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Peppermint is used in so many edible things from toothpaste to sweets that I reckon most of us think of it just as a foody item. In fact peppermint has masses of other uses too.
What is Peppermint?
You might think it's just a plant that you grow in the garden, but actually it's a hybrid plant - and originally was a cross between watermint and spearmint. It's now pretty much widespread across the whole world but the first written description of it in England is in 1753 by Carolus Linnaeus who thought it was a species in its own right and didn't realise it was in fact a hybrid.
The plant peppermint is a perennial and grows to between 30 and 90cm on average with largish leaves that are when bruised let off the wonderful peppermint scent that we recognise so well. It can grow anywhere pretty much, but naturally tends towards moist habitats that are a little shaded. In gardens it's common to grow it in containers to stop it from spreading too much as it does spread very easily.
Peppermint has been used throughout history for its medicinal purposes and when it was first used is actually unknown. What we do know is that it's been being used by humans for at least 10 thousand years.
Peppermint has been grown commercially in the UK since around 1750 and has many medicinal uses. Oil of peppermint contains menthol which is both antiseptic and anesthetic and so leaves have been chewed to help relieve toothache while teas have been drunk to relieve indigestion and help with lessening the symptoms of colds.
Today we may not chew the leaves to help with toothache, but you'll find peppermint in most toothpastes, and we can still find peppermint tea on the shelves although it tends to be suggested more as an aid to digestion and heartburn than for colds these days. Icecream, chewing gum, sweets, all are places you'll find peppermint flavour appearing.
In My Home
I like to keep peppermint oil in my essential oil kit. It's one of the simplest and most widely acceptable smells for many people, and can add a nice invigorating tone to anything it's mixed into.
When I want my husband to wake up after lunch when he's getting a little sleepy for example, a few drops of peppermint oil around the room and he's less likely to curl up and sleep for the afternoon.
Peppermint also has a naturally high concentration of pesticides contained in its oil making it great for helping to reduce the creepy crawlies around the garden veg, and I personally find that eating peppermint oil capsules or even just chewing the odd peppermint leaf helps me with my IBS although don't go eating just any old peppermint sweet as many contain sorbitol which certainly will NOT help with IBS issues!
I would recommend this oil for anyone who wants to begin their own essential oil box. It's one of the best basic oils around second only perhaps to lavender and can be used in lots of ways.
As you will see from a previous review I like to have different Essential Oils in the house for various uses, one of my favourite brands is Health Aid Aromatherapy, as well as having this in the Grapefruit version (previous review) I also have Peppermint Essential Oil made by this brand. Whilst I like the peppermint essential oil due to its many uses it is not one that I use often.
The appearance of the packaging is pretty much the same as that of the Grapefruit Oil made by Health Aid, the bottle of oil comes in a dark green box with the words Health Aid and Aromatherapy written in gold lettering and the words Peppermint Pure Essential Oils written in white, at the bottom of the box is a small white leaf symbol with the volume of the bottle below this. On the back of the bottle is all relevant information about the product such as some of its uses and various warnings and precautions. The bottle itself has a label wrapped around it in the same colour green as the box with the name of the product written on it. It has a lid which screws and unscrews very easily to reveal a small dropper on the end of the bottle, this allows you to measure out just the right amount of oil, you only need 1 or 2 drops at a time so the dropper helps you to measure this out without wasting any.
A Bit of Background
Peppermint Essential Oil originates from the Mediterranean but is now produced in Italy, USA, Japan and Great Britain and comes from a perennial herb. The Peppermint oil itself is extracted from the whole of the plant just before it starts flowering. In order to extract the oil steam distillation is used from a fresh or party dried plant.
