Peppermint essential oil has been used for centuries by all different cultures to heal or treat many different medical conditions. It can still be used today in several different ways to improve a person’s overall health and has scientific research to back up some of these claims. The oil can be consumed in small amounts or placed directly onto the skin if diluted. It can also be inhaled to heal from the inside out. Listed below are the most common ways that peppermint essential oil can be used as a natural medicine.
During an asthma attack, peppermint oil can be directly inhaled to stop the symptoms from progressing. The oil can also be mixed with an equal amount of carrier oil and applied directly to the chest. The calming abilities of the oil can help relieve the body of tension that can deepen the severity of an asthma attack.
When suffering from the common cold or any other condition that causes congestion in the chest, peppermint oil can help to sooth sore throats and nasal passages while helping to break up mucous. The oil can be added to a pot with water hot enough to produce steam. A towel can then be placed over the head while the individual leans over the pot, inhaling the infused steam. The oil can also be mixed with an equal amount of carrier oil and applied topically directly on the chest for relief.
- Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS)
One of the most common natural treatments for IBS is peppermint oil. IBS is a syndrome that causes gas, diarrhea, constipation and overall pain throughout the abdomen. It is estimated that close to 20% of Americans suffer from this syndrome. Peppermint oil is well known for its abilities to sooth stomach discomfort and can provide great results for sufferers of IBS. A drop of peppermint oil can be added to a glass of water for immediate consumption or can be mixed with an equal amount of carrier oil and massaged directly onto the abdomen in a circular motion. Peppermint filled capsules may also be taken if recommended by a medical professional.
- Nausea and Motion Sickness
Peppermint oil can sooth many stomach ailments, including nausea and motion sickness. If suffering from these issues, a drop or two of peppermint oil can be added to a glass of water and consumed. For nausea, a few drops can be mixed with a carrier oil and massaged behind the ears. Peppermint oil is often recommended for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness. This treatment is thought to be safe but should be approved by the individual’s medical practitioner.
- Bacterial Infections
When a few drops of peppermint oil are mixed with an equal amount of carrier oil it can be applied directly to cuts and wounds to prevent the development of infection causing bacteria and improve blood circulation which speeds up the healing process. The cooling sensation can also provide pain relief. The oil can also be directly added to a warm bath to help with multiple abrasions.
- Varicose Veins
Varicose veins can be unsightly and cause low self esteem. Treatment can be expensive and invasive. Peppermint oil can help to improve the appearance of these veins when mixed with an equal amount of carrier oil. The resulting cream should be applied directly to the skin in an upwards stroke towards the heart. Repeat this process twice a day until desired results are achieved.
- Headaches and Migraines
Migraines can virtually be healed by peppermint oil. The oil provides a relaxing and cooling sensation while dilating blood vessels. This increases circulation and relieves the associated pain. The oil can simply be diffused throughout the room or diluted and applied. The oil should be mixed with an equal amount of carrier oil and massaged on the temples, forehead or the back of the neck. Be careful to avoid contact with the eyes. This same cream can be applied to sore muscles and aches with similar results.
- Hot Flashes or Fever
Peppermint oil can be diluted with distilled water in a spray bottle and spritzed on the skin when a hot flash occurs. The instant cooling effect is soothing and refreshing. When suffering from a fever, the oil can be diffused throughout the home or added to a glass of water for consumption. The oil will help to regulate the body’s core temperature which will aid the body in fighting off the infection.
- Improves Brain Function and Memory
Peppermint oil has been shown to stimulate the brain when inhaled. It is also linked to improved memory and has the potential to slow down the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The oil can be inhaled directly from the bottle or heated in a bowl of water that produces steam. If there is no improvement after using the water, it can be reheated to release more of the oil’s aroma and inhaled again. Instead of inhaling peppermint oil, it can be mixed with an equal amount of carrier oil and massaged into the base of the toes.
When peppermint oil is used by children diagnosed with autism it can provide a sense of emotional balance. Mix one drop of peppermint oil with two tablespoons of a carrier oil. Apply the cream to the chest in a massaging motion.
- Jet Lag
When traveling, jet lag can set in and take days to recover from. Peppermint oil can be combined with an equal amount of carrier oil and applied topically through a full body massage to rejuvenate the senses and calm the body. The oil may also be diffused for the same results.
Peppermint oil can be easily found in health stores or purchased online. For best results, purchase a high quality oil. When applying to the skin, never use fully concentrated oil. Always speak to a health professional before medicating with peppermint essential oil and discontinue use if there are any negative side effects, such as allergic reactions or mental fogginess.