Peppermint oil is one of the most versatile essential oils out there. It can be used aromatically, topically, and internally to address a number of health concerns, from muscle aches and seasonal allergy symptoms to low energy and digestive complaints.
It’s also commonly used to boost energy levels and improve both skin and hair health. Lab studies show that the compounds found in peppermint oil have antimicrobial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties, meaning they may also help to fight infections that lead to symptoms involving the respiratory tract.
1. Relieve Muscle and Joint Pain
To use peppermint oil for pain relief, simply apply 2–3 drops topically to the area of concern three times daily, and add 5 drops to a warm water bath with salt. Combining peppermint with lavender oil is also a great way to help your body relax and reduce muscle pain.
2. Sinus Care and other Respiratory Benefits
Mix peppermint oil with coconut oil and eucalyptus oil to make your Homemade VaporRub. You can also diffuse 5 drops of peppermint or apply 2–3 drops topically to your temples, chest, and back of the neck.
3. Seasonal Allergy Relief
4. Increase Energy and Improve Exercise Performance
5. Alleviate Headaches
A clinical trial from researchers at the Neurological Clinic at the University of Kiel, Germany, found that a combination of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and ethanol had a “significant analgesic effect with a reduction in sensitivity to headaches.” When these oils were applied to the forehead and temples, they also increased cognitive performance and had a muscle-relaxing and mentally relaxing effect.
To use peppermint oil as a natural headache remedy, simply apply 2–3 drops to your temples, forehead, and back of the neck
6. Promote Hair Growth and Reduce Dandruff
“What does peppermint oil do for your hair?”
Peppermint oil is actually used in many high-quality hair care products because it can naturally thicken and nourish damaged hair. It can be used as a natural treatment for thinning hair and it helps to stimulate the scalp and energize your mind.
Plus, menthol is a powerful antiseptic agent, so it may help to remove germs that may build up in your hair. Menthol is even used in anti-dandruff shampoos.
To promote hair growth and nourish your hair, simply add 2–3 drops of peppermint to your shampoo and conditioner.
Massage 2–3 drops of peppermint oil into your scalp while showering.
7. Relieve Itchiness
To help relieve itching with peppermint, simply apply 2–3 drops topically to the area of concern or add 5–10 drops to a warm water bath. If you are using peppermint on sensitive skin, combine it with equal parts carrier oil before topical application. You can also combine peppermint oil with lavender oil for itch relief, as lavender has soothing properties.
8. Repel Bugs Naturally
Unlike us humans, a number of little critters hate the smell of peppermint oil, including ants, spiders, cockroaches, mosquitos, mice, and possibly even lice. A review of plant-based insect repellents published in Malaria Journal found that the most effective plant essential oils used in bug repellents include peppermint, lemongrass, geraniol, pine, cedar, thyme and patchouli, and clove. These oils have been shown to repel malaria, filarial and yellow fever vectors for 60–180 minutes.
9. Reduce Nausea
When 34 patients experienced postoperative nausea after undergoing cardiac surgery and they used a nasal inhaler that contained peppermint oil, their nausea levels were found to be significantly different than before inhaling peppermint.
The patients were asked to rate their feelings of nausea on a scale of 0 to 5, with 5 being the greatest nausea. The average score went from 3.29 before peppermint oil inhalation, to 1.44 two minutes after using peppermint.
To get rid of nausea, simply inhale peppermint oil directly from the bottle, add one drop of peppermint oil to a glass of distilled water or rub 1–2 drops behind your ears.