, when applied topically the oil relieves congestion of the chest. The pungent scent of the oil is known to eliminate nasal congestion, sinusitis as well. It is stated that this oil works by reducing the tension and relaxing the windpipe and hence, soothes the cough reflex shown by the body.
This Peppermint oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Hence, it even works against plaque formation, cleans the teeth efficiently, maintains healthy gums, and even solves bad breath. All these uses make it an effective and important ingredient in the manufacturing of tooth-paste and mouth-washes as well. It can even provide relief for inflammation and toothache caused by gingivitis.
It is important to note that this benefit is mainly to maintain good dental hygiene and even though it can temporarily alleviate certain symptoms, it’s usage should not be replaced by the need of seeking professional help when required.
The Peppermint oil is known to be used in the manufacturing of chewing gums, toffees tooth-paste, and confectionaries as well. The menthol ingredient present in this oil promotes a cooling sensation and promotes freshness. However, it’s important to note that not all Peppermint oils are suitable for ingestion.
Reports state that Peppermint oil aids in effectively treating IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS symptoms are characterized by pain, discomfort, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation. The menthol present in the Peppermint is known to relax the muscles of the intestine and give relief from many of these symptoms which majorly include bloating, discomforts. It is stated that further on peppermint oil could be a noteworthy ingredient involved in the treatment of IBS, functional dyspepsia, and GI disorders that include pain originating in the colon.
Even though this benefit is backed by research, the use stands controversial, hence further research is required.
As Peppermint oil is known to work against acne-formation owing to its antibacterial and antimicrobial ingredients it is widely used in the production of soaps, face-washes as well as cosmetics. It possesses natural astringent properties that provide firmness to skin and aids in tightening the pores. Also, the aroma of this oil emits a fresh fragrance and works in providing an energized feeling after a bath using soaps having this ingredient.
The peppermint flavor is extensively used in mouth sprays and tooth-paste to eliminate mouth-odor and provide a freshness to the breath. The strong minty flavor of the menthol is known in eradicating the formation of bacteria and germs. This oil can also combat bad breath caused by digestive issues. A study conducted on 84 school girls having halitosis and using peppermint mouth rinse has proved its efficacy.
These were the wide-range of benefits found in the peppermint oil, next let’s understand the uses of peppermint oil for various reasons based on the need for a specific category.
In this section, we’ll elaborate the various uses of peppermint oil when applied topically on the skin, hair, or when used for its aroma or medicinal properties.
Did you know that Peppermint oil can prevent the signs of ageing from appearing on your skin? Peppermint has unique astringent properties that help the skin appear youthful by tightening and firming the skin.
It has a cool and a warm effect that works in reducing any pain on the skin by initiating numbness, it hence works as an effective anesthetic agent. It even helps in closing the pores, reducing inflammation as well as skin redness.
It provides relief from any type of sunburn and also supports the healthy growth of skin by the regeneration and renewal process.
Not only this, Peppermint oil can even be diluted and applied on the lips. Its healing properties can alleviate and diminish sun-burnt lips or wind-chapped lips. The menthol content in this oil considerably soothes the skin and promotes healing. Hence, it is also known to be a vital ingredient in the manufacturing of lip-gloss and chap-sticks.
If you want to heal your dark lips and make them pink naturally, you can use Kama Ayurveda Mint Lip Balm infused with Peppermint extracts.
Peppermint oil has numerous benefits as per all ancient medicinal sciences - be it Ayurveda, Chinese folk medicine practice or the ancient Japanese medicine. According to a popular belief, massaging the feet with peppermint oil mixed with a suitable carrier oil can help in eliminating fever.
Peppermint oil is most popular for its analgesic properties, that aid in providing relief from pain, muscle spasms. It’s also known for its antibacterial properties that help in eliminating harmful bacteria, thereby working effectively as a disinfectant.
Further, its antimicrobial and anti-allergenic properties assist in relieving digestive issues and the soothing menthol present in peppermint heals tension-related headaches.
Want to promote healthy hair growth? You need to strengthen your hair follicles by enhancing the blood circulation. Peppermint oil can help you with that.
Simply dilute Peppermint oil with a carrier oil and apply it to your scalp and hair to feel a soothing cooling sensation while promoting healthy growth of your hair. The strong aroma of the menthol present in peppermint will also help eliminate hair lice and any other scalp infection.
Dry scalp related issues like flaking of the scalp, itching, and dandruff can also be combated using the Peppermint oil The rich level of pulegone and mentgone in this oil is known to strengthen the roots and shafts of the hair, thereby reducing breakage and hair-fall.
Do you frequently struggle from cough, cold or sinus blockages?
Inhaling the aroma and scent of Peppermint oil is known to relieve nasal congestion and promote easy breathing. It also enhances the blood circulation, thereby providing relief from nervousness, tension, anxiety, and fatigue. This oil can greatly improve the concentration and mental focus of the person.