Peppermint essential oil has many health benefits depending on how it is used. Some of these benefits include -
Treating digestion problems Treating headaches
Treating Nausea, stomach and bowl pains/ spasms
Helps aches and pains including rheumatism, muscular pain and period pain
Can help with various skin conditions (acne, sunburn, itching and inflammation of the skin)
Uses and Ways of Using Peppermint Essential
BURNERS - Peppermint essential oil can be used in an oil burner, only a few drops are needed at a time. The vapours released are said to help increase concentration and stimulate the mind. It can also help with coughs, headaches, nausea and is also said to be an excellent insect repellent. Personally | haven't tried Peppermint Essential Oil in my oil burner, whilst I love the smell of this oil I do not fancy my whole house smelling of it, I find that Health Aid Peppermint Essential Oil has quite a strong overpowering fragrance, it is excellent by using it in other forms but personally I find that it is not the best oil to use in a burner, the fragrance does tend to linger around the house for several hours
IN THE BATH - This is one of my more favourite ways of using Peppermint Essential Oil, you simply need to add a few drops of the oil to a hot bath, too much of the oil is far too over powering I find that too much oil makes my eyes water and sting. By adding Peppermint Essential Oil to the bath is can help with colic, cramps, back pain, inflamed bowl disorders, catarrh, coughs, diarrhoea, aching muscles, headaches, sickness, rheumatism, irritated and itchy skin and other skin conditions. I have used peppermint oil a few times in the bath after a long day at work ad I have found that it can help to sooth and relax tired and aching muscles. I cannot really say whether it works for most of the conditions mentioned as I have not suffered with them, but I have tried it when I have had a cold and to be honest I found that it did not make a huge difference to my symptoms. As I mentioned this is probably my preferred way of using Peppermint Essential Oil, but I would only probably use it to relieve muscle aches and pain.
CREAMS & LOTIONS - A few drops of Peppermint Essential Oil in creams and lotions can help to reduce the pain from sunburn and reduced red and inflamed skin as well as cooling to skin at the same time. Again I have not tried adding this to lotions. I know mint creams can feel cool on your skin when applied so I imagine this would be the effect when using peppermint oil in this way but I have not actually tried it myself.
Other Uses of Peppermint Essential Oils I have discovered
1) By rubbing 4 to 6 drops of peppermint essential oil in the palm of your hand and then rubbing that over your stomach especially around the belly button it can help to relieve indigestion and diarrhoea. I have not tried this method but I have taken tablets containing peppermint oil for both indigestion and when feeling sick and these worked very well so I know that peppermint does help with these sorts of problems
2)By adding a couple of drops of peppermint oil to a herbal tea this too can help with reducing digestion and heart burn problems. Not one I have tried as I am not keen on a lot of herbal teas but a colleague used to swear by peppermint tea
3)Inhale peppermint essential oil before and during a work out. I have used the oil in a bath after a work out to help with muscle aches so obviously ended up inhaling the vapours and it did help me to feel relaxed up also slightly less tired.
4) Rub 4 drops of peppermint oil onto the chest and stomach to relieve travel sickness. As I mentioned earlier I know peppermint does help with feelings of sickness so I can see how this would work and this may have been handy when I was younger and suffered badly with travel sickness.
5) Applying peppermint essential oils to the tongue and inhale through the nose to relieve congestion, again I have tried inhaling peppermint oil by applying it to a bath and I think it did make a slight difference although not a huge difference.
6) I have heard that people place a couple of drops of peppermint oil in a cup of hot water rather than having a cup of coffee, personally I would prefer to stick to my morning black coffee but for those who enjoy different flavour herbal teas the this could be a good one. Alternatively on a hot day mix the peppermint oil with cold water as an alternative cool drink.
7) Place a couple of drops of peppermint oil on the tongue to combat bad breath
8)Peppermint oil can be used to remove ticks from pets, apply a small amount of the oil to a cotton bud and rub over the tick, wait for it to unhinge its head and remove. Luckily my girls haven't suffered with ticks before, but should they ever I will definitely give this a go, as it is a natural product that will not cause the animal any harm, they might just smell a bit minty for a few hours.
9) Mix peppermint oil with water in a footbath to relieve sore feet. I have tried this by adding it to my foot spa, I did notice a difference in my aching feet and they felt better, whether this was the spa, the oil or a combination of both, I will certainly put peppermint essential oil in my foot spa again.
There are so many different uses for peppermint oil that I have discovered but I think that personally my favourite use of the oil is either in the bath or foot spa to relieve tired aching muscles. Some of the ways it can be used I do not fancy trying but it is a multipurpose oil and is very handy to have around the house. I have found it makes a small difference to cold symptoms if inhaled, I have done this by applying it to the bath rather than in a oil burner as the fragrance can be quite overpowering to have around the whole house so should I run out of my other cold remedies I would definitely give this a go.
