Could Your Makeup Be Causing

How I Use Peppermint Oil

Oh, peppermint. Brings to mind crisp winter days, right? Particularly now, in the dog days of summer. So let’s talk about peppermint oil.

It’s an awesome essential oil beyond that, though. Here are some of its powerful benefits:

  • Excellent for digestive issues
  • Equally excellent for pest control
  • Refreshing
  • Stimulating
  • Expectorant
  • Painkiller
  • Antiseptic
  • Relieves itching
  • Has a cooling effect
  • Induces clarity of thought
  • Helpful for: bronchitis, colds, flu, acne
  • Good for toothaches, headaches, migraines
  • Freshens breath

Whew. Quite the list, eh? Peppermint can do a lot for you, that is for sure, but there are some caveats.

You can’t use peppermint oil neat. This means undiluted. Some oils, such as lavender and tea tree, are fine to use neat, but not peppermint.

You can’t use peppermint oil if you’re pregnant. It’s a stimulating oil, and that can spell trouble if you’re pregnant.

It’s best used in moderation. Overdoing it with peppermint oil can make a good thing icky.

And finally, as I’ve said in all my recent posts about essential oils, keep them away from cats. You can use peppermint oil on dogs, but really, truly, keep them away from your cats.

 

Use in an Inhalation

Since peppermint oil is so fantastic for respiratory issues, I like using it in an inhalation. To do this, boil a pot of water, drop in the oil, slap a towel around you and the pot, and breathe deeply for a couple of minutes. You should get some relief pretty soon. You can also put a few drops in your bath or on the shower floor if you like.

Use in a Foot Bath

There is nothing on earth like a cooling peppermint foot soak. There’s just something about it. And if my dogs are seriously barking (that’s a euphemism, whippersnappers), a peppermint foot bath can really do the trick. I used to do this when I had to wear uncomfortable (read: any) shoes back in my day gig days. Since I’m barefoot all the time now, it’s more of a pampering deal when I do it.

Use in a Muscle Massage Oil

Ever get those nasty leg cramps? Or have fallout after a Charlie horse hits your calf? Peppermint oil diluted in a carrier oil makes a fantastic muscle rub. You can do a fairly strong dilution for this if you can stand it, because the peppermint oil gets right down there into your muscle and helps to relax everything. Heaven.

Use as a Natural Pest Repellent

I’ve been battling ants lately. I hate ants. They’re sneaky as all get out and before you know it, they’ve invited their whole famdamly into YOUR house to carry stuff off. The good news? They really hate peppermint oil. Mix about a cup or so of water with a few drops of peppermint oil or up to a teaspoon in a spray bottle. Spray your exterior threshold and wall area with the mix. They won’t want to cross over anymore, no matter how great your pantry smells.

What do you do with peppermint oil?

Could Your Makeup Be Causing

How I Use Lavender Oil

Okay, so. Yesterday we established that tea tree oil is good stuff. I’ll save us all some time at this point and get out of the way my belief that pretty much all essential oils are good stuff, for the record.

Next up on the list is lavender essential oil. If I could only have ONE essential oil in my arsenal, it would be lavender EO. Why? For starters, lavender is an adaptogen. That means that it can pretty much do whatever needs to be done in order to reintroduce balance to the body. It’s in the word itself. Lavender adapts to be and to do whatever it has to do. Isn’t that cool? I think so.

Other nifty information about lavender essential oil:

  • It’s calming, soothing, and balancing.
  • It’s antiseptic, antibacterial, and can operate as a topical painkiller for cuts, wounds, and burns.
  • It has decongestant properties.
  • It can lower blood pressure.
  • It works for skin problems, nervous system problems, tension, depression, insomnia, headaches, stress, and a whole lot more.
  • It can be used neat (without dilution).

See what I mean? Cool stuff.

 

Alright. So if you’ve never used lavender oil before, my advice is just use it wherever and however you want to. But if you’re really new to essential oils, you may not really know what to do. Here are some of the ways I use lavender oil.

