Alternative Health

6 ways peppermint oil can benefit your wellbeing

Peppermint plant

6 ways peppermint oil can benefit your wellbeing

An everyday flavour and commonplace in the kitchen, it’s easy to take the powers of peppermint for granted. Although it might not be a ‘new and trending’ ingredient, this common herb has long been called upon to tend to a wide variety of health ailments – and it’s something that comes up time and time again when I’m advising my clients.

Many people simply associate peppermint with digestive benefits, and with good reason. When ingested, it’s great for reducing bloating, soothing stomach muscles and allowing for more effective toxin removal from the intestines – which is why I often recommend peppermint oil as a natural remedy for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and why I’m personally so fond of drinking peppermint tea after dinner. Better digestion also leads to a good night’s sleep, having a knock-on effect on our overall health.

But I also bring peppermint essential oil (the aromatherapy oil) into my routine – and that of my clients – in many other ways, from a daily boost or in response to seasonal changes.

Peppermint oil for seasonal allergies

It’s the time of year again when my clients come to me looking for natural solutions to their seasonal allergies. One thing I always recommend is adding peppermint essential oil into their routine.

This is because it’s reputed to help reduce inflammation, which our allergies can trigger. Inhaling peppermint oil might also help clear your breathing passageways and clear out mucus.

If you want to use peppermint oil to relieve allergies, it’s best to use it in a diffuser in your room, allowing you to breathe in its goodness as the molecules are dispersed into the air. As you inhale, you’ll reap the soothing rewards.

Also read: How to prepare for allergy season

Peppermint oil for sinus relief

It’s not just allergy-related nasal symptoms that peppermint essential oil can help with: it may be similarly beneficial if your nasal passage is blocked due to a cold or flu.

It’s thought that the menthol in peppermint – the chemical that gives its ‘cooling’ properties – may affect receptors in the nose, helping to clear mucus and enabling you to breathe more easily. It’s also antibacterial, which may help in the fight against colds and common illnesses as well.

You can try steaming with peppermint oil for this effect – place a couple of drops of essential oil in a bowl of hot water, put a towel over your head and inhale the steam. If your skin isn’t sensitive to it (do a patch test with the oil mixed within a carrier oil first), then you can also add a few drops to a warm bath.

Also read: Nutrients to support immunity

Peppermint oil for energy and focus

Another brilliant benefit of this essential oil is its ability to improve focus and energy levels. That’s why you’ll so often find it included in ‘tingly’ shower gels that are designed to help you kick-start your day.

As the menthol in peppermint is thought to stimulate the hippocampus – the part of the brain’s limbic system linked to cognitive functions such as memory – it can help us concentrate on the task at hand.

If I know I have a big project to work on, or just need to remain focused, I’ll add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to my diffuser as I get to work. If I’m on the go, I’ll pop Nature’s Truth Peppermint Essential Oil Roll-On into my bag, to keep me alert between meetings.

Also read: How to use essential oils for focus

Peppermint oil for headaches and migraines

Many people turn straight to tablet pain relief when suffering from headaches or migraines, but there are herbal pain relief options out there – peppermint being one of them. A natural analgesic, it’s thought to relieve pain as well as relax muscles.

I advise my clients to make peppermint essential oil a part of their routine if they find headaches a consistent problem. When symptoms begin, try applying Nature’s Truth Pure Peppermint Essential Oil (after blending with a carrier oil) to your temples and gently massage.

Some research has drawn a link between this method and pain relief, though more is needed. However, time and time again I hear my clients say that they find it effective, and I have experienced this myself, too.

Also read: How to use essential oils

Peppermint oil to relieve muscle pain and tension

As mentioned, peppermint is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, making it an ideal remedy for inflamed, aching muscles. In addition, it’s anti-spasmodic – meaning it can lessen muscle spasms. Its effectiveness has been shown in several studies, especially its ability to help with post-exercise muscle pain.

I recommend massaging in the essential oil topically after blending with a carrier oil, or mixing in a warm bath (again diluted), to reap these benefits. Just be sure to check you don’t have a skin sensitivity to it beforehand.

Also read: Stamina to recovery: supplements to support your fitness routine

Peppermint oil for itchy, inflamed skin

Peppermint oil can have benefits for skin when applied topically. Due to its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, it might help soothe inflamed, itchy skin – and some small studies confirm this. Its antibacterial, antiseptic and cooling qualities are also thought to be good for treating acne. However, always do a patch test first before using it directly on skin, as some people can be sensitive to peppermint oil (and always dilute it first).

If I’m suffering from any such skin ailment, I usually blend a few drops of peppermint oil with coconut oil and apply. This helps to soothe and nourish my skin as well as calm the symptoms.

Also read: Can your skin problems be linked to a vitamin deficiency?

Read more from Holly Zoccolan and Nature’s Truth’s Expert Panel here.

[Disclaimer] *Always read the instructions on the bottle. Essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil before applying directly to skin. Do a patch test 24 hours before using.

Holly Zoccolan

Holly Zoccolan

Holistic Lifestyle Coach

A Certified Nutritional Health Coach and Herbalist, Holly Zoccolan – also known as The Health Zoc – promotes healthy lifestyle changes that are beneficial and accessible. She specialises in women’s health, including balancing female hormones, and the use of essential oils for better health.