Peppermint: essential 0il profile

In the early years of my aromatherapy practice, I used a peppermint essential oil that came from the United States. The sweet minty scent reminded me of candy canes and Christmas. It was ok, but definitely not a scent I was naturally drawn to.

I will never forget the moment that I smelled an organic peppermint essential oil from France. Oo la la! The scent was green, lush, and soothing.  And so very different from the other variety I had been using.

Recently, a client of mine had a similar experience in my aromatherapy studio. Her delight in smelling the organic peppermint led me to write this blog.

An overview

Peppermint is a perennial herb that easily spreads. It is widely used in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and it is uplifting, refreshing, cooling, and stimulating.

Peppermint’s most important chemical component is menthol which has several well-researched properties. Peppermint essential oil is:

  • Analgesic – it can be very helpful for reducing muscle pain
  • Anti-inflammatory – it can be used for an acute injury where there is swelling
  • Antibacterial – it is useful in a blend for colds and flus
  • Antispasmodic – it is a great digestive aid (think peppermint tea!)
  • Stimulating – the scent energizes the mind, so do not use before bed
  • Cooling – the presence of menthol induces a cooling sensation and using the essential oil in a body mist (diluted) can cool you down

Recipes

Tension Headache Relief Oil

  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 8 drops orange essential oil
  • 30 ml carrier oil (like jojoba oil)

Apply to the shoulders and neck at the beginning of a tension headache. Avoid using on the face. Apply every 15 minutes for an hour.

Mental Awake Diffuser Blend

  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil

Blend the essential oils together and add 4 – 5 drops to a diffuser.

Travel Sickness Remedy

  • 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball
  • Store the cotton ball in a ziplock bag.
  • When you start to feel motion sickness, open the bag and smell the peppermint.

Safety tips

Based on research,  we should take extra caution when using this essential oil. Here are some recommendations:

  • Do not use topically with babies or children under five years old
  • The essential oil can be irritating if applied on the face or near the eyes.
  • It may be skin irritating if used in the bath.
  • Always dilute peppermint essential oil before applying it to your skin. Use a maximum of 5 – 6 drops per 30 ml of carrier oil.
  • Tisserand and Young (2014) state that peppermint essential oil should be avoided in the instance of cardiac fibrillation and by those with a G6PD deficiency.

 References

Tisserand, R. & Young, R. Essential Oil Safety. (2014). Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

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