Essential oils seem to be the latest staple around health and all-natural living blogs these days, but what exactly are they? Essential oils are the concentrated compounds extracted from plants.
These compounds are the “essence” of the plant that they are taken from and retain the best properties of the plant. Why are they so popular?
According to Helen West, RD, essential oils have a wide range of uses from aromatherapy to beauty aids even helping to treat some symptoms of health issues!
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The recent move to eliminate toxins and unnecessary chemicals from our lives has made essential oils an invaluable resource to a natural life. If living more naturally and knowing what you use in your home and in your body is something you’re curious about, read on!
I’m here to talk about the benefits of one of the most widely used oils out there, peppermint essential oil, and talk about how you can include it in your daily life.
1. Cool off achy muscles
One of the many peppermint oil uses out there is as a key ingredient in a homemade muscle pain relief rub. Peppermint oil acts as a light analgesic which can help to numb the pain of overworked muscles as it is massaged into the skin.
Here’s a great DIY muscle rub recipe from Dr. Axe that you can easily make at home!
2. All Natural Flea-Be-Gone
An obvious peppermint essential oil benefit is the great smell. However, pesky pests like fleas and ticks can’t stand the strong smell of peppermint, so a spray made of distilled water, peppermint essential oil, tea tree essential oil, and citronella essential oil can be made for your carpets.
Spray onto your carpets and into corners and let dry. This spray is especially useful if you’re trying to avoid chemicals and/or have children or pets in the house. It also smells terrific!
3. Make your own shampoo!
If you’ve always wanted to cut down the list of chemicals you’ve been stuck using with conventional hair care products and have been curious about trying to make your own, this recipe from Thank Your Body is a great first project.
Making your own shampoo means that you can control what you put onto your body and makes it easier to find out what exactly works for your specific hair type.
4. DIY Chemical free Cleaner
A chemical free cleaner that disinfects and smells great? Peppermint oil is a natural antibacterial and antiseptic oil that you can easily incorporate into your daily cleaning routine.
Use this simple recipe from DIY Natural to get started on making your own.
5. Homemade Menthol Chest Rub
According to Jon Yaneff, CNP, peppermint oil helps suppress coughing while thinning mucus at the same time! Instead of using a petroleum based rub, make a healthier chest rub with beeswax, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil.
6. Soothe an upset tummy
According to this article medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, peppermint oil or peppermint tea (which has smaller amounts of peppermint oil) can help relieve indigestion and lower stomach problems!
7. Mood Lifter
Just the scent of peppermint oil can lift your mood! Take a deep breath of the oil and relax. Peppermint is able to provide relief from stress, depression and mental exhaustion due to its refreshing nature. Try adding a few drops to a warm bath or to an essential oil diffuser.
8. DIY Sugar Scrub
You can get all of the mood boosting and skin cleansing benefits of peppermint oil at once by making a soothing sugar scrub!
Tiffany Quake has a great visual guide on making peppermint sugar scrub here.
9. Oral Health Care
Peppermint oil is naturally antibacterial as well as making your breath smell great! Use this recipe from DIY Natural and smile because not only have you made an alternative to a pricey all natural toothpaste, you’re also naturally brightening your teeth and fighting bacteria!
10. Use your nose to fight your nausea
Peppermint essential oil has been linked to reducing nausea in chemotherapy patients according the US National Library of Medicine. The scent of the oil was shown to significantly lower nausea in patients and reduced the cost of treatment by using this natural oil instead of the standard anti-nausea medication.
An effective way of treating nausea with the oil is by rubbing one to two drops into the back of your neck and bottoms of the feet. You can also add five to 10 drops of peppermint oil to a cool or warm water bath or add two to three drops to a cool compress and place it over your head.
11. Make your face minty fresh and blemish free
This Peppermint and Lemon Face Wash recipe by Homegrown in the Valley is a quick and economical way to fit peppermint oil into your daily beauty routine.
The peppermint oil acts as a natural antibacterial to get rid of any pimple causing germs and won’t dry your skin out like normal soap will!
You can also use undiluted peppermint oil as an effective spot reducer! Just take a cotton swab and dab the oil on the trouble spots, leaving a thin layer to dry those pimples out.
12. Clear your sinuses
If you’ve ever eaten a strong peppermint candy while nursing a head cold, you know that peppermint can thin mucus like nothing else can! The most effective way to clear your sinuses with peppermint essential oil is by adding a few drops to a bowl of warm water and leaning over it with a clean, dry towel draped over your head and bowl.
Breathe the steam deeply and feel yourself be able to breathe clearly!
13. Soothe a toothache
One of the lesser known essential oil benefits is that it’s a light topical analgesic. By using a drop of food grade peppermint oil on a sore tooth with a toothpick or cotton swab, you can give yourself a little relief before you head off to the dentist!
14. Room Refresher
Peppermint has a strong and refreshing smell that is long lasting and can overpower even the strongest odor. When you need to freshen a room up, add a few drops of peppermint oil (and any other complementary oil) to an aroma diffuser or a pot or warm water and let the cooling scent fill your home.
15. Spider deterrent
Like fleas and ticks, spiders HATE the smell of peppermint!
If you have an unwanted 8 legged guest in your home, let them know they’re not welcome by mixing vinegar, warm water, and 5-6 drops of peppermint essential oil into a spray bottle and spraying the mixture into cracks, along windows and doors, and into dark corners where spiders might like to hide.
16. Improve your concentration
According to research by Wheeling Jesuit University, participants that chewed peppermint gum before a test did better on the exam than participants that chewed flavorless or no gum.
If you don’t like the flavor of mint gum, you can still get its cognitive boosting powers by smelling some peppermint essential oil right before you do something that needs your utmost attention!
17. DIY Bath Soak
We’ve already learned that peppermint oil helps soothe your muscles and helps relax you with it’s scent, so why not combine the two benefits with this easy DIY bath soak by Nancy Creative?
As a bonus, this bath soak is easy to package and give as a gift that anyone would be grateful for!
18. Mellow out your migraine
Migraine.com suggests that you can find relief by rubbing undiluted peppermint oil on your temples and forehead. The numbing and relaxing properties of the oil are thought to be especially soothing for this ailment.
19. Reach for the oil, not a snack!
Instead of reaching for a snack, reach for your peppermint oil instead!
Smelling peppermint after a meal might help you feel fuller and less likely to grab seconds!
20. Make an awesome smelling carpet powder
Make a your house smell fresh and deter pests with this easy make-it-yourself carpet powder! (recipe by Don’t Waste The Crumbs)
You’ll get the same sweet smelling power of an aroma diffuser plus the benefit of using antibacterial peppermint oil in your carpet to really get rid of odors.
Start Using Peppermint Oil in Your Home Today!
This is just a small sampling of the many peppermint oil benefits there are. Peppermint oil is a versatile and beneficial oil that will prove to be valuable to your well-being.
If you’re excited to try some of these projects out and start making your life a little more DIY and natural, but don’t know where to start, don’t worry! You can start out slowly and start with just one project and see what works for you. Remember, even making a small change makes a difference!