Use it for Skin Care

The most common use that I have for lavender oil is in skin care. If I have a cut, scrape, or just a pimple, I’ll put some lavender oil on it without diluting it. Another favorite use is to mix it with oil or with aloe vera and use it as my lotion. I used to mix up batches of oils and essential oils and then use those on my face. I’m finding that I like playing it by ear, though, so I’ll put some coconut oil, argan oil, or even aloe vera in my palm, drop in a few drops of EOs that I feel called to use that day and tada…skin care for the day. Yup, pretty random.

Use it for Dogs

Yes, I meant that emphasis. Cats cannot process essential oils, so please don’t use oils on them or diffuse essential oils in the house with cats around. I used to love diffusing oils, but then I was adopted by a few cats and that took care of that. 🙂 I don’t miss diffusing oils as much as I would miss my cats, though.

When we still had Clio, I would mix in some lavender oil now and again as a rinse after her bath. It made her fur smell so good and fleas hated it so it would help repel them. You can also use lavender oil on wounds or scratches on your dog to help them heal a little bit faster.

Use it for Stress or Headache Relief

Back when I didn’t work for myself, I went through a phase when I had migraines pretty much every single day. It sucked. One trick that I tried often was to use lavender oil on my temples. Sometimes it would help with a mild migraine, but it was far more effective on a headache. If you’re sensitive to smells when you have a headache, this option might not work for you.

For stress relief, I like to put a dab of lavender on my pulse points, like you would do for perfume. Your body heats up the oil in those spots and you’re surrounded by this lovely little cloud of lavender. Heavenly. Go easy if you work around a lot of people, though, because some are sensitive to smell and may have side effects from your heavenly stress relief.

Use it Just for an Emotional Boost

Outside of stress relief, lavender can give you a tremendous happiness boost. Well, if you have bad associations with lavender it might not do the same for you, but I don’t have that problem. When I’m feeling happy, I reach for lavender. When I’m feeling a little low, I still reach for lavender. Remember that adaptogen thing? It’s pretty cool.

What do you do with lavender oil?

Could Your Makeup Be Causing

How I Use Tea Tree Oil

Do you use tea tree oil much? I do, especially lately. There’s a lot that it can do for you. To wit:

  • antibacterial
  • antifungal
  • antiviral
  • expectorant
  • handles inflammation
  • helps to heal wounds
  • fights dandruff
  • cleanses
  • deodorizes
  • can kill fleas and lice – special note: ONLY use tea tree oil on dogs. Never use essential oils on cats because they can’t process them.
  • goes to work on skin problems
  • de-itches insect bites

That’s a lot, right? Yeah, it can do even more.

 

Use it Neat

I love to use tea tree oil neat, which means without diluting it, if you’re new to using essential oils. Tea tree is safe to use neat, although you might feel a little sting if you have sensitive skin. If you have really sensitive skin, you might want to always use it diluted. You can use tea tree neat on acne, cold sores, insect bites, or even scratches and other wounds. I do that sometimes when one of the cats has scratched me to make sure that the wound is cleaned out without dragging out peroxide or antibiotic creams.

Use it for Skin Care

Speaking of acne, I like to use tea tree oil when my skin is feeling or acting a little oilier or more finicky than usual. This summer, I’ve really enjoyed mixing a drop or two into some aloe vera or coconut oil. Then I slather the mixture all over and go about my business. Within a day or two, everything’s happy again. Some students of nail care also use tea tree oil to cure athlete’s foot and other nail fungus issues.

Use it in an Inhalation

Tea tree is really useful — and easy — in an inhalation. If you’ve got a sinus infection or you’re worried that you’re developing one, add a few drops of tea tree to a pan of boiled water. While the water is still hot and steamy, put a towel over your head and lean over the pot so that the towel blocks the steam in with you. Breathe deeply for a minute or two and then take a break. Repeat until you’re tired of hanging your face over a pot of water. 🙂

Kill Mold and Mildew

I hate mold and mildew, but in the humid south, they’re constant companions. Tea tree to the rescue. Add a couple of teaspoons of tea tree oil to a couple of cups of water in an empty spray bottle. Spray onto the mold or mildew and then wait a little bit. Really stubborn areas may need more than one treatment to see results. If you have cats, don’t do this unless you can kick them out of the room until the oil is fully rinsed away.

What do you do with tea tree oil?