This week’s blog is features the epitome of refreshment – Peppermint! This is the second installment of our 10 part series of “Aromatherapy Top 10” and I hope you enjoy it!.
Peppermint – “The World’s Oldest Medicine”
Peppermint comes from a Latin word “mente” meaning “thought” and is known to help us concentrate! According to Greek mythology, Pluto’s wife Persephone crushed the nymph Mentha into dust after learning that Pluto had affections for her. Subsequently, Pluto changed her remains into a peppermint plant so she could be enjoyed and appreciated for many years to come!
Use of peppermint has been found in Egyptian tombs dating back from 1000 B.C. Peppermint not only has a multitude of proven therapeutic benefits but is also helpful around the home for organic pest control. In the early 1900’s peppermint oil soaked rags were used to catch rats. The strong scent of the oil, combined with ferrets to chase the rodents, lured rats into cloth bags so they could be removed from homes and businesses. These days it is also used in construction and plumbing to test for the tightness of pipes and disclose leaks by its odor.
Peppermint essential oil is Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS). It is approved by the FDA for use as a Food Additive (FA). Do not use peppermint oil near your eyes or open cuts. . If irritation does occur, don’t use water as it will worsen the symptoms, use a pure vegetable oil on location instead. Peppermint oil should not be used on children younger than 6 years of age and should be avoided if a person has high blood pressure. Peppermint may cause skin irritation for some; in those cases dilution is recommended. Please carefully read the ”warning” section below before using Peppermint essential oil.
The Research Says
• Inhaling peppermint essential oil helps trigger a sense of fullness, as shown in a study by Alan Hirsch, MD.
• A Kiel University study found that 10% of the peppermint oil in ethanol had the same result as taking a 1000 mg dose of paracetamol. Paracetamol is a widely used analgesic to combat tension headaches, pain and to reduce fevers.
• Dr. William N. Dember from the University of Cincinnati, studied the mental accuracy of students when inhaling peppermint oil. The results showed that mental accuracy increased by 28 percent.
• Jean Valnet, M.D., studied peppermint’s healing effect on the liver and respiratory systems.
Helpful Usage Tips
• Inhale the fragrance of peppermint essential oil 5 – 10 times per day to curb the appetite and lessen the impulse to overeat.
• Add a drop of Peppermint essential oil to herbal tea to aid in digestion and relieve heartburn.
• Keep Peppermint oil in the car on your commute to stay alert. Add a few drops to a napkin, and place in the a/c vent.
• Diffuse Peppermint essential oil in the room while studying to improve concentration and accuracy and inhale Peppermint oil while taking a test to improve recall.
• Placing 15 – 20 drops on your a/c filter in the morning is a pleasant way to help you wake up and keep your home smelling fresh.
.Around The Home
• Peppermint oil has a high concentration of natural pesticides. To deter rats, mice, ants or cockroaches, place two drops of Peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball and place along the path or point of entry for these pests.
• Remove ticks by applying a drop of Peppermint essential oil on a cotton swab and swabbing the tick. Wait for it to unhinge its head and remove from your pet.
• Mix Peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil such as Almond or Olive Oil in a footbath to relieve sore feet. Keep water agitated while soaking feet.
• To kill aphids add 4-5 drops of Peppermint essential oil to 4 ounces of water and spray the plants.
The therapeutic properties of peppermint oil are: analgesic, anesthetic, antiseptic, antigalactagogue, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, cordial, decongestant, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hepatic, nervine, stimulant, stomachic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor and vermifuge. Peppermint oil can assist in nervous disorders and is dramatically effective in stimulating the mind and focusing concentration, for treating the respiratory tract, muscular aches and pains and for some skin problems
Peppermint oil is non-toxic and non-irritant in low dilutions, but sensitization may be a problem due to the menthol content. It can cause irritation to the skin and mucus membranes and should be kept well away from the eyes. It should be avoided during pregnancy and should not be used on children under six. If you are currently under a doctor’s care or pregnant, consult your physician prior to use. Avoid contact with eyes, mucus membranes, or sensitive skin areas. Do not apply neat to a fresh wound or burn.
Certain oils can be very toxic to cats. Pine and citrus products and oils in particular those that are not of therapeutic grade. Please consult your vet if you are not sure about applying any essential oil to your pet.
Peppermint oil blends well with
Although most essential oils blend well with one another, peppermint oil blends particularly well with benzoin, eucalyptus, lavender, marjoram, lemon and rosemary.