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
- 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.