Peppermint essential oil - Benefits, uses & effects
Peppermint is an aromatic herb in the mint family. It’s a hybrid mint that’s a cross between spearmint and watermint. It can be found naturally in North America and Europe.
Peppermint essential oil can be extracted from the leaves of the peppermint plant and is used for a variety of different purposes like in aromatherapy or diluted and applied to the skin.
What are the benefits of Peppermint essential oil?
Peppermint oil has traditionally been used for a variety of purposes, including:
Treatment for a variety of conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, and other digestive issues, as well as the common cold and headaches
Topical application for relief from itching, muscle pain, and headache
Flavoring agent in foods and in products such as mouthwashes
Fresh, pleasing scent added to soaps and cosmetic products
Also has mild antimicrobial properties
Like many essential oils, researchers have been working to evaluate the potential health benefits of Peppermint oil and its components.
How to use Peppermint essential oil?
As a Facial Scrub
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 the skin such as maintaining the skin texture and natural oil balance.
To reduce Skin Itchiness
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.
To heal Sun Burns
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.
As a Skin Toner
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.
Enhance your Shampoo
One could directly add a few drops of 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.
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.
Are there any side effects?
Essential oils are not meant to be taken orally. Some possible side effects of taking peppermint extract orally include heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. Choose an extract if you’re adding peppermint oil to food.
Aromatherapy or topical use of diluted essential peppermint oil can have significant benefits with little risk. But be aware that peppermint aromatherapy can be toxic to pets. Always consider children, pets, and pregnant women before using aromatherapy.
If taken in very large doses, peppermint oil can be toxic. It contains a known toxic compound called pulegone. Cosmetic formulations of peppermint oil are supposed to contain one percent or less pulegone, although in some cases they may contain more.
It’s also important to remember that peppermint essential oil is very concentrated and should always be diluted properly before topical use. Only a few drops are needed for diluting in an ounce of carrier oil.
In some cases, peppermint oil that’s applied to the skin may cause irritation or a rash to occur. If you’re concerned about having a skin reaction to peppermint oil, test a small patch of your skin first.
The bottom line!
Peppermint oil comes from the peppermint plant. It’s been used for many things, such as relieving GI discomfort, easing nausea, and alleviating pain.
While some of the proposed benefits of peppermint oil come from anecdotal evidence, research suggests peppermint oil may be beneficial for IBS and other digestive conditions, as well as pain relief.
Peppermint oil is generally safe, but it can be toxic when taken in very large doses. Additionally, you should always dilute peppermint essential oil before use.
Always talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns before using peppermint oil.
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