Various peppermint oil uses have prompted attention. Those willing to experiment with the herb often find a multitude of uses. Find out what medicinal value the herb holds for you.
Peppermint oil is derived from the peppermint plant, a combination of both the spearmint and water mint plant. Its dark green foliage is adorned with small, pale flowers. Leaves of the peppermint plant contain the medicinal components, including the widely used menthol. The plant is a historically used medicine and flavoring, dating back thousands of years. Native to Europe, several kinds of peppermint plants exist and are purchased and tended for a multitude of modern uses.
Peppermint Oil Uses
Few are individuals who have not pleased their palate with some sort of peppermint treat. Peppermint candy canes appear annually as an appetizing and ornamental tradition. Peppermint is also a central ingredient in mouthwashes, toothpastes and regularly used cosmetics. All of these uses for peppermint are well known, but peppermint oil has many more uses often undiscovered, except by herbalists. The following are some of ways you can use peppermint oil:
- Upset Stomach--Peppermint oil may help speed digestion. A few drops combined with water make a soothing stomach tonic, which helps relieve gas and bloating by relaxing the muscles in the stomach.
- Motion Sickness--Peppermint oil may calm the queasy feelings brought on by motion sickness.
- Menstruation and Pregnancy--Women with stomach cramps or morning sickness may find relief with peppermint oil.
- Dental Care--The antiseptic properties in peppermint oil are beneficial for banishing bad breath and soothing toothaches.
- Headaches--When applied to the forehead, peppermint oil may help tame tension headaches.
- Fatigue--Peppermint oil is used as a stimulant, helping to promote mental clarity and energy.
- Colds--Peppermint oil is used to clear the respiratory tract, unclog nasal passages and soothe throat irritations caused by the common cold. Individuals with bronchitis, asthma and sinus difficulties may apply the oil to the chest for immediate relief.
- Stress--Peppermint oil is a preferred aromatherapy oil, used to relive stress and promote relaxation.
- Insomnia--Those suffering with bouts of sleeplessness may use the oil to relieve anxiety and encourage rest.
- Skin irritations--The antiseptic qualities of peppermint oil make it useful for topical healing of acne, bug bites, poison ivy, poison oak and a host of other skin ailments.
- IBS--Individuals with irritable bowel syndrome may ease their symptoms with peppermint oil.
- Dandruff--When applied to the scalp, peppermint oil is a cooling cure for itchy scalp and dandruff.
- Pain--Peppermint oil is used to relieve general pain symptoms.
- Urinary Tract Infections--While scientific evidence is lacking, some individuals use peppermint oil to treat UTIs.
Purchasing Peppermint Oil
To garner the benefits of peppermint oil, finding a quality product is key. Peppermint oil can be purchased online and in health food stores, however, not all oils are the same. Here are some tips to help you obtain the best oils:
- Sniff--If you have the option, use your senses to guide you to a good peppermint oil. Pungent oil typically indicate a concentrated product.
- Package--The oil should be encased in an amber or dark bottle to preserve its potency.
- Price--The old saying, "You pay for what you get," applies when purchasing peppermint oil. While not all expensive oils are top-notch, the cheapest are likely the least potent.
Nutritional Value of Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is more than just a remedial, all-purpose oil. It also contains nutritional properties, including an abundance of vitamins and minerals. The following are some of the nourishing elements of peppermint oil:
- B Vitamins
- Vitamin E
The plethora of peppermint oil uses give the oil immense value.