I cannot remember exactly where I bought my Health Aid Aromatherapy Peppermint Essential Oil from as I have had it quite a while now but you can buy it online at various online chemists, it is best to shop around for it online as the price does vary, the cheapest price it can be bought for is £4, however some places are selling it for a lot more. The oil comes in a 10ml bottle, £4 seems quite a lot for such a small amount, however I have found the oil to be very long lasting as only a few drops are needed at once, the dropper on the end of the bottle makes it easy to measure out just the right amount needed, so personally I think £4 is a fair amount to pay for the oil.
Overall I would recommend Health Aid Peppermint Essential Oil, whilst it is not my favourite essential oil and I would probably not use it in an oil burner as a room freshener it does have many uses and is a handy thing to have around the house, so due to its many uses yes, I would recommend this product.
Ahhhh, nice cuppa tea! This is my first thought normally in the morning when I wake up. This is not ordinary tea like you would buy from Tesco but this is peppermint tea. When I first tried it I wasn't sure if I would even like it so this necessitated a somewhat unsure buy of peppermint tea.
The first box I bought was from Twinings and I didn't feel the flavour was quite there so the second box I bought was the ASDA Peppermint Tea bags.
There are 20 tea bags per box and the only ingredients listed are 'Selected Peppermint Leaves' so no fear of any extra ingredient that might be additives or anything like that.
It is made with peppermint leaves and does leave you with a refreshing minty flavour just as it says on the box.
The box tells you how to prepare the tea if you would like a medium strength cup of tea or a stronger brew. It also gives you directions on preparing in a pot. This is quite similar to preparing for a regular cup of tea.
These peppermint tea bags are suitable for vegetarians and it does say so on the box.
They also have a number and a website where you can contact them if need be for any reason.
I really liked the ASDA peppermint tea bags. I put a level teaspoon of raw sugar for just that extra bit of sweetness and it reminds me of a peppermint stick. I have always liked peppermint sticks and I guess that is part of the reason I decided to try the tea bags.
I have noticed that it does help with stomach problems as I tend to have upset stomach over different foods that I eat. I haven't had any major colds or allergies lately but then I'm not really prone to them on a normal basis so it could or could not be part of what helps. I have heard it helps with heartburn but I don't normally suffer from that either.
I think the worst part of it is the smell could be offputting and it seems either a person loves it or they hate it. My family hates the smell but they do realize that I do enjoy it so regardless of the complaints the tea keeps getting brewed and they tend to stay away during the time I'm drinking it. At least it does give me a pleasurable few minutes alone to enjoy my tea!
I love herbal and fruit teas it has to be said so i decided to try these peppermint ones out. Believing that they would be very refreshing and having been told that they would ease heartburn ( i have heartburn quite regularly). I bought a pack and tried them as soon as i got heartburn again ( which incidentally was only a couple of days after buying them. I put one in a cup and boiled the kettle then poured hot water in to about 3/4 full then added some cold from the tap so that it was warm enough to drink without scalding my mouth. I didn`t bother putting any sugar in because you don`t have to with other herbal teas, they are normally sweet enough. I settled down in front of the TV and started to sip from the cup, it was disgusting i could not take another drop but i knew i had to get rid of the heartburn and there was no rennie in the house that i could take. Leaving it for a few more minutes to cool it down a bit more I held my nose and gulped about half of it down, that was it, no more, i couldn`t face the rest so i poured it down the sink. The only possible way i have of discribing this to you is by telling you that it tasted like hot mouthwash, it didn`t seem right swallowing it I felt I should have swilled it round my mouth and spat it out.
