Essential oils have for long been in the usage for their enhanced physiological and psychological healing powers. From alleviating cold to improving sleep quality, these aromatic oils have been under the radar for centuries. It was only in the last decade that essential oils started selling themselves in fancy little bottles and marketed across grocery stores and yoga studios alike. Wellness advocates and researchers alike have agreed to the benefits of these oils, stating the many ways these can aid in healing the body and mind. Peppermint oil, a cross between watermint and spearmint has long been coveted for its diverse healing powers. The bursting freshness and pleasing aroma also make it a common flavoring agent for cosmetic products and edibles.
Peppermint Oil Benefits
Check out the benefits of using peppermint oil to know why it is so special:
1. Peppermint Oil for Emotional Growth
Did you ever find yourself drawn to the aromatic tea counter or that aisle with stacked essential oil bottles? If your answer to at least one of these questions is yes, then your mind has subconsciously responded to the allure of aromatherapy. An age-old study, aromatherapy practices the use of natural plant extracts or essential oils to promote health and emotional well-being. Inhalation, ingestion or topical application of essential oils strengthen the bodily functions and complements the healing process.
Ever wondered why peppermint tea is so relaxing? The sweet bursting aroma of the hybrid mint, when inhaled helps to boost the energy levels of the body. A powerful stimulant, peppermint oil instantly works as a mood booster while also showing a positive impact on improving concentration. A study by Mark Moss, Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Division of Psychology, University of Northumbria, states the ability of peppermint to enhance cognition.
People suffering from depression have often shown signs of reduced brain activity, dwindling attention span and reduced concentration. Peppermint essential oil, when inhaled can enhance alertness, focus, and concentration while also significantly heightening the accuracy of memory. If you have been feeling low and taxed, just pour a few drops of peppermint oil and diffuse it in the corner of your room. Remember, an active brain is a healthy brain!
2. Peppermint Oil for Chakra Balance
Just like mitochondria is the energy house of the cell, the chakras are the centers of concentrated energy spread across the body from the tailbone to the crown. Think of them as psychic energy reservoirs that keep the mind, body, spirit, and emotion in balance. Aligning your chakras can bring about stability, harmony, and peace while promoting a sense of holistic healing.
The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) is concentrated around the upper abdomen and is the center of self-esteem and confidence. You can use peppermint oil to massage the chakra point in the abdomen and cool any excess pressure. Massaging with peppermint oil will help balance the over-active chakra and align it with the rest for a synchronized feeling of harmony.
3. Peppermint Oil for Better Oral Health
Ever felt the cool tingly sensation after using your favorite mouth wash? That is the peppermint working its magic. Peppermint is known for fighting bad odor, making it a popular choice before a date night. Its minty freshness keeps bad breaths at bay while also protecting your teeth from oral pathogens and common bacteria. The cooling element of peppermint can also aid in relieving toothache, according to studies. Just dilute peppermint oil with water and rinse your mouth before hitting the sack. It will reduce morning breath while also providing relief to your gums.
Peppermint kills bacteria and fungus that can cause oral infections and slows down the development of cavities. Alternatively, you can add a drop of peppermint oil to your toothpaste to improve oral health. Studies indicate that peppermint oil is especially effective in fighting against stubborn anaerobic bacteria. These thrive in a low-oxygen environment like the gaps between your teeth or the area below the gum line where cavities are most likely to form and grow. If you love flavored tea, you may also add a drop of peppermint oil to your midnight cuppa. It will not only refresh the body but also eradicate that bad after-taste from consuming yesterday’s leftovers.
4. Peppermint Oil for Hair Growth
Every adult has spent at least one day of their lives, fretting over their thinning and receding hairline; a perfectly good day put to waste by conclusive worries about the diminishing glory. If you felt familiar with the above situation, then you have successfully scrolled through all the other parts to here, researching ways of saving the tresses in distress. A beneficial home remedy for thinning hair would be to mix peppermint oil with a cold-pressed carrier oil such as coconut oil and massage the scalp. The pleasing fragrance and antimicrobial property make it the perfect fit for an ailing scalp. It reduces itchiness while also hydrating the scalp to alleviate dryness.
Does winter greet you with a flaky and itchy scalp? Massaging peppermint+coconut oil routinely onto your scalp can reduce the occurrence of flakes, experienced with dry skin. You can also add a drop of the precious oil to your shampoo and conditioner to improve scalp health. The unique properties of the oil stimulate hair follicles and promote hair growth by increasing blood circulation in your scalp. Menthol, the compound which lends the minty oil most of its benefits, acts as a vasodilator. Vasodilators are known for enhancing blood flow and, research indicates that hair loss mostly occurs due to lowered blood flow to hair follicles.
Interestingly, menthol can also be effectively used to treat head lice. Thoroughly massage the scalp with peppermint oil before bedtime and leave it overnight. Rinse off the next day for a lice-free scalp!
