The scientific name of peppermint is Mentha piperita. It is one of the aromatic herbs in the family of mints. It happens to be a hybrid product as a result of a cross between water-mint and spearmint. This herb can be found naturally in Europe and North America. Peppermint oil is an essential oil that is extracted from the peppermint leaves. This oil has a number of beneficial factors and thus it is used for various purposes of health care as well as I production of cosmetics. Here, we will find out all about peppermint oil benefits and know ways to use it.
Peppermint oil has the reputation of being one of the most multi-purpose oils of the world and that brings it on the same stand as of Lavender oil. The most active components that peppermint oil contains are Menthone and Menthol and these elements are known for reducing pain and providing energy. There are various other uses of peppermint oil and some of them are discussed below along with other related facts.
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Different forms that peppermint oil is available in
Peppermint oil happens to be available in different forms. Some of the forms include:
Essential oils: This refers to a highly concentrated form that can be used in the purpose of aromatherapy. This oil can also be diluted and applied to the skin for various benefits.
Extracts: This is also a highly diluted form of the peppermint oil and it is used for adding the flavor of peppermint to different food items.
Capsules: They can be taken as supplements to one’s existing diet chart.
There is a sharp odor of peppermint oil that cools ad refreshes the atmosphere. The taste of it is also kind of similar. If you consume something with a peppermint flavor then you will be able to taste the cold sensation in your mouth.
Uses of peppermint oil
There is a variety of peppermint oil uses. Some of the uses are mentioned below:
Treatment of various conditions
The oil can work wonders of various kinds of conditions like nausea, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and different digestive issues along with headache and the common cold. The oil produces a soothing effect on the nerve and thus helps to heal the pain and irritation.
Source of energy
Peppermint oil can be used for enhancing concentration, relaxation, memory as well as energy. It also helps to increase the amount of wakefulness that a person has.
Treatment to muscle pain
Peppermint oil can be used to treat muscle pain, itching, and headache. For these purposes, the oil has to be used in a homemade topical manner in the form of moisturizer. Historically, this oil has been used to help itchiness and the discomfort caused by inflammation and joint pains and headaches. It can also be used on the part of the body that has been sunburnt as the oil has an immediate soothing effect.
Reducing back pain
When the oil is used in a diluted form in the bath or in any kind of blend it can help to reduce back pain, coughs, and mental fatigue. It helps in boosting blood circulation and relaxes the tired feet and hands. The oil also helps in relieving pains of the muscles, spasms, and cramps. It also soothes inflamed and itchy skin as well as various other skin-related conditions. Relieving back pain is one of the best peppermint oil benefits, and you must try it once.
Working as an anti-bacterial element
Peppermint oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities. This makes it ideal for using it as an element in spray cleaners for spaces that need special care from bacterial attacks. You can add a few drops of this oil to your home-made cleaning solution and then spray it on particular corners of the house. This is especially beneficial for bathroom and kitchen uses. Not only it will leave a pleasant smell but also it will work as a natural deterrent for the insects and pests of your house.
Used in mouthwashes
The refreshing quality of peppermint oil makes it an ideal element t be used in various kinds of mouthwashes. It leaves a good after taste and also helps to get rid of bad breath. If you wash your mouth with peppermint mouthwashes after brushing it will leave a sweet scent and there will be no whiff of bad breaths.
Adding scent to cosmetics
Peppermint oil has a sweet and strong scent. This quality makes it ideal for use in various soaps and cosmetics. The soaps with peppermint oil in them have a refreshing and soothing effect on the body of the user. The same goes for cosmetic products with the oil of peppermint in them.
Peppermint oil benefits
The list of peppermint oil benefits is endless. The oil has been in use since ancient times. Some of the benefits of using peppermint oil are discussed below that are based on both testimonies of persona; uses as well as research studies.
For the treatment of IBS
There has been a lot of research on the peppermint oil benefits of peppermint oil on being used as a treatment of IBS. IBS refers to a GI (gastrointestinal) condition that is chronic and often causes diarrhea, pain in the abdomen and constipation. The ways in which this oil helps in fighting the various symptoms of the disease IBS and different other GI-related conditions are:
- Helping the muscles of the GI tract to relax
- Providing an effect that causes anti-inflammation
- Affecting the different kinds of bacteria that are the natural habitat of the GI system
- Decreasing the sensation of pain in the tract of the GI.
For the treatment of other conditions of the GI
One of the main elements of peppermint oil, Menthol is often used in a combination along with caraway in order to provide treatment for functional dyspepsia. This condition causes severe pain and bloating in the stomach and surrounding area. Some of the recent studies show that the combination of caraway and menthol can work quite well on the symptoms caused by functional dyspepsia.