I really do not like to take medication and will try anything to avoid it. As I have major back trouble and have to have strong maintenance doses to keep me functioning with only a dull ache I would rather not use more mainstream tablets to help cure other ailments. I therefore turn to alternative medicine. My favourite has to be Aromatherapy. I do not profess to be an expert, but I do know what I like. Here is where 'Peppermint Oil' fits in. There are many mints, but 'Peppermint' (Mentha piperita) is the most commonly avalible. This oil is obtained by steam distillation from the leaves and flowers. The essences of mint are of variable compositions according to the species of plant and the climate in which it has grown. In colder regions the plants is more active and produces a greater yield of oil. **Uses** Peppermint has a multitude of uses. I will first highlight as many as possible and will then illustrate some of its external uses. For internal use, please consult an expert in Aromatherapy. Antilaction (producing milk) Antiseptic (wound cleanser) Antispasmodic (helps to combat Colic) Emmenagogue (helps to reduce menstrual bleeding) Parasiticide (helps to deal with unwanted organisms) Stimulant (helps to increase the active or mental capacity of the body) Vermfuge (helps expel worms) One word of warning excessive use can result in the irritation of the stomachs mucous lining and cause disturbing dreams as well. **External Uses** *Inhalator* Add 5 drops into 100mls of boiling water to provide an inhalator. The inhalation of 'peppermint oil' can help with the treatment of asthma or bronchitis. This inhalator my also help with the re-leaving of the symptoms of a Migraine. Seek medical advice if the asthma or bronchitic symptoms persist. NB: Do NOT use an inhalator on your own as if the water and oil
is split; burning will occur. *Mosquito Repellent* Put two to three drops of 'peppermint oil' on your clothing and/or bedclothes to help deter mosquitoes. A 5mls bottle is a great little addition when visiting warmer climates. *Foot Care* By adding about three drops of 'peppermint oil' to a basis foot cream as soothing treatment is created for tired and sore feet. NB: Do NOT use 'peppermint oil' directly on the skin without carrier oil as it can cause skin irritation or burning. ** Other Mints** These include Corsican mint (Mentha requienii), pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) and spearmint (Mentha spicata). **Cost** Around £6.00 for 5mls bottle. Culpeper's and many other health food stores will sell this oil. **Warning about Essential Oils in General** 1) Do not put directly on the skin or in water. Always use a carrier solution/oil. 2) Do not ingest Essential Oils orally as they can burns and can also induce respiratory conditions such as Asthma or repression. Do not vomit as this can cause more harm than good. 3) Take care on sensitive skin, as some oils can cause burning. Always patch test the skin before trying new essential oil. 4) Keep off of polished surfaces. 5) Keep out of children's reach, as many are poisonous. 6) Store in an amber glass bottle away from sunlight as this helps to prevent the essential oils from breaking down too quickly. 7) Contact with the eyes. Wash out with cold water and if stinging persists for more than ten minutes, seek medical treatment 8) Avoid use or storage near a naked flame. **For More Information** To find more out about Peppermint oils and other essential oils out go to Culpeper's website at www.culpeper.co.uk I find this a useful website.
Peppermint oil is distilled from Mentha Piperita. It is a dark green oil with a fresh aroma that clears the head and has a generally uplifting effect. The scent is top to middle note which means that it is quite sharp. It is used in aromatherpy, medicines, perfumes, as a food flavouring and in drink (peppermint cordial or Creme de Menthe). USES: ++++ Refreshes tired feet and legs Refreshes and cleans the scalp when used as a hair rinse A massage with diluted oil will help in bruising Vapourised oil will clean and refresh the air in a room. Analgesic (helps pain, especially in headache.Mix a couple of drops with 10 mils carrier oil and massage forehead, etc.) Antibacterial, antifungal, antiinflammatory, antipyretic, antispasmodic Antiviral, astringent (good for oily skin) Decongestant (clears sinuses) Expectorant Stimulant May help in shingles to reduce the pain Acne and dermatitis may benefit. HOW TO USE: +++++++++++ A couple of drops in a warm bath with refresh the muscles. A couple of drops used as a hair rinse will invigourate the scalp and leave the hair shiney. Massage with undiluted oil for bruising Use in a vapouriser to clean the air in a room. Mix with ravensara for a very effective analgesic. WARNING: ++++++++ Do not use in pregnancy as it is an emmenogogue (encourages bleeding). Always dilute before massage at 1% (2 drops to 10 mils carrier oil) Never use more than 3 drops in the bath as it may burn the skin If you have sensitive skin test a small area on the inside of your wrist first. Can anaesthetise the senses if over-used. Sleep disturbance in high doses. Can cause constipation if too much is used (especially in peppermint tea) as it slows down the digestive system. Not recommended for children and babies as a few cases of reflex apnoea have bee attributed to this oil. VERDICT: +++++++ Peppermint oil is one of my favourites. It is excellent used for foot massage. (Always dilute with a carrier oil before use.) It is an extremely useful oil to have at home and provided it is used properly will give some really good results. I recently used it to relief post shingles pain. When the pain starts in the nerve ending rub a couple of drops of peppermint oil into the painful area. This worked well for me. Use it in a warm bath and you will feel refreshed and invigourated but don't use it before bedtime or you might not sleep.
