Our intent is to provide periodic blogs on specific essential oils to help educate our clients and share the wondrous benefits that some essential oils may impart. Since it is the Holiday Season, it is a scent we find propogated in lotions, candles and candies galore.  Let’s start with Peppermint.

Peppermint essential oil (Mentha Piperata or Arvensis)

Peppermint essential oil is produced worldwide, however India’s soil and climate conditions are known to produce premium plants with outstanding oil quality. The main chemical component of peppermint is Menthol, which can comprise 37 to 40% of the oil itself.  This is part of what gives peppermint it’s cooling sensation and is the oil that we use in our all natural peppermint lip balm.

From a research perspective, it has been conclusively shown that peppermint essential oil is a vaso-dilator….it opens blood vessels.  This benefits the body in more than one way. In addition, chemically speaking, peppermint contains Phenylpropanoids. These compounds compose 25% of peppermint. These compounds creates conditions where harmful bacteria and viruses cannot live, peppermint has been proven to actually clean the receptor sites on cells. Cells cannot communicate without clean receptor sites and the body begins to malfunction, resulting in illness. Peppermint is a double whammy by also containing Monoterpenes (45%).  These compounds have multiple benefits, but most importantly, they can re-program miswritten information in cellular DNA memory. Improper coding leads to disease including cancer.

Studies have investigated the use of this oil in educational settings.  Typing tests were conducted with peppermint essential oil diffused throughout the room.  The results noted significant differences in overall speed and accuracy on typing assignment when peppermint was present. Alphabetical skills also improved with Peppermint Essential Oil. This suggested a general increase in attention span and focus.

For the private user, peppermint essential oil should always be diluted with a carrier oil before being applied to the skin, it should never be used full strength.  To do so will result in a burning sensation.  Mix drops of peppermint into a light grapeseed oil, jojoba oil or even sweet almond oil and use for a variety of issues:

  1. Nausea – particularly dizziness associated with car or motion sickness. (Peppermint has also been known to lessen the nausea that accompanies chemotherapy.)
  2. Reduce fevers – a few drops of Peppermint in alcohol added to a tepid bath
  3. Respiratory relief – Inhalation either from a diffuser or steam-release method
  4. Muscle pain – mixed with a cream carrier, massage into muscle groups and joints for quick relief
  5. Headache relief – rub diluted peppermint across the temple or on the occipital muscle at the back of the neck.
  6. A few drops on a cottonball swabbed around doorways, windows and sink will help to repel ants.

Peppermint Essential Oil should not be used topically on infants and young children unless heavily diluted.

Major medical centers including John’s Hopkins, The Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic are doing essential oil research with Peppermint.  Clinical trials with colostomy patients have shown a relaxed effect on the bowel muscles, reduced pain & spasms.  On a totally different plane, intercollegiate athletes are part of a project to measure performance changes while competing in an environment where peppermint essential oil is infused in the air.  On average, they ran faster, did more push-ups, and exhibited more body strength than those who did not inhale Peppermint.

This little mint is a natural power plant of pharmacopeia! If you want to start experimenting and learning about essential oils, keep a 5 ml bottle in your medicine cabinet. You can also drop a few leaves into hot water and allow them to steep, filling your room with the natural essence. Take your first step toward a more natural, holistic lifestyle and experience the benefits of Peppermint.

*http://www.labofflowers.com/michaelarticlesauthor.html
*Nursing Times, July 5, 1989
*Principles and Practice of Phytoytherapy; Kerry Boone/Simon Mills – Second Edition
*Natural Options Certification Protocol