5. Peppermint Oil for Skin
From being an essential ingredient in soaps to being a key element of facial toners, peppermint seems to be the flavor of the decade. Most high-end and drugstore cosmetic brands alike covet the herb for its miraculous benefits on the skin. Whether it’s an unhealed sunburn or lackluster skin, the prodigious hybrid has a cure for every skin problem. As discussed previously, peppermint is excellent for enhancing blood circulation. If you are not allergic to oils, mixing peppermint oil with aloe vera would make for an unparalleled home remedy to combat dull skin. When massaged gently, the oil will improve the blood circulation of the skin, enabling oxygen to reach it freely. It will bring about the desired glow and child-like suppleness while also fighting that stubborn sunburn. Keeping a bottle of this mixture handy will help soothe the skin while you are battling it out in the sun.
Alternatively, you can make a DIY face toner with peppermint oil. Take a small plastic spray bottle to store the toner. Start with taking 3/4 cups of filtered water in a clean bowl. Now add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and about 20 drops of peppermint oil to it. Let the mixture sit for a while. Cleanse your face with a good face wash and lightly mist your face with the toner. You may also use a cotton ball to apply the toner. This DIY peppermint toner will not only rejuvenate the senses to kick start your day but also help fight blemishes, rashes, and an oily appearance. The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of peppermint oil naturally cleanse the skin while menthol relieves the inflammation caused by acne.
Peppermint Oil Uses for Foot Spa
Gift yourself the pampering feeling of a relaxing foot spa at home! Do not let your tired, achy feet come in the way of painting the town red. A simple DIY foot spa will not only make your day but also energize you for the forthcoming week. The preparation process is fairly simple and takes about a handful of easily available ingredients. Start by taking 7 drops of peppermint oil, a cup of Epsom salts and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Mix these ingredients in lukewarm water and soak your feet in it. The anti-inflammatory property of peppermint oil leaves a positive soothing impact on the feet while relieving it of aches. Its anti-microbial element also helps combat fungus that can cause odor and infection.
If you complain about foot odor, add a drop of peppermint essential oil to your socks and shoes before setting out for the day and wave goodbye to stinky feet forever!
Active feet requires intense hydration and healing. Regular application of foot cream can take the pressure off your soles while healing painful cracks. Do your feet a favor and gratify them with the remedial touch of peppermint foot cream. There are numerous over-the-counter options and, you can even whip some up on your own. Just mix equal proportions of peppermint oil and tea tree oil with cold-pressed coconut oil and massage it gently like cream in a circular motion. Using this traditional mixture every night will guarantee beautiful feet worthy of admiration.
How to take a peppermint bath?
If you are a bathtub aficionado, try experimenting with peppermint oil in your bath. Add about 2 drops of peppermint oil to your bath (not more, else it can be freezing in a hot bath) and revel in the luxury. Introducing peppermint oil to your bath can work wonders in several ways. It will instantly uplift the mood, reawaken senses, eradicate mental fatigue and most importantly, give you the push to start the day on a positive note. To top that, the minty fresh scent will last all day long!
A positive body image often starts by feeling good about yourself. This therapeutic oil with all its cosmetic and medicinal values promotes a sense of wealthy living by making you feel at ease with the self. This feeling of reinforced self-value drives you towards a better lifestyle and holistic growth.
Peppermint Oil Side Effects and Precautions
While peppermint oil has hundreds of therapeutic values, using it injudiciously can give rise to several complications. Peppermint oil side effects vary greatly, depending on the nature of usage. When applied topically, care needs to be exerted to prevent over usage of the oil. If not used in moderation, it can cause severe skin irritation and allergies. To monitor if your skin is suited to this oil, take a drop and test check it around the wrist. If no signs of irritation crop up, you can safely use this with a controlled dosage. Peppermint essential oil is extremely concentrated and alike other essential oils need to be diluted with a complementing carrier oil. It is best to adhere to the manufacturers’ guidelines to determine the best essential oil to carrier oil ratio.
Although there are lesser-known risks of using peppermint oil for aromatherapy, it is best to keep away pets from peppermint diffusions. The overbearing aroma, among other things, can prove to be discomforting to pets with a heightened sense of smell.
When taken in excessive doses, peppermint oil can prove to be toxic. It contains a toxic compound called pulegone that induces unwelcome side effects on the body. Immoderate usage of peppermint oil can also lead to heartburn, diarrhea, and nausea.
Precautions against using peppermint oil
It is best to restrict the usage of peppermint oil for the following people:
- Children and pregnant women: The body repels several familiar and unfamiliar ingredients during pregnancy, so it is best to avoid peppermint oil while expecting. However, no concrete studies have been carried out that can demonstrate the effect of the oil in expecting and lactating mothers. Also, one should avoid massaging the faces or chests of infants and young children with this oil. It is believed that inhaling menthol present in the oil can induce respiratory obstructions.
- People on medication: Peppermint oil supplements can interact with drugs to yield undesired results. It can prevent the medication from working and amplify the side effects. It is always best to consult a doctor before the intake of peppermint oil supplements, especially while on medication.
Here were some of the ways you should and shouldn’t use peppermint oil. It is time you put it to use and make the most of its benefits.