Peppermint oil has commonly been used in aromatherapy throughout history. It is made from peppermint leaves and contains the compounds menthol and menthone among others.
How Can Peppermint Oil Be Used?
People use peppermint oil for muscle aches and pains, headaches, stomach problems, and as a mood lifter and stress fighter. It is used in dental health products, to fight bacteria and freshen the breath.
Many people like the smell of peppermint, so it’s used in diffusers to create a good scent in the home and also to improve feelings of motivation and happiness.
DIY Products That Can Help You Harness the Benefits of Peppermint Oil
If you’d like to give peppermint oil a try, you can make products at home easily for various situations. Here are some ideas:
- Peppermint foot scrub can help exfoliate your feet and also provide stress relief. You might not want to use it at bedtime because it might keep you awake.
- Peppermint muscle cream can help with the aches and pains of muscles and joints.
- Peppermint bath bombs can help invigorate you in the bathtub or shower. You can substitute peppermint oil for the lavender in this recipe: “How to Make a Soothing Lavender Oil Bath Bomb.”
- Peppermint oil in a diffuser can be uplifting and motivating. However, start low and go slow. Use only one drop in a full diffuser to start with, diffuse for 30 minutes at a time only, and don’t diffuse around babies, small children, or pets that don’t have a way to get away from the mist.
Note: This article discusses pure peppermint oil, not oil mixed with fragrances or other substances.
Possible Side Effects from Peppermint Oil Usage
The following side effects have all been reported from the use of peppermint oil. Some of these were cases when peppermint oil was ingested:
- Skin irritation
- Respiratory problems
Because peppermint oil has some potentially serious side effects, we recommend consulting a healthcare professional before using it. Additionally, these practices should be observed, though negative side effects could still occur:
- Do not use on or around babies
- Do not use on or around children under 7
- Do not apply to skin unless it is heavily diluted with coconut, olive, or another cooking oil
- Do not use if you are on any medications unless you check with your doctor first