Peppermint essential oil is often used in aromatherapy, or the use of essential oils to support health. Studies have found that aromatherapy is effective in relieving anxiety, pain, and vomiting, as well as improving memory. The aroma of peppermint oil has been shown to improve memory and raise alertness.
According to findings, peppermint oil exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant, analgesic, radioprotective, and antiedema properties.
Below are other common uses of peppermint oil:
- Relief for Stomach Problems
Peppermint oil is a safe and effective alternative to medications like Buscopan in reducing colonic spasms. It eases abdominal pain by allowing gas to pass through easily. Peppermint oil also provides relief for indigestion and upset stomach.
Research has also shown that peppermint oil is effective in improving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Another show that it has helped reduce total irritable bowel syndrome score by 50 percent among 75 percent of the participants.
Peppermint contains large concentrations of menthol and is twice as potent in the essential oil form in decreasing smooth muscle spasm and blocking calcium channels in the gut.
- Respiratory Benefits
Peppermint oil can be used as an expectorant and decongestant. It can clear up phlegm in your respiratory tract when used as a chest rub or inhaled through a vaporizer.
The essential oil may also provide benefits to individuals with tuberculosis. Researchers found that when inhaled, the oil can help decrease tuberculosis-induced inflammation and prevent the disorder from worsening or recurring.
Peppermint oil can also work against asthma as it contains rosmarinic acid, which helps curb inflammation-causing chemicals that may cause the condition.
- Pain Relief
Peppermint is beneficial in addressing pain. It can be used to relieve sore muscles when used with massage or added to bath water. Dabbing a few drops on your wrist or inhaling the aroma can reduce headache pain. Like with sore muscles, it can be massaged onto your temples.
- Positive Effect on Cancer-Related Treatments
Peppermint oil can substitute drugs that address chemotherapy-induced nausea. It can also help treat hot flashes in women receiving treatment for breast cancer.
- Treatment of Herpes Infections
Peppermint oil was found to have a beneficial effect on drug-resistant herpes simplex virus when applied topically. Because of its lipophilic nature, peppermint oil is able to pass through the skin, making it an ideal treatment against recurrent herpes infection.
Using peppermint oil on shingles rash also improves pain induced by the disease.
- Hair and Skin Health
Mixing peppermint oil into massage oils, shampoos, body washes, and lotions gives these products antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, helping cool skin and eliminate dandruff or lice from your scalp. It can also improve frizzy hair and may contribute to hair growth.
Peppermint oil can aid in oil secretion in skin, therefore preventing acne. It can also heal cracked lips, which is why it’s often an ingredient in lip balms.
- Dental Health
Peppermint oil extract is shown to be more effective than the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine in preventing the development of biofilm that contribute to cavities. It can also prevent bad breath. To use, just add one to two drops to your toothpaste.
- Comfort for Stress and Nervous System Problems
Due to its energizing effects, peppermint oil is used to manage stress and treat nervous disorders and mental fatigue. Studies suggest that the essential oil may have an effect similar to psychostimulants, as shown in a study involving mice.
In addition to these health benefits, peppermint oil can also be used as a natural insect repellent. The cooling sensation provided by peppermint can also help relieve itching caused by insects by blocking the sensation.