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The Power of Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is often used in aromatherapy or the use of essential oils to support health. Studies show that peppermint oil may help improve memory and raise alertness, and alleviate pain and nausea. The oil has also: antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, analgesic, radioprotective, anti-edema and antioxidant capability.

Studies show the peppermint oil   may help improve memory and raise alertness, and alleviate pain and nausea.

History shows a wide range of uses for peppermint essential oil, which has been used as far back in time as ancient Rome and Egypt.  Various cultures have used this oil not only for its minty fragrance, but for its therapeutic benefits as well. In addition, peppermint oil is known to symbolize hospitality.

Peppermint oil is derived from the leaves of the peppermint plant (Mentha piperita), a hybrid of the water mint and spearmint plants, and M. arvensis var. piperascens, a plant from the Labiatae family. It is often used as a home remedy for stomach problems, muscle pain and headaches. Peppermint oil can also be utilized in capsules or supplements

Peppermint oil may be useful for:

  • Easing respiratory problems
  • Relieving pain
  • Promoting positive effects on cancer-related treatments
  • Helping ease herpes infections
  • Enhancing hair and skin health
  • Improving dental health
  • Providing comfort for stress and nervous system problems
  • Acting as an itch reliever

The two major components of peppermint essential oil are menthol and menthone, which are why it’s widely used as an ingredient in lozenges, toothpastes and rubs. Other constituents found in peppermint oil are menthyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, limonene, beta-pinene and beta-caryophyllene

While it is tempting to buy products containing peppermint oil, using it in its whole state without additional ingredients may yield more positive results. However, it should never be utilized undiluted because it can cause irritation, especially to those with sensitive skin. It must be diluted in carrier oils like sweet almond, jojoba, coconut and olive, and used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.

Peppermint oil is sensitive to heat, and should be stored in a cool place in tightly sealed bottles. Avoid using peppermint oil alongside other supplements and drugs, since it may trigger negative effects. For instance, peppermint oil can disrupt the rate at which your body processes cyclosporine, causing more of the medication to stay in your bloodstream.

Peppermint oil is also known to interact with other drugs like felodipine (Plendil), simvastatin (Zocor), antacids, calcium channel blockers and blood pressure-lowering medicines.

Peppermint oil is safe in low amounts in most adults, but it can trigger side effects in people with sensitivities. It is important for the following individuals to either avoid using this essential oil or to use it carefully only with the help of a health care professional.

  • Pregnant and nursing women — Peppermint oil or other similar products may have emmenagogue and abortifacient effects, so it would be wise not to use peppermint oil without your physician’s approval. 
  • Children — Peppermint oil must not be used undiluted because there isn’t enough information regarding its safety for children; do not use it at all for children under 30 months of age. On older children, always try a patch test first to test for allergic reactions.
  • Diabetics — Using peppermint oil may raise your risk of low blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and hiatal hernia patients — Peppermint can relax the sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus, and cause acid to move up to the esophagus.
  • People with gallbladder problems — Peppermint oil may cause gallbladder inflammation; those diagnosed with gallstones should consult a physician before using peppermint oil.
  • People taking antacids — These drugs can cause peppermint oil capsules to break down easily, increasing the risk of heartburn.

Take utmost care when using peppermint oil or other related products, since you may experience the following side effects:


Allergic reactions like skin rashes

Slow heartbeat

Abdominal pain and diarrhea

Mouth ulcers or sores

Eye irritation


Vomiting and nausea



Muscle weakness

Brain damage


If you are experiencing insomnia or other sleep disorders, avoid using peppermint oil because it can interfere with sleep. While it can offer profound benefits, It’s recommended speaking to a health care provider before using it for therapeutic applications.

Source: mercola.com

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