Hey there, Well-Beings! If you asked me for a list of what I thought every brand new essential oil user should start out with, peppermint would be non-negotiable. I use it every single day, and I get a little twitchy when I don’t have a back up waiting in the wings. Straight from the bottle it’s aroma is impossible to mistake, but it plays so well with others that it’s likely hiding in many your favorite blends. Even if you’ve been using oils for as long as I have, you might be surprised by all that it can do.
First, a little botany. Peppermint oil, or Mentha Piperita, is the steam distilled, perennial hybrid of spearmint and water mint. The herb is cultivated on continents with a lot of rainfall, such as Asia, Europe, and North America. It stands around 20-40 inches tall, has a sturdy, square shaped stem, green leaves, and occasionally is seen sporting pale pink or purple blooms. The Pacific Northwest is the top producer of peppermint in the U.S., with the majority of that yield coming from Washington state. The scent is fresh and herbaceous and is used in everything cosmetic preparations to cooking.
The most common use for peppermint oil is oral health products. It’s found in toothpaste, mouthwash, and breath fresheners on shelves in every grocery store in the country. I like to use it to compliment my morning oil pulling routine by adding a drop of peppermint to my coconut oil to improve the taste and kill morning breath. The refreshing flavor really wakes me up when I’d otherwise be sleepily shuffling through the apartment. I also use peppermint oil after a cup of coffee or a pungent meal to keep my mouth fresh. I simply unscrew the lid, press my thumb against the top of the bottle, and then press my thumb against the roof of my mouth and voila! No more fear that I’m offending my coworkers after that onion bagel. Speaking of work, I’ve also been using it to reign in the afternoon slump I sometimes feel when I return from lunch and that little tingle helps me refocus and stay clear headed instead of daydreaming about naps. I apply pre-diluted peppermint oil on my temples and the back of my neck, inhale deeply from the bottle, and I’m ready to answer emails and check projects off my list again.
Peppermint is also a valuable tool for pain management. Because of its main chemical constituent, menthol, peppermint provides a cooling sensation which can be helpful for many types of discomfort. Diluted in a carrier oil and added to a roller bottle, it can be applied to sunburns for soothing relief, can relax sore joints and muscles, and has helped me a time or two with stomach upset, as well. I keep a simple blend of peppermint and lavender in a base of fractionated coconut oil in my purse for head tension and relief from monthly menstrual discomfort, and it’s kept me from tapping out and heading home enough times that I never go anywhere without it.
Perhaps my favorite use for peppermint oil has been to cool off during the summer heat and as relief from hormonal hot flashes. I keep a glass bottle with distilled water, a touch of fractionated coconut oil to coat the sprayer stem, and 10 drops of peppermint oil in my fridge to spray down my face and chest when the heat is on and almost instantly, I’m back to my old self. I get double the use out of this spray by using it as a natural insect repellent for my indoor and outdoor plants and any areas where bugs might get in, I haven’t had a pest problem in over a decade, and it smells so much better than any of the store bought bug sprays I used to use. My finally tip is for cleaning. I add peppermint oil to a vodka and water base and wipe down my sliding glass doors, mirrors, stovetop, and sinks and not only does it fight the smoke smell that sometimes wafts over from neighboring apartments, but it also leaves everything spotless and shiny clean.
Versatile and refreshing, peppermint oil is one my home and handbag aren’t complete without. If you haven’t used it, now is a great time to add it to your arsenal! DoTERRA is giving away a pre-diluted Peppermint Touch roll-on for free through the 15th of September to wholesale members with a qualifying purchase. (Mine is on its way to me right now!) If you want to claim one for yourself, or find out more about how essential oils can uplevel your life, leave a comment below and I’ll give you all the details. Nothing would make me happier than to see you put this beautiful oil to work in your daily life!
Wishing You Total Well-Being,