Peppermint Oil: The what, why, and how that will make you use this cool essential oil today!
Updated: Aug 17, 2020
Peppermint oil is popular for its antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, insect repellent, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. With so many benefits waiting for you to discover, let me, Ollie, tell you exactly what is so amazing about this oil, why you should use it, and how you should use it. Keep reading until the end to learn useful, minty fresh recipes!
What is Peppermint Oil?
The Essential Facts
Derived from the peppermint plant – it's minty fresh!
Antimicrobial, antiviral – kills germs and bacteria
Antioxidant – has the power of preservation!
Great as an alternative and natural insect repellant
Anti-inflammatory – helps calm a topical wound down
Analgesic – has pain-relieving properties
When used with a carrier oil, has a refreshing and cooling effect on the skin
It can be digested by adults in diluted quantities – yay! I can ingest the benefits too!
This revitalizing oil is extremely popular with the essential oil community. And with good reason too! After lavender oil, peppermint oil is one of the most popular essential oils because of its versatility. It is my go-to for things ranging from digestive issues, colds, to even creating my own mosquito repellent and room fresheners.
Derived from the Peppermint plant (Mentha piperita), it is a naturally occurring hybrid of water mint and spearmint. Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, this hardy shrub grows in cool, wet places. Today, the USA, India and China are the largest producers of peppermint oil in the world. I source my peppermint oil from the Uttar Pradesh region in the north, which is the main growing region of this oil in India!
The problem with essential oils is that many brands adulterate the oil with synthetic fragrances and other additives. Adulterated versions are difficult to distinguish from authentic peppermint oil without detailed lab tests which makes it difficult to know which sources to trust. Adulterated oils don't give you the full benefits that you deserve and I will not have that here! I, Ollie, have personally visited numerous farms and worked with many farmers to source and evaluate the best quality peppermint oil for you! Nothing but the best, purest, un-adulterated oils for Ollie-lovers!
How is Peppermint Oil Produced?
Did you know that it takes about 77 kilograms of leaves to make 1 kilogram of oil?
I believe in being completely transparent with my Ollie-lovers about the sourcing, extraction, and preparation process of the oils that are sold here. Nothing but the best and nothing but the truth here!
Peppermint Oil is produced by steam distillation. Peppermint leaves are harvested just around the time the flowers start to bloom, typically on a sunny day, and then left in the field to dry up to 70%. Ensuring the leaves meet the required standards for oil extraction is a tricky process. If the leaves are too wet, oil extraction becomes difficult. Too dry, and this affects extraction and oil quality. So we make sure each and every leaf we use in our essential oil production is in the right condition!
After steaming, the leaves are fed into distillation tanks, and steam is passed through them. The vapour picks up the oil and is then condensed to give a combination of oil and water, which is then separated to extract pure peppermint oil. Goody! We now have all that goodness to bottle up!
I test every batch of oil for colour, odour, composition and character to ensure it meets the highest standards, before I bottle them for you!
Always wondered why essential oils are sold in tinted glass bottles? This is to minimize exposure to sunlight which will begin the oxidation process resulting is the loss of quality and potency. We do not want that! Store my peppermint oil in a cool place away from direct sunlight and it can last for up to 5 years!
Why Should You Use Peppermint Oil?
Need more convincing? Let Ollie tell you more ways you can reap the benefits of this amazing oil!
The top 5 Benefits of Peppermint Oil
1. Treatment for digestive issues
Peppermint oil is a great digestive aid as it soothes the digestive system and stimulates production of digestive fluids. A few drops of peppermint oil diluted with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, applied on your belly provides quick acting relief for upset stomachs and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It also relieves heartburn, nausea, indigestion, gastric troubles, and diarrhea. Put a single, small (the oil is very potent so be cautious), drop of peppermint in a relaxing tea of your choice, like chamomile, and I guarantee these benefits, plus it works wonders for indigestion! Check out the recipe for my tea further down!
2. Natural Bug Spray
Have you ever used a chemical insect repellent on a cockroach, watched it flop around before dying, and wonder what is in it that can kill such a resilient creature? I fear the harsh chemicals that might be in that formula which makes peppermint oil a great and natural alternative to an insect repellant! Insects hate the scent of peppermint, which is why I use peppermint oil to create my own natural bug spray when I am going outdoors. You can also put peppermint oil around windows sills and behind cupboards to ward off cockroaches, flies, and ants. The smell of mint is lovely to us, but god-awful to those critters, plus it makes the house smell great!