Another study has proven that the use of peppermint oil has helped in reducing the pain and other associated symptoms of various GI related conditions in both adults and children. People who use this oil had the symptoms of the GI-related issues at a lesser frequency for lesser durations as well. The severity of the pains had also been reduced due to the use of this oil.
For helping in nausea
Nausea can often take place after the completion of an operation. According to small scale study patients who had inhaled peppermint oil after the completion of their operation had felt their level of nausea decreasing. Thus this oil works well on the condition of postoperative nausea. Moreover, the oil of peppermint oil also has a very little amount of effect on the vomiting and nausea that is observed in the early stages of pregnancy. In these cases, this oil is used as a part of aromatherapy. However, there is no certain proof that it would definitely help the cause.
For the treatment of pain
Menthol along with wintergreen oil have been used as elements to work on pains that are caused by migraine headaches as well as tension headaches. A study shows that the application of menthol solution on the temples and foreheads of the migraine patients had helped them to deal with the pain in a better way. Applying peppermint oil helped to reduce the pain and also helped with nausea caused by the headache.
Another study also showed the effect of peppermint oil when used in a gel and applied on the forehead of a migraine patient. The results showed significant improvement in the condition as the pain was relieved at least by a degree or two after the application of the gel.
There has also been the use of tablets that contain oil of peppermint on people who face difficulty to swallow and suffer from non-cardiac pain in the chest. Most of the people who used this had reported improvement in their condition.
For the treatment of hair and skin
Different cosmetic products often contain the element of peppermint oil. A study has shown that the use of these cosmetics on people who suffer from itchiness of the skin led to the improvement of their conditions. The oil containing cosmetic helped in reducing the severity and the lasting period of the itching. Another study was conducted to understand the effect of peppermint oil on the itching of the skin during the time of pregnancy. The results showed that the oil worked quite well on the itching and helped to reduce it. The oil needs to be applied at least twice a day for a period of two weeks to work its magic on the itching.
There have also been studies that led to the fact that regular use of peppermint oil can help in producing thick hair in mice. However, there has not been enough research to prove that the same fact applies for human beings as well.
Fighting against yeast and bacteria
There are mixed antimicrobial elements in peppermint oil. Different studies have been conducted to understand the effectiveness of this oil on various kinds of bacteria and fungus. The results that came out happen to be of mixed qualities. According to one particular study, the oil of peppermint along with Staphylococcus aureus inhibited the process of producing a bacterial toxin. The results were dependant on the dosage. It means that increasing the dose brought in more positive results. However, though this might seem as a positive feature of the peppermint oil on bacteria, the effect often depends on the kind of bacteria that the oil is used on.
This oil has some anti-fungal effects as well. However, the level of effects is very low.
Peppermint oil is not for everyone
Though the oil of peppermint is quite beneficial, it is not for everyone’s use. People who should not use peppermint oil are:
Having G6PD deficiency
People who have this specific kind of enzyme deficiency that is known as G6PD deficiency should not use this oil in any form. Using this oil in the form of aromatherapy o extracts is also not recommended.
Using certain medicines
Peppermint oil in aromatherapy has the power to inhibit a particular enzyme named CYP3A4 and this can result into the breaking down of various kinds of medications. In case you are under any particular type of medicine then you should consult your doctor before using this oil any form.
Babies and children
Using this oil on the skins of children and babies should be avoided. The direct contact of this oil with the baby’s skin can have some harmful effects. Moreover, it is not healthy for the babies and children to inhale the menthol that remains present in the oil of peppermint.
The use of oil is not recommended on pets like cats and dogs. The oil might have various harmful effects on them. Thus, it should be kept far away from the pets for their safety. They should in no way consume the oil as it would have harmful effects on their bodies. Irritation and inflammation are common side effects that pets can face.
These are the basic things to know about oil. The oil comes from the plant of peppermint and is very beneficial for most of the population. It has positive effects on the various GI conditions, headaches, muscle pains as well as nausea. However, one should refrain from the abundant use of this oil as it might lead to unwanted health conditions. You can also consult your doctor before starting to use peppermint oil in any form. The doctor would provide you with a safe amount of oil to be used regularly.
The oil is generally safe but can have toxic effects when it is used in heavy doses. You should also make sure to dilute the essential oil before you start using it for any purpose. In case you have allergic reactions after using the oil of peppermint, you should immediately stop. Also, consult your doctor to make sure you are doing well.
Peppermint oil benefits are plenty, but they can have equal amounts of repercussions. So, make sure you use them in the right way to make the most of it.