Essential Oil Spotlight: Peppermint
Whether it be tea, essential oil, or fresh herb, peppermint (mentha x piperita) is known for providing an undeniably crisp, clean sensation and aroma. Peppermint essential oil is obtained via steam distillation of leaves and twigs from the partially dried herb, and can range in price and chemical components depending on the geographic origin and supplier. The aroma of peppermint essential oil is a strong, fresh, grassy-minty odour, with a slightly sweet undertone. Our USA grown peppermint essential oil is available here.
Below, we will talk about a few common uses of peppermint essential oil, how we use it here at 42020 Visionaries, and ways to incorporate it into your daily lifestyle.
Peppermint is best known for its effect on the gut. A great way of utilizing peppermint for this purpose is through herbal tea. Peppermint is the most common single-herb tea to be sold on the market, possibly because it is so delicious and makes a great stand in for coffee, but also because of its undeniable ability to calm the stomach and relieve common upsets. In his book “The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy” Battaglia states that, “Peppermint is one of the most effective essential oils for the digestive system. It relieves dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, diarrhea and flatulence” (Battaglia). Peppermint is certainly one of the most commonly used essential oils, has been studied extensively, and has earned its place in the medicine cabinet. Whether it be a bit of indigestion, nausea, or heartburn, peppermint is a powerful remedy and one you want to have readily available.
The use of peppermint oil is showing promise in the world of cancer treatment: “A randomised, double-blind clinical trial examined the efficacy of M. spiatica (Spearmint) and M. x piperita essential oils in preventing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The results of this study found that there was a significant reduction in the intensity and number of emetic events in the first 24 hours from both spearmint and peppermint oils when compared to the control group” (Tayarani Najarian / 2013). Nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy is detrimental to patients undergoing treatment, often making it unbearable. In fact, nausea can sometimes be so unbearable that patients may experience anticipatory nausea… otherwise known as the sickness that occurs before a chemotherapy treatment, which can be triggered simply by the thought of going, and by the odours of the treatment room. Peppermint essential oil offers promising benefits for those undergoing chemotherapy and looking for an alternative form of nausea reduction opposed to commonly prescribed pharmaceutical-grade anti emetics. Peppermint essential oil can be used alone, or in combination with the oils below via a rollerball to apply directly to the stomach. It can also be taken internally through oil based capsules to assist with indigestion, nausea, and symptoms commonly associated with IBS.
For digestion and stomach related upsets, consider blending peppermint with Ginger, aniseed, coriander seed, sweet fennel, orange, spearmint & cardamom.
Pain Relief & Headache Reduction
One of the main components of peppermint essential oil is menthol (ranging from 30-55%), an ingredient commonly used in the food & flavor industries, as well as the pharmaceutical industry. Topical formulations including menthol are common for pain relief as it is a powerful analgesic. Menthol provides a pleasant cooling sensation when applied to the skin, yet is also a rubefacient, meaning that it stimulates blood circulation- this causes a subtle warming sensation in addition to its cooling effect. Peppermint essential oil, therefore, is a fantastic oil to consider applying topically for acute muscle pain, muscle stiffness, post workout stress, and arthritis. Peppermint is featured in our Muscle Soothing Salve formulation, standing next to frankincense & ginger essential oils, and Arnica CO2 extract (plus, of course, the CBD).
Some essential oils to consider blending with peppermint for topical application for muscle stiffness: Black pepper, ginger, spike lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus.
Peppermint is also renowned for its ability to reduce the symptoms and frequency associated with headaches and migraines. The essential oil has withstood multiple clinical studies in which its efficacy has been proven compared to the control group. One study found that,“Compared with the application of a placebo, the peppermint oil treatment, which was applied across the forehead and temples, significantly reduced the clinical headache intensity after 25 minutes. The reduction of pain intensity continued over a one-hour observation period” (Quintessential Aromatics Database 2013). Migraines are an all too common issue that affects the lives of many, and can often be triggered by stress. Although I am fortunate to say that I have never experienced a true migraine, peppermint oil has certainly come to the rescue for me during stress or lack-of-sleep induced headaches. Peppermint essential oil is featured in our Headspace Rollerball, which has received outstanding feedback from folks who often experience headaches and migraines. In this blend, peppermint stands next to lavender, spike lavender, geranium, and roman chamomile… offering a deep, fresh, calming aroma best suited for stress induced headaches. This rollerball can be applied directly to the temples, between eyebrows, on the forehead, behind ears, and on the base of the head / neck.
Energetically, peppermint essential oil promotes alertness, can assist with becoming clear headed, and refreshes the spirits. Peppermint is a great oil to apply or diffuse while working, reading, or situations where concentration is needed. One aromatherapist states that “while peppermint oil enhances concentration, it works on another level to facilitate the digestion of new ideas” (Mojay G. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit). I absolutely love this quote, as it speaks to how an oil can seem to be working on one area of our subconscious, while in reality it is working on a much deeper level. Below are some essential oils to consider blending with peppermint to stimulate the mind, enhance focus or concentration, and provide an uplifting sensation. These oils could be blended into a rollerball for daily use, and would make a wonderful diffuser blend for times when focus and attention is needed. I also love to use peppermint in the shower, whether it be in sugar / salt scrubs, body washes, or just bringing the bottle in with me to kick start my day (great to clear the sinuses)! I also apply to the soles of my feet for added relief and stimulation.
Energetic blending suggestions: Basil, black pepper, ginger, lemon, pine, & rosemary
42020 Visionaries products containing peppermint essential oil:
- Headspace Rollerball
- PMS Cramp Relief Rollerball
- Hair & Scalp Tonic
- Muscle Soothing Salve
- Peppermint Lip Balm
Purchase our USA grown peppermint essential oil here- offered at 15% off until February 17th!
- Peppermint essential oil should not be applied to the nose or face of children under the age of 5.
- Peppermint essential oil should not be applied above 3% dilution specifically to mucus membranes such as the eyes, nose, genitals or mouth.
- This potent oil can cause strong cooling & burning sensation when applied neat (undiluted) to the skin.
Thank you for taking time to take a small dip into the many benefits of peppermint essential oil. I would love to hear your questions, thoughts, and experiences with peppermint in the comments section!
Is there a specific oil that you would like to learn about? Get in touch via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
References & Additional Reading:
The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy VOL 1 Third Edition by Salvatore Battaglia
Aromatherapeutic Blending: Essential Oils In Synergy by Jennifer Peace Rhind