Top 10 Uses for Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is one of those tried-and-true workhorses in the world of holistic, natural solutions! Because it serves such a wide variety of purposes for managing our health as well as for caring for our homes, I consider it one of the top ten must-have essential oils.

My very first time using Peppermint oil was years ago in a homemade, nontoxic sink scrub---a green cleaning swap for popular synthetic (highly toxic) versions of "soft scrub."  As I stood there over my bathroom sink, scrubbing away with this simple new cleaning agent I'd made, I was struck by how fantastic it smelled---invigorating, cool, and fresh---and how quickly it opened up my sinuses.  

I was aiming for a clean, shiny sink, and in the process I got that plus a spa-like dose of respiratory refreshment!  It was both unexpected and enjoyable, a happy side effect of incorporating Peppermint oil into an otherwise ordinary concoction of baking soda and Castile soap.  (If you're curious to learn more about my DIY green cleaning swaps for conventional household cleaners, you can read about that in the post Why I Stopped Holding My Breath and How You Can Too.)

Turns out that was a pretty revolutionary housekeeping session!  I came away from the experience thinking, "If Peppermint oil can have that kind of impact just as a side bonus of cleaning with it, what might its benefits be if I were using it intentionally for therapeutic purposes?"  

That led to digging in and discovering the many wonderful benefits of this multipurpose oil!  Since then, we've come to rely on Peppermint oil for addressing a number of health concerns, including healthy digestion, motion discomfort, seasonal support, respiratory relief, and more.  

Whether you're just getting started and still growing your expertise and confidence in using essential oils, or you're simply looking for ways to get the most out of your Peppermint, this post is for you!  

Here are the top ten ways my family uses Peppermint essential oil...

Healthy Digestion
1.  To soothe the occasional upset stomach and/or stimulate the digestive process--Apply diluted in a clockwise motion over the abdomen, and/or add 1 drop Peppermint essential oil to an 8-oz glass of water and sip.
2.  To soothe discomfort from occasional gas, bloating, feelings of nausea or poor digestion--Use on its own or with DigestZen in the DIY Tummy Tamer Blend below; roll the blend onto the abdomen in a clockwise motion.
3. To manage cravings and/or appetite--Inhale (directly from an open bottle or add a drop to the palm of your hand, cup under nose, and inhale). OR take 1 drop on the tongue before or in between meals.

Motion Discomfort
4.  To soothe and ease occasional motion discomfort--Diffuse in the car by adding 3-4 drops of Peppermint oil to a cotton ball and wedging it in the car's air vent. Apply topically (diluted) to pulse points on the wrist and the back of the neck.  (The Tummy Tamer blend works for this as well. Alternatively, consider getting the Peppermint Touch roller, which is Peppermint oil pre-diluted in fractionated coconut oil.)

Seasonal Support
5.  To support a healthy immune response to seasonal irritants--Peppermint works synergistically with Lemon essential oil and Lavender essential oil for this purpose, and you can use all three of these oils both topically and internally.  For topical use, blend 20 drops Peppermint essential oil with 20 drops Lemon and 20 drops Lavender in a 10mL glass roller bottle with fractionated coconut oil to fill.  For internal use, add each essential oil to a veggie cap as described in this post under #3.  

Sinus/Respiratory Support
6.  To clear and open up airways and sinuses--One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is to use Peppermint oil all three ways: topically, internally, aromatically.  Add 1 drop to the palm of your hand, press your thumb into the oil and apply directly to the roof of your mouth. Then rub hands together, cup under nose, and inhale deeply. Apply any excess oil to the back of your neck.

I like to do this before working out or going for a run.  The aroma is cooling and invigorating, while also opening up sinuses. 

Another effective option is to dilute Peppermint in a carrier oil (I prefer fractionated coconut oil because it's nonstaining) and apply to the chest, back, and bottoms of feet. For more ideas on supporting respiratory health, see my post 4 Strategies to Open Your Airways Naturally, STAT.

Head/Neck Tension
7.  To soothe and ease discomfort from head and/or neck tension--dilute and massage into forehead, temples, above the ears, back of neck and/or shoulders, being careful to avoid the eyes.  

8.  To support mental clarity and focus and promote alertness and concentration--diffuse by itself or with Wild Orange.

Bug Repellent
9.  To ward off pesky insects--Ants can't stand Peppermint!  Add a couple of drops to a cotton ball and place strategically around the house to shoo away unwanted invaders.  I've also had success eradicating them from my screened-in porch by spraying the area with a mixture of Peppermint and Clove in a glass spray bottle with water.  

To protect yourself from mosquitos, ticks, and other creepy-crawlies, use Peppermint in this easy DIY Bug Repellent Spray, and spray all over exposed areas of skin.

Cooling Body Temperature
10.  To cool body temperature naturally when overheated--dilute and apply to pulse points on the wrist, on the back of the neck, along the spine, and to the bottoms of the feet.  Make a cooling spray by adding 8-10 drops Peppermint essential oil to a 4-oz. glass spray bottle, and topping off with witch hazel.  Spray onto pulse points on the wrists and neck, being careful to avoid the eyes.                                                My travel-sized Cooling Spray in a repurposed empty essential oil bottle

Which of these ideas were most helpful to you?  Share in the comments below!

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