REMEMBER: These Are 10 MOST Important Health Benefits and Uses of Peppermint Oil! Pay SPECIAL Attention to Benefit #9! AWESOME Photos and Great Ideas Included!
Cool, refreshing and soothing, people love the scent and taste of peppermint. Native to Europe, people have been using peppermint for centuries to treat a variety of health issues.
In fact, this plant is often referred to as the world’s oldest medicine.
Peppermint oil is more concentrated and potent than its fresh counterpart, and its medicinal benefits have been studied extensively by the scientific community.
If you’re looking for new oil to add to your collection, peppermint is a great place to start. Here are ten benefits this essential oil offers.
Benefit #1 – Provides Pain Relief
Known for its soothing properties, peppermint is a highly effective pain reliever. If you suffer from tension-type headaches, this is one oil you want to have in your cupboard.
One study looked at the effectiveness of peppermint on headache pain in 41 patients. Peppermint oil was spread across the forehead and temples of patients and reapplied again after 15-30 minutes. Participants reported a significant reduction in headache pain after just 15 minutes.
The pain continued to subside over the one-hour observation period, and patients experienced no adverse side effects. If you’re looking for a natural alternative to headache medicine, peppermint oil is a smart choice.
Göbel, H., et al. (1996). “Effectiveness of Oleum menthae piperitae and paracetamol in therapy of headache of the tension type”, in Der Nervenartz, Vol. 67(8).
Benefit #2 – Effective Decongestant That Provides Respiratory Benefits
When a cough and cold season is in full swing, peppermint oil may just be your best ally against congestion. Peppermint acts as a powerful decongestant, opening up airways and helping clear your respiratory system.
Studies show that certain compounds in peppermint oil have an antispasmodic effect on the trachea, helping relieve congestion and cough. It’s no surprise that Peppermint oil is often used to help treat respiratory diseases.
If you have a diffuser on hand, diffusing peppermint oil can help clear your respiratory system and relieve coughs – especially when used at night. It’s a natural, gentle and safe way to find relief from symptoms of the common cold.
de Sousa, A. A., et al. (2010). “Antispasmodic effect of Mentha piperita essential oil on tracheal smooth muscle of rats”, in Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 130(2).
Benefit #3 – Provides Help for Dental Cavities & Bad Breath
When people talk about fresh breath, the word “minty” is often used. Just take a look at your favorite toothpaste. Chances are, it’s mint-flavored.
That’s because peppermint is a fantastic odor neutralizer, but it also has potent antimicrobial properties that can help prevent cavities. In one study, a group of researchers observed the effectiveness of peppermint and other essential oils against several oral pathogens.
The results showed that peppermint oil, along with tea tree oil and eugenol oil, were highly effective antiseptic solutions. In other words, peppermint oil can kill germs and bacteria in your mouth. It’s no wonder this oil is often used in commercial and homemade toothpaste.
Thosar, N., et al. (2013). “Antimicrobial efficacy of five essential oils against oral pathogens: An in vitro study”, in European Journal of Dentistry, Vol. 7(Suppl 1).
Benefit #4 – Provides Relief for Stomach Problems & Indigestion
If you’re battling digestive issues, peppermint oil can provide you with the relief you need – minus any unwanted side effects. This oil soothes stomach muscles and helps improve bile flow, which is what the body uses to digest fats.
Foods can then pass quickly through the stomach, leading to fewer digestive issues. Peppermint is also used to help treat IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and gas.
Its soothing properties provide relief and can also contribute to preventing both indigestion and heartburn. In a 4-week, double-blind trial, IBS patients were given peppermint oil three times per day. At the end of the test, patients reported a 40% reduction in their symptoms with few adverse side effects.
Cash, B. D., et al. (2016). “A Novel Delivery System of Peppermint Oil Is an Effective Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms”, in Digestive Diseases and Sciences, Vol. 61(2).
Benefit #5 – Minimizes Stress & Mental Fatigue
When life gets stressful, and you feel mentally exhausted, peppermint essential oil can give you the lift you need to keep anxiety and exhaustion at bay. With cooling and energizing properties, you’ll be feeling better in no time.
