What is Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint is a hybrid species of spearmint and watermint. The essential oils are gathered by CO2 or cold extraction of the fresh aerial parts of the flowering plant. The most active ingredients include menthol and methone.
What are the health benefits of Peppermint Oil?
1. Relieve Muscle and Joint Pain
Peppermint essential oil is a very effective natural painkiller and muscle relaxant. It also has cooling, invigorating and antispasmodic properties. Peppermint oil is especially helpful in alleviating a tension headache, in one clinical trial performing as well as acetaminophen. A study shows that peppermint oil applied topically has pain relief benefits associated with fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome. Researchers found that peppermint oil, eucalyptus, menthol, capsaicin and other herbal preparations may be helpful because they work as topical analgesics.
2. Sinus Care and Other Respiratory Benefits
Peppermint acts as an expectorant, helping to open your airways, clear mucus and reduce congestion, and is one of the best essential oils for colds, the flu, cough, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions. Lab studies show that the compounds found in peppermint oil have antimicrobial, antiviral and antioxidant properties, meaning it may also help to fight infections that lead to symptoms involving the respiratory tract.
3. Allergy Relief
Peppermint oil is highly effective at relaxing muscles in your nasal passages and helping to clear out the muck and pollen from your respiratory tract during allergy season. It’s considered one of the best essential oils for allergies because of its expectorant, anti-inflammatory and invigorating properties. A lab study published in the European Journal of Medical Research found that menthol displayed potential therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders such as allergic rhinitis, colitis and bronchial asthma.
4. Increase Energy
For a non-toxic alternative to dangerous energy drinks, take a few whiffs of peppermint. It will help to boost your energy levels on long road trips, in school or any other time you need to “burn the midnight oil.” Peppermint oil may also help to improve memory and alertness when inhaled. And it can be used to enhance your physical performance, whether you need a little push during your weekly workouts, or you are training for an athletic event.
5. Treat Headaches
Peppermint oil for headaches can improve circulation, soothe the gut and relax tense muscles. All of these conditions can cause tension headaches or migraines, making peppermint oil one of the best essential oil for headaches. A clinical trial from researchers at the Neurological Clinic at the University of Kiel, Germany, found that a combination of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and ethanol had a “significant analgesic effect with a reduction in sensitivity to headaches.” When these oils were applied to the forehead and temples, they also increased cognitive performance, and had a muscle-relaxing and mentally relaxing effect.
6. Improve IBS Symptoms
Peppermint oil capsules have been shown to be effective at naturally treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Peppermint oil for IBS reduces spasms in the colon, relaxes the muscles of your intestines, and can help to reduce bloating and gassiness. A placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial found a 50 percent reduction in IBS symptoms with 75 percent of patients who used it. When 57 patients with IBS were treated with two peppermint oil capsules twice a day for four weeks or placebo, most of the patients in the peppermint group experienced improved symptoms, including reduced abdominal bleeding, abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, constipation and urgency at defecation.
7. Promote Hair Growth and Reduce Dandruff
Peppermint oil is used in many high-quality hair care products because it can naturally thicken and nourish damaged hair. It can be used as a natural treatment for thinning hair, and it helps to stimulate the scalp and energize your mind. Plus, menthol is a powerful antiseptic agent, so it may help to remove germs that may buildup in your hair. Menthol is even used in anti. Can peppermint oil regrow hair? It may be one of the best oils for hair growth. Peppermint oil for hair growth was tested on mice and showed that after topical application of peppermint for four weeks, there was a significant increase in dermal thickness, follicle number and follicle depth.
8. Relieve Itchiness
Research shows that the menthol content found in peppermint oil inhibits itching. A clinical trial involving 96 randomly selected pregnant women diagnosed with pruritus tested peppermint’s ability to improve symptoms. Pruritus is a common skin problem that’s associated with a frustrating, ongoing itchiness that cannot be soothed. For the study, women applied a combination of peppermint oil and sesame oil or placebo twice a day for two weeks. Researchers found that the severity of the itch in the treated group showed a significant statistical difference compared to the placebo group. Living with itchiness can be a pain.
9. Repel Bugs
Unlike us humans, several little critters hate the smell of peppermint oil, including ants, spiders, cockroaches, mosquitos, mice and possibly even lice. This makes peppermint oil for spiders, peppermint oil for ants, peppermint oil for mice and other pests an effective and natural rebelling agent. Peppermint oil for ticks may also be effective. A review of plant-based insect repellents published in Malaria Journal found that the most effective plant essential oils used in bug repellents include peppermint, lemongrass, geraniol, pine, cedar, thyme and patchouli and clove. These oils have shown to repel malaria, filarial and yellow fever vectors for 60–180 minutes.
10. Reduce Nausea
When 34 patients experienced post operative nausea after undergoing cardiac surgery and they used a nasal inhaler that contained peppermint oil, their nausea levels were found to be significantly different than before inhaling peppermint. The patients were asked to rate their feelings of nausea on a scale of 0 to 5, with 5 being the greatest nausea. The average score went from 3.29 before peppermint oil inhalation, to 1.44 two minutes after using peppermint.
11. Improve Skin Health
Peppermint oil has calming, softening, toning and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin when it’s used topically. Peppermint oil also has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. A review of essential oils as potential antimicrobials to treat skin diseases published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that peppermint oil is effective when used to reduce blackheads, chicken pox, greasy skin, dermatitis, inflammation, itchy skin, ringworm, scabies and sunburn.
12. Sunburn Protection and Relief
Peppermint oil can hydrate burnt skin and relieve the pain from sunburns. It can also be used to help prevent sunburn. An in vitro study found that peppermint oil has a SPF (sun protection factor) value that’s higher than most other essential oils, including lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree and rose oils.
13. Potential Anti-Cancer Agent
Although more research is needed in this area, some lab studies indicate that peppermint may be useful as an anticancer agent. One such study found that the compound menthol inhibits prostate cancer growth by inducing cell death and regulating cellular processes.