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Health

What Are the Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil?

Nowadays, essential oils are present in every other household around the globe. This is because of the big number of benefits they have to offer. One of the most commonly used and versatile essential oils is peppermint essential oil.

What makes this oil so good? It is the fact that the peppermint essential oil can be used topically, for aromatherapy as well as internally. Keeping a bottle of peppermint essential oil will not only come in handy for beautification purposes but might help you with many health issues.

From digestive disorders to allergic reactions, peppermint essential oil can help you in many different ways. There is plenty of evidence to back and explain these benefits of this wonder oil.

For example, a review by the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University shows that peppermint essential oil antiviral and antibacterial properties.

In addition, it also shows anti-tumor potential in clinical trials, is a strong antioxidant, can be used as an anti-allergen and helps in relieving pain and relaxing muscles.

Knowing all these benefits, who would not keep peppermint essential oil at home? Perhaps this is why it is among the most used essential oils in the world next to lavender essential oil and tea tree oil.

How Is Peppermint Essential Oil Obtained?

The peppermint plant is actually a hybrid of Mentha Aquatica or water mint and spearmint. The essential oil from it is derived mainly from all the outer or aerial parts of the plant. This is done through the process of cold or CO2 extraction.

The peppermint essential oil and plant itself has a rich history. It was one of the most used herbs for medicinal purposes in Europe. Additionally, the plant is also seen in old Asian texts from Japan. It was also a part of Chinese folk medicine.

People who have read Greek mythology may also know that peppermint is mentioned when the nymph Mentha became sweet-smelling herb after falling in love with Pluto. The oldest account of the oil is from 1,000 BC when it was a part of Egyptian medicine.

What about today’s world? Peppermint essential oil is also used widely in modern times. It can help you with various issues. For example, it can help you freshen your breath up. Applying it topically will give you a cooling sensation as well as get rid of any infections due to its antimicrobial properties.

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What Are the Major Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil?

The peppermint essential oil has numerous benefits. You might not be able to recall them all at once. Here are some of the best and biggest benefits that will convince you to keep the oil at home:

Sinus and respiratory issues

If you frequently suffer from breathing and sinus issues, peppermint essential oil can be of great use. According to studies on the oil, it has both antiviral and antibacterial properties. This means it can help you will infections in the respiratory pathways.

Out of all the essential oil, peppermint oil is also known as the best one for sinusitis, flu, bronchitis, and cold. All you have to do is inhale it. It will help to unblock sinuses, get rid of a sore throat and a runny nose.

Joint and muscle pains

One of the most unique benefits of peppermint essential oil is its ability to relieve many kinds of pain. The oil is among the best natural alternatives to painkillers. In clinical trials, it was seen to perform as good as acetaminophen.

You can use the oil to get rid of one of your killer headaches instead of taking medicines every time. In addition, research has also shown that peppermint essential oil may help in relieving pains linked to myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia.

Peppermint oil can be applied topically to the particular painful area. It is commonly used in combination with other oils such as lavender essential oil for even better effects.

Alternative for irritable bowel syndrome

IBS is one of the most common gastrointestinal condition. Research shows that peppermint oil consumed in the form of capsules can help improve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It can also reduce bloating, gas, and spasms in the colon.

To relieve period-related bloating and cramps, the oil can also be applied topically on the concerned area 1-2 times a day.

Natural insect repellent

The majority of people will love and appreciate the smell of peppermint essential oil. However, in the case of bugs and insects, they are drawn away from it. This makes the oil a very effective and natural insect repellent. It will help you keep mosquitoes, ants, cockroaches, and spiders away.

Treatment for sunburns

As mentioned before, peppermint essential oil has a cooling effect on the skin. The oil will not only hydrate and moisturize if you apply it but also heal sunburns. Secondly, it may even help you prevent those painful, itchy burns in the first place.

In comparison with other essential oils, peppermint essential oil has a higher sun protection factor. Mixing it with a carrier oil like coconut oil will protect the skin from the skin or heal the burns faster.

Oral health

Since the oil smells great, it can be used to get rid of bad breath too, right? This is actually an ancient way to freshen up the breath. Due to peppermint essential oil’s antimicrobial properties, using it orally can also keep infections away.

Adding a drop of peppermint essential oil to your toothpaste can help in maintaining the oral health. It may even help in getting rid of tar and whitening teeth.

Energy levels

Ever thought inhaling an oil will help boost your energy levels? This is true! Inhaling a little bit of peppermint essential oil can help you perform better especially in physical activities. In addition, the smell of the oil will also increase your alertness and concentration.

So, in case you need some extra energy, try diffusing peppermint essential oil or just inhaling it after rubbing a few drops in your hands.

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Things To Keep In Mind

Peppermint essential oil is possibly one of the safest essential oils. It is commonly used both topically and internally. The only time it can potentially be harmful is when you add too much of it to food or when you get an allergic reaction.

To stay safe, add a very little and appropriate amount carefully. Before applying topically, try doing a patch test near your elbow. Do not use if redness and irritation occur.

Always remember to mix peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil of your choice before using topically on sensitive areas such as the face. People with extra reactive skin should always follow this step. A good alternative for such people is lavender essential oil.

Like all other herbs and essential oils, peppermint essential oil can also interact will medication. If you have a certain health condition and are on medication, do not take the oil before talking to your doctor about it. This also goes for the people who take supplements as the oil may interact with their absorption.

For example, if peppermint essential oil is taken along with iron supplements, it reduces its absorption levels. Lastly, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use any essential oils before talking to their doctors.

 

 

Areeba Hussain

The author is a Medical Microbiologist and a healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. She is an author of six research papers and currently working as a research associate in a Research Lab.

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