One group of researchers studied the effectiveness of peppermint against stress and mental fatigue in 14 participants. Each participant was given a personal inhaler with a mixture of either rose water or essential oils (peppermint, helichrysum, and basil).
Then they were asked to use the inhaler three times a day, five days a week for three weeks. The aromatherapy group saw a major reduction in perceived mental exhaustion when compared to the placebo group.
The next time you’re feeling stressed and mentally burnt out, put a few drops of peppermint oil in your diffuser, sit back and enjoy the soothing benefits of this potent oil.
Varney, E. & J. Buckle. (2013). “Effect of inhaled essential oils on mental exhaustion and moderate burnout: a small pilot study”, in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 19(1).
Benefit #6 – Fights Against Herpes Infection
Can an essential oil help fight against herpes infection? According to one study, yes. Researchers analyzed the effectiveness of peppermint oil against the herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2.
The results showed that the oil was highly effective at reducing plaque formation at non-toxic concentrations (82% for HSV-1 and 92% for HSV-2). Higher levels reduced the viral titers of both viruses by over 90%.
Results were best when applied within 3 hours of incubation. Researchers concluded that peppermint essential oil may be a suitable topical antiviral solution for recurring herpes infections.
Schuhmacher, A., et al. (2003). “Virucidal effect of peppermint oil on the enveloped viruses herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in vitro”, in Phytomedicine, Vol. 10(6-7).
Benefit #7 – Inhibits Growth of Prostate Cancer
Studies show that menthol, a compound found in peppermint, can inhibit prostate cancer growth. It does this by synergizing with vitamin D and modulating the expression of p21 and bcl-2 proteins.
Kim, S. H., et al. (2009). “Menthol regulates TRPM8-independent processes in PC-3 prostate cancer cells”, in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, Vol. 1792(1).
Benefit #8 – Boosts Your Hair & Skin Health
The antimicrobial and antiseptic properties of peppermint can help keep your skin and hair looking their best. Not only will this oil help calm your skin, but it will also contribute to eliminating lice and dandruff.
Some users have even claimed that this oil helped with their frizzy hair and contributed to hair growth. Also, peppermint oil can help improving oil secretion in the skin, which can help prevent acne.
Please note: It’s also used to help heal cracked lips, which is why you often find it as a top ingredient in lip balms.
Benefit #9 – Boosts Health of Your Nails
Thanks to its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, peppermint can be used to help treat and eliminate nail fungus. In one study, peppermint and clove oil were applied at a 1% concentration.
Results showed a severely inhibited growth of the tested fungi.
el-Naghy, M. A., et al. (1992). “Fungistatic action of natural oils and fatty acids on dermatophytic and saprophytic fungi”, in Zentralblatt fur Mikrobiologie, Vol. 147(3-4).
Benefit #10 – Stops Itching from Bug Bites
Spring and summer are prime time for mosquitos, fleas and other bugs that love to bite. Whether you’re overly sensitive or allergic to certain bites, peppermint oil can help provide you with some relief.
The cooling and soothing properties of this oil can reduce inflammation and provide itch relief. Be sure to use a carrier oil when applying topically as its active concentration may cause a skin reaction.
Please note: Take caution when using any essential oil on children, and consult with your physician first before use on children!
Most Common Side-Effects & Dangers of Using Peppermint Oil
Peppermint is a natural plant, but its essential oil is highly concentrated and potent. Some users may experience side effects although they are uncommon and typically mild.
In some cases, users might experience:
- Mouth sores
- Various allergic reactions
Keep in mind: For most users, peppermint oil is likely safe and will not cause any adverse side effects. However, you have to consult with your physician before use if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or planning on treating a child with this oil.
Peppermint is one of the oldest and most widely used natural medicines in the world. For centuries, people have been consuming and diffusing this plant for pain, digestive, and stress relief. The cooling and soothing properties of this oil are what make it such a popular choice in alternative treatment protocols.