One of my most favorite essential oils in the universe is Peppermint. Jut the thought of it opens my sinuses! Peppermint is a very versatile oil with many applications and uses. Besides being a beneficial digestive aid (why do you think restaurants keep peppermints at the front door), it can help relieve some headaches and reduce muscle soreness. These are the main purposes that I use peppermint for. Scientifically speaking, peppermint has been shown to have the following properties:
I keep peppermint oil in my purse to use as breath freshener or for hiding my afternoon coffee indulgence from my family. Here is a fun bit of trivia… one drop of peppermint essential oil is as powerful as about 20 cups of peppermint tea!
Because it is so potent, always be careful using it internally or on babies. Never slather oils on. Begin with one drop and work slowly up as needed from there. Peppermint can have an “icy hot” kind of sensation on the skin, so it may be a good idea to either put it first on the soles of your feet or mix one drop in olive oil or coconut oil and rub in a non-sensitive area.
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when using peppermint oil:
“Peppermint oil is safe in low amounts in most adults, but it can trigger side effects in people with sensitivities. It is important for the following individuals to avoid using this essential oil or use it only after consulting a healthcare professional.
- Pregnant and nursing women – Peppermint is found to decrease milk production and should be used sparingly toward the end of pregnancy.
- Infants and children under seven – Must not be used undiluted due to the toxicity of the product.
- Diabetics – One study states that using peppermint oil may raise your risk of having low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.
- Those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and hiatal hernia – Peppermint can relax the sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus, causing acid to rise up to the esophagus.
- Those with gallbladder problems – Peppermint oil may cause gallbladder inflammation, so those diagnosed with gallstones should consult a physician first before using peppermint oil.
- Those taking antacids – These acid-reducing drugs can cause peppermint oil in capsule form to break down easily, increasing the risk of heartburn.