Peppermint is the oil that I have been using for the longest. I bought this before any other essential oils, mainly because I think it is the most useful. I mainly use the oil for headaches and nausea, and quite often when I suffer from stomach upsets. I really couldn't do without it. Mint Tic Tacs are a life saver too, you can really taste the strong peppermint taste and it helps any queasy feeling. Peppermint will refresh, revive and cool. Relax your muscles and help return your digestive system to normal. I find that I can use the essential oil neat on my skin, but not anywhere near my eyes or mouth, or even nose, of course. If you dilute it with some olive oil it's great to gently rub on your belly in a clockwise direction. Really helps sooth you. If I have a migraine I manage to put some neat oil on my temples without any problems of sensitivity. If someone has a cold you can burn some peppermint and tea tree and eucalyptus in an oil burner. It helps to kill germs and freshen the air. Although peppermint seems like one of the more common scents and tastes around, it's worth it's weight in gold!
Peppermint is one of the most important essential oils, and most widely used in aromatherapy treatments. It's sometimes overlooked, however, because we all thing of it as principally a food and flavouring, when the Essential Oil, in fact, has a wide variety of uses. One of the main uses is for headaches - of all sorts, but especially those tension headaches and migraine that might be caused by smoky rooms, too long in front of the computer or stuffy offices. You can use the oil by putting some on a tissue and sniffing or via a diffuser or aromatherapy burner. Some folks actually like to dab in neat on temples or wrists but do take care if trying this, peppermint EO will irritate a fairly large percentage of skins if used undiluted. My favourite use of peppermint isn't actually theraputic at all - it just amuses me! (thanks to Dr Valnet who suggests this in his book) Try this on any doubting Thomas who doesn't believe aromatherapy can get to the parts of the body other treatments can't. Get doubting person to lie down and put a generous swab of peppermint oil on the arches of their feet. Wrap feet in clingfilm (just so the smell can't escape any other way). Within a few minutes they'll begin to taste peppermint! (well I find it fascinating anyway!) Another good use is for toothache - drop neat peppermint oil on a cotton bud and apply to tooth (this is also one of the best uses for clove oil, most people find one or the other works for them). Some of the best results I've ever got with peppermint oil, however, are for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Just mix either just peppermint or peppermint and lavender in a carrier oil (such as sunflower) and rub very very gently on the sore abdomen. Bliss! Peppermint can also be a good antidote to nausea and an alternative to ginger for travel sickness. Finally, peppermint is quite a good insect repellant. This works better in some parts o
f the world than others. If I go away I always take both peppermint and t-tree. The local mossies always hate one or the other. It's also supposed to be a good rat repellant, but fortunately I've never had the chance to try this out Precautions: Peppermint shouldn't be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women and use in very low concentrations at first as some people are quite sensitive to this on their skin
I always have Peppermint essential oil in the house as it if really fantastic at getting rid of those boring head / eye aches that women are so prone to getting. A few drops mixed with some carrier oil, gently rubbed into the temples, forhead or occipital area (back of scull ridge) really knocks it for six. Apart from this though it does have other uses too. I often sprinkle a few drops into an oil burner when I am writing, or trying to concentrate on a task, as it really aids mental stimulation. Research has shown that Peppermint oil really does improve alertness. (It is useful therefore for students who are cramming for exams). A useful decongentant, it is a good choice for colds and flu symptoms. A few drops inhaled over a bowl of hot water can really clear nasal passages. Also massaged into the body, it is good for indigestion or wind. In combination with Rosemary or Eucalyptus it is the perfect oil for all coughs, colds etc
Peppermint is great for clearing the head, making you feel alert and functional and I tend to use it as a ‘Pro Plus’ alternative. It is advisable that you don’t go to bed after using this oil, I’m not particularly sure why, but I do follow the instructions that come with the oils for safety reasons. It’s great for headaches, PMT, menopausal hot flushes and all the like. You only need a couple of tiny drops, too much and the smell will be around for days as it is very very strong. Great for nightworkers!
Peppermint oil has a wonderfully uplifting aroma. If you are feeling tired after a long day at work (or play) put a few drops of Peppermint oil on a tissue or handkerchief and inhale and it will pick you up no end. It is very good used it this way for all kinds of nausea too (from travel to morning sickness) If you have a cold or blocked up nose put a few drops in bowl of hot water and cover the head with a towel over the bowl and this will help to clear your head (as will a bath with five drops of the oil). Eucalyptus and Lemon oils are also good used in this way. Peppermint oil should never be used neat on the skin, it should always be blended with a carrier oil and should always be used sparingly.