Why the focus on Peppermint this month? Peppermint is a therapeutically valuable plant that is worth having in your garden or even in a small planter. It is one of our favorite oils with a variety of benefits, but it also needs to be respected for its power and strength. We will touch on both cautions and benefits in today’s blog. I am a huge proponent of essential oil safety, so the following recommendations are important to note:
- Avoid diffusing pure peppermint essential oil near children or infants. It should not be used on children under the age of 30 months in any form.
- Peppermint oil should never be applied undiluted to the skin. Allergic reactions, rashes, and contact dermatitis can result.
- The menthol in peppermint leaves a cooling/icy sensation that many people enjoy. However, without proper dilution this sensation can translate into a chemical burn, damaging mucus membranes, irritating the throat and the eyes.
- Do not add Peppermint essential oil to bathwater. Water does not dilute, it allows oil molecules to congregate, increasing exposure to certain areas of the body.
- Peppermint essential oil can interact with many medications. It can increase or decrease the absorption rate of many drugs.
- Peppermint essential oil intended for any type of oral use should always be appropriately diluted or enteric coated in a tablet or capsule formulated for internal use. If you want peppermint oil in your tea, add a real peppermint leaf while it is steeping.
- Excess inhalation of Peppermint oil can lead to dizziness, headaches, double vision, weakness and nausea.
So, now that we have pointed out the POWER of this oil, it is time to focus on the benefits of peppermint essential oil.
- Inhalation of properly diluted Peppermint helps with sinus and congestive issues by naturally opening bronchial passages.
- Inhalation using a personal diffuser is wonderful for any type of nausea…..car sickness, motion sickness, sea sickness, and yes, even morning sickness.
- Peppermint has strong anti-inflammatory benefits and is used in headache remedies when diluted with a carrier oil and combined with other oils such as lemon or orange essential oils. It isn’t used alone for headaches, as too much can actually make a headache worse.
- Peppermint is a wonderful analgesic and tremendous anecdotal evidence points at pain relief. Due to the strength and potential interactions with medication, pain relieving products should be formulated by a professional.
- Dermatologists are using highly diluted forms of Peppermint to fight acne, for the anti-bacterial and antiseptic benefits. Peppermint’s cooling sensation and helps to fight the inflammation and irritation of severe acne.
- Bug Repellant – absolutely one of the best uses whether in a bug spray or just on a cotton ball and wipe around the corners of your kitchen/bath countertops to drive away ants or other intruders. One treatment usually works for a few months.
- Significant research has gone into the Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, it only works when properly diluted and encapsulated in delayed release capsules. The route to the bowels is long. Essential oils and mucus membranes do not like each other, so encapsulating the oil keeps it intact until it reaches the irritated bowel area. This treatment is slowly moving into mainstream medicine.
So basically, when it comes to Peppermint, a little dab will do ya!