Oil of the month – Peppermint (mentha x piperita) – June 2024.

Peppermint essential oil

I’m kicking off my oil of the month series with Peppermint – a highly popular, versatile, and essential oil with a recognizable aroma, making it a must-have in any essential oil collection. 

An introduction to peppermint essential oil

Mint, a versatile herb, exists in various forms. 

Mentha x piperita (peppermint) essential oil is primarily sourced from the plant’s leaves. While it grows in many places, the highest quality comes from Europe and North America.

This essential oil boasts a rich history, cherished by ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians for its medicinal properties and refreshing aroma. Peppermint traces have even been found in Egyptian pyramids.

Today, the oil is easily recognized by its refreshing menthol scent and unique taste.

Incorporated into skincare, dental care, and household products, peppermint oil has become a staple in daily life.

Peppermint tea

Therapeutic benefits of peppermint oil

With its uniquely refreshing and invigorating scent, it offers a wide range of uses. 

When applied to the skin, it should always be diluted with a lotion or a carrier oil like jojoba, coconut, or a high-quality vegetable oil. 

Due to its variety of chemical components, it possesses numerous properties such as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiviral, antimicrobial, digestive, expectorant, carminative (reduces bloating and gas), and mucolytic. 

  • Invigorates and energises
  • Provides respiratory relief
  • Soothes digestive discomfort
  • Stimulates digestive function
  • Relieves aching muscles
  • Cooling
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves mental function
  • Repels insects
  • Cleansing
Oil drop bottle

Uses of peppermint essential oil

Digestive –

Thanks to its carminative, soothing, and anti-inflammatory properties, it addresses stomach issues and, with its antispasmodic effects, relaxes stomach muscles to release gas and ease bloating. Some IBS sufferers have noted relief from their discomfort.

Along with ginger oil, this oil can be used to alleviate various forms of nausea, including travel, post-operative, and antenatal sickness. 

By stimulating the digestive system, it boosts gastric juice levels, which can help curb hunger and potentially reduce food intake. 

Respiratory –

Peppermint oil serves as an excellent expectorant, helping to open airways, enhance breathing, and alleviate congestion by clearing mucus. It provides relief from cold and flu symptoms, including a sore throat. 

Pain –

Peppermint is effective for various types of pain.

It can help with headaches, migraines, muscle aches, and joint pain due to its menthol content, which reduces inflammation and offers a mild numbing effect. It is commonly used in sports massage and recovery.

After a long day, a cooling footbath with peppermint oil can soothe and refresh tired, aching feet. 

Mental –

Peppermint oil is stimulating and energizing, aiding in focus, concentration, and combating mental exhaustion and poor memory. It enhances mental clarity and helps with impatience and indecision, as well as relieving general fatigue throughout the day.

Peppermint oil is also useful for providing comfort and reducing the impact during times of shock.

Environmental –

Peppermint oil is an excellent natural repellent, perfect for home and garden use to safely and naturally deter pests and insects or as a homemade insect repellent spray. Rodents and spiders particularly dislike it.

Cleansing –

The cooling effects of peppermint essential oil make it a valuable method in reducing hot flushes whether resulting from hormonal changes, climate or illness. Peppermint oil effectively breaks down grease and grime, making it great for cleaning surfaces and refreshing your home environment.

 The cooling properties of peppermint essential oil are helpful in alleviating hot flushes caused by hormonal changes, climate, or illness. 

Sealed peppermint bottle

What can I blend peppermint essential oil with?

Peppermint essential oil has versatile uses and can be mixed with many other oils. 

Being part of the lamiaceae family, it blends well with oils like ravansara, sandalwood, Ho, and sweet orange. 

Peppermint oil promotes cell regeneration and pairs effectively with lavender for aiding in epidermal wound healing, offering a calming and soothing effect. 

When combined with citrus essential oils, it creates an uplifting and energizing atmosphere or provides respiratory support. 

Mixed with clove and ginger, it serves as a digestive tonic. 

Annika Vincent Essentially Serene Clinical Aromatherapist

Scientific Information

Botanical Namementha x piperita
Plant familyLamiaceae
Extraction methodSteam distillation
Extracted fromLeaves
OriginEurope and North America
Principal constituentsMenthol, menthone, iso-menthone, menthofuran, menthyl acetate, 1,8 cineole, limonene, a-pinene, b-pinene, pulegone, piperitone, b-caryophyllene

Safety considerations

Due to its high menthol content, peppermint essential oil is potent and should not be used undiluted on babies, young children, the elderly, or those undergoing clinical treatment. 

Although it can be applied undiluted to very small skin areas, I still recommend a minimum dilution of 1% in a carrier oil.

 While essential oils are natural products, caution is necessary when using them. Always consult a medical provider or qualified clinical aromatherapist before use, especially if you have any concerns, underlying health conditions, or are pregnant. 

Exercise caution when using essential oils around animals and avoid direct contact with them.

I am not a medical practitioner. While essential oils have many health benefits, they are not a substitute for professional medical assistance or treatment and are not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. 

Energised