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Peppermint oil

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Peppermint oil has long been known for its strong aroma and countless medicinal uses.

Peppermint oil is found in most syrups used to treat respiratory illnesses, for example, and in essential oil blends with a wide range of uses.

The many uses of this oil deserve to be studied for safer use.

What is peppermint oil?

Peppermint Fact Sheet

Scientific name : Mentha Piperina, from the Lamiaceae botanical family.

Peppermint, with its different species, is a well-known plant in the kitchen, as an aromatic plant, in herbal teas and to treat many everyday ailments.

Highly prized along with its sister spearmint in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries, the ancient Egyptians and Greeks were already making peppermint pastes to obtain the minty freshness so characteristic of this plant.

The leaves are used just before flowering. To extract the essential oil, you have to wait for the flowers to appear at the top of the plant.

In this way, the active ingredients are more concentrated, as we already know, since a bunch of peppermint flowers gives off a very powerful scent.

Peppermint essential oil is obtained by steam distillation. This is the same process used to extract most essential oils.

It should be noted that it takes around 100 kg to obtain 1 liter of essential oil! The very small quantity obtained is often blended with a neutral oil such as sweet almond or wheat germ oil.

Pure peppermint essential oil should only be used “as is” in very rare cases. Like all essential oils, it is highly concentrated and may become irritating to the respiratory tract or skin.

Benefits of peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil can be used to treat a wide range of organic and psychological ailments. Its virtues are well established and proven by experimentation and medical studies.

Relieves the respiratory tract

A few drops of peppermint essential oil, pure or diluted in a neutral oil, are enough to relieve a blocked nose and bronchial tubes during a cold snap.

If you’re feeling brave, you can add 2 drops of peppermint oil to boiling water for inhalation, a highly effective way of soothing the entire respiratory system. What’s more, it relieves the headaches that often accompany a cold.

Relieves migraines

Rubbing the temples with a few drops of peppermint essential oil is a natural and effective way to relieve the unbearable, incapacitating pain of migraines.

The cool, cold sensation produced by this massage goes some way to anesthetizing the pain and reducing other troublesome migraine symptoms.

Against nausea and motion sickness

One drop of peppermint essential oil on a lump of sugar, melted under the tongue, and the motion sickness disappears!

Nausea is also relieved by the same process, and you can even inhale the menthol scent directly from the bottle whenever you need to.

Relieves digestive tract spasms

Digestive problems such as pain, vomiting, bloating and poor digestion can be relieved by taking peppermint essential oil. In this case, peppermint oil is most effective when used internally.

One drop diluted in hot water and you have a drink that immediately relieves difficult digestion and stomach cramps.

In post-operative care, peppermint essential oil is effective against cramps and muscular contractions of the small intestine. This provides invaluable comfort for patients who don’t need extra pain after surgery.

The drink also stimulates other digestive organs, such as the liver, to relieve attacks after a heavy meal or an indulgent feast.

Some patients undergoing chemotherapy are better able to cope with the nausea and vomiting inherent in their treatment, thanks to the use of peppermint essential oil.

Tonic effect

Peppermint oil is hypertensive, i.e. it raises blood pressure and stimulates the heart, which can help weak, hypotensive people.

This tonic effect enhances physical and mental performance, increases alertness and, in some cases, improves sexual abilities when fatigue is to blame.

This tonic effect even relieves anxiety or psychological distress. Simply placing a drop on the back of the head is enough to calm the mind and dispel pessimistic thoughts.

Antibacterial and antiviral effect

Peppermint oil is highly effective against many types of bacteria. Whether on the skin or in the digestive tract, its effectiveness has been proven.

Many types of parasites are sensitive to this oil, such as streptococci, colibacilli and fungi, as well as herpes. This oil is therefore of interest for pulmonary, digestive, skin and genital infections.

Anti-inflammatory effect

In the event of a muscle strain or tear, one of the first reflexes is to use a menthol-based product, in this case peppermint essential oil. Its anti-inflammatory properties are undeniable, as is the sensation of cold that anaesthetizes pain.

For painful or congested legs, massage with a neutral oil and a few drops of peppermint essential oil to effectively relieve swelling and joint problems.

This oil is reputed to relieve respiratory, cutaneous and digestive inflammations.

Inhalation Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil composition

This oil derives its usefulness from its high menthol content, which accounts for almost half of its composition.

Menthol has long been known in Chinese medicine, where the Chinese balm was invented a long time ago and is still used today!

Today, in modern medicine, menthol is used in the composition of a multitude of pharmaceutical products.

We all recognize the refreshing, stimulating smell of cough syrups, and those who have consumed them remember the icy sensation felt in the bronchial tubes, often followed by a shivering sensation. Paradoxically, it is this effect that relieves coughs and clears bronchial tubes.

How do I use peppermint essential oil?

Always sparingly, this is an extremely concentrated oil, and one drop diluted in a spoonful of sweet almond oil is enough to give the desired effect.

One drop is also enough to rub on the chest or skull, or to inhale in hot water.

Peppermint oil can be included as an ingredient in weight-loss pills, as its effect on digestive comfort and the reduction of bloating can help potentiate the effect of other slimming ingredients.

Peppermint oil and weight loss

Peppermint oilWe can’t say that this oil is a fat burner! That would really be a lie, and if you come across any such claims, be warned.

On the other hand, peppermint is a good adjuvant to a well-designed weight-loss program. It is recognized as having two major slimming virtues:

It’s a good appetite suppressant. Especially after inhalation of a mixture of oil and hot water, the desire to eat is postponed for a long time;

It’s also a good digestive, when used internally. We all know that a balanced diet is one of the keys to successful weight loss.

Precautions for use

Like all essential oils, it is forbidden for pregnant women and children under 6.

The very high concentration of active ingredients may cause irritation or severe allergies.

As it is hypertensive, it should be avoided by people with high blood pressure or heart rhythm disorders.

Last updated on 28 March 2024.
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