It even possesses properties that aids in suppressing appetite and signals a sensation of fullness. When inhaled this oil is also known to relieve nausea. Due to its pleasing minty fragrance, it is used extensively in an air diffuser as a room freshener.
Peppermint oil is known to be an effective insect repellent. The scent of this oil is known to be extremely intolerable to many of the insects and pests and therefore helps in keeping them away.
Menthol which is a major ingredient found in the peppermint oil contains biocidal properties that assist in eliminating mites, larvae, and numerous pests.
Now, as we know about the benefits and uses the peppermint oil provides. Next, let's understand how this oil needs to be used for various purposes. It’s important to note that Peppermint Essential oil is very potent and must only be used topically after diluting it with a suitable carrier oil. There are many ways to use Peppermint oil. Let’s have a look at a few of them.
One could add 1-2 drops of the essential oil to salt (preferably rock salt) and a teaspoon of suitable carrier oil like olive oil to formulate an efficacious scrub which could be used twice a week. (Avoid the area around the eye while scrubbing). This will help you get all the benefits of Peppermint oil for skin such as maintaining the skin texture and natural oil balance.
Add two drops of the peppermint essential oil to one teaspoon warm coconut oil or Aloe Vera gel. You can even include a drop of tree oil if available. This mixture would collectively work against the itching sensation and provide immediate relief. Even the itching caused by nasty insect bites could be reduced with this oil.
Take 1-2 drops of peppermint oil, 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil preferably olive oil along with 1 teaspoon of Vitamin-E in a bowl. Apply this mixture on the acne and rinse it off after a while. This would not only eradicate the bacteria that are causing acne but also diminish blemishes.
Add 15 drops of peppermint oil to a glass bottle measuring two ounces. Next, fill this bottle with Aloe-Vera gel and shake vigorously. Apply this mixture over the skin to soothe the inflammation and promote healing.
Mix a few drops of water, apple cider vinegar, and the essential oil (1 drop). Apply this mixture over the face and leave it overnight. Wash the product with cold water the next morning to get a toned and radiant facial skin.
One could directly add a few drops of the peppermint oil to their shampoo to obtain clean and healthy roots. 5 drops of the essential oil for every ounce of shampoo would be the right measurement.
Add a few drops of the peppermint essential oil to one tablespoon of Coconut oil. Massage this oil-based mixture onto the scalp and through the lengths of the hair. Leave this oil for about 15 minutes after massaging. Next, rinse it with your regular shampoo. In case you find the menthol sensation too intense, add other carrier oil you would like or rinse away immediately. This mixture would effectively boost circulation and promote hair growth.
Gargling with a half teaspoon of rock-salt mixed with peppermint oil added into warm water could eliminate the bacteria and give relief from sore throat
Add a few drops of this oil to boiling water. Next, inhale the steam rising from the water to get relief from running nose and congestion Be careful not to burn yourself while doing so.
One could create their toothpaste with the help of this essential oil. To do so add 3 parts of baking soda to 1 part of coconut oil (about one teaspoon). Next, add about 2-3 drops of the peppermint essential oil. Whip this mixture to form a paste based consistency and apply it on the toothbrush and use it as regular toothpaste. This DIY toothpaste would aid in brightening the teeth and eliminate bacteria all with limited ingredients and away from harmful chemicals.
You could even use this oil as a mouthwash. Just add a drop of this oil to normal water and rinse thoroughly.
Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to half a cup of water and spray it on the regions infected by pests or on those places where the insects are commonly seen as an example, window sill, cupboards, door, etc. You could even add a few drops of this oil on a cotton ball and place it where needful. The strong scent of the oil would keep them at bay.
One could also use a more diluted form of the solution and spray on their clothes which would not come in direct contact with the skin to avail the same benefits.
To use this oil for its aroma and stress-busting properties one could directly add the peppermint oil into the diffuser and derive its benefits. You can also pour a few drops onto a cotton ball and tuck into a corner of the room. Refresh the cotton as required.
You can also add Peppermint Essential Oil to your body massage oil and give yourself a soothing full body massage. To use it for body massage, dilute it with a carrier oil such as Coconut, Almond and Sesame only. Add one or two drops of essential oil to a teaspoon of your chosen carrier oil and blend well.
The cool, tingling action along with its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory benefits relieve pain, cramps and makes for a great post sports or workout massage.
These were the ways to use the Peppermint essential oil. It is advised to do a patch test before incorporating this oil in your skincare or haircare routine. Before considering the usage of this oil kindly consult with your general practitioner to avoid any untoward side-effects.
Certified Ayurvedic Doctor (Central Council of Indian Medicine) working in Kama Ayurveda as an Assistant Training Manager.