3. Inflammation, muscle pain, and period cramp relief
Spent a long day working out and now have sore muscles? Period cramps got you down? Peppermint oil can be your best friend. It has anti-inflammatory properties and its cooling nature offers a respite from aching muscles and joints. Peppermint oil is great for moderate to severe muscle cramps, especially menstrual cramps. Just apply a few drops of peppermint oil on the affected area and massage it in. Remember to dilute it with another carrier oil like almond oil before applying it to your skin!
4. Clear stuffy nose and sinuses
Inhaling peppermint oil can clear up clogged sinuses and offer relief from colds and sore throats. It has expectorant properties which mean that it can help to clear mucus and clogged nasal passages. It also has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties which help your body fight off infections faster by killing germs and bacteria. Make your own vapour rub by mixing a few drops of peppermint oil with coconut oil. It is a natural nasal decongestant and works really well as a safe and alternative decongestant on children when diluted well. See my personalized recipe in the next section to make your own homemade vapour rub!
5. Treat lice, reduce dandruff and promote hair growth
The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint oil means that it alleviates itchy scalp. Dandruff is skin flakes that occur because of itchy, inflamed skin on the scalp. The oil helps to calm the skin down and reduces the need to scratch, thereby reducing dandruff! Adding peppermint oil to your shampoo can reduce hair loss too. The menthol in the oil is a vasodilator, which means it dilates blood vessels. Improved blood flow to the scalp could mean increased hair growth and therefore a reduction in hair loss!
Undoubtedly peppermint oil has a lot of benefits. Its cooling, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties make it a great addition to your essential oil collection. But how exactly do you use it? What can you make with peppermint oil?
Check out the next section for my personally tested and curated list of DIY, easy to follow peppermint oil recipes.
How to Use Peppermint Oil?
First things first…
Do not use a large amount of peppermint oil on your skin without diluting it with a carrier oil (an oil that "carries" the essential oil into the skin) as it can cause an unpleasant burning sensation due to the menthol. Dilute it by adding a few drops to a carrier oil of your choice such as fractionated coconut, jojoba, olive, grapeseed, sweet almond, etc. I prefer using cold-pressed oils as carrier oils because they are able to carry the benefits of the essential oil better than other treated oils and bring in their own benefits to the table. A win-win!
Now to the fun stuff!
Easy DIY Peppermint Oil recipes
Step one: purchase my peppermint oil here!
Now, time to try it out with these simple, easy recipes. This list is hardly exhaustive… Be creative with the oil and create your own recipes once you get the hang of how to use it!
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint Tea for stomach ailments
Whenever I suffer from indigestion or diarrhoea, I use this recipe. It gives almost instantaneous relief and saves me from a lot of discomfort and embarrassment.
1 drop of Ollie’s Peppermint Oil
2-3 cups of water
Relaxing tea of your choice (I use chamomile tea)
A wedge of lemon
Heat up a kettle of water but stop just before it reaches boiling point.
Add your tea leaves or tea bag to the water.
While the tea is steeping, add 1 drop of peppermint oil to the water.
Squeeze a wedge of lemon or add a lemon slice to the mixture.
Let the tea steep and give it a stir every few seconds to mix the oil with the tea.
I find this calms my stomach almost instantly. A word of caution though, make sure the oil drop is well emulsified in the water, as even one drop can be quite concentrated! Remember, a lot of leaves go into every single drop of this oil. If you find the tea too strong, increase the water content to your liking.
Homemade Vapour Rub for stuffy nose
I am a little uncomfortable with some of the ingredients found in store brand vapour rubs. I mean… Can you really trust them? Are they safe for children? So I decided to make my own natural vapour rub. I make this splendid vapour rub using peppermint oil at home. It clears my congested nose in a jiffy and the menthol in peppermint also helps me sleep better.
I passed on this recipe to my friends, who use it on their kids. They swear by it. Parenthood can be a sleepless journey, and whining kids with stuffy noses can just make it all the more tiring. Let peppermint oil help!
110 grams organic coconut oil or olive oil
2 tbsp beeswax
20 drops or 1/5 teaspoon of Ollie's Peppermint Oil
20 drops of 1/5 teaspoon of Ollie's Nilgiri Eucalyptus Oil
Container for the vapour rub
Note: You can adjust this amount depending on how strong you want it. Use around half the amount for babies and children up to 8 years old.
Over a double boiler, melt the beeswax and coconut oil.
Stir the beeswax and oil together.
Add in the required amount of peppermint and eucalyptus oil.
Stir every few seconds until everything is combined.
As it cools slightly, pour it into a sealable container and use as needed.
This has a shelf life of about one year. Store it in a cool, dark space. Have your own DIY vapour rub on hand for when the flu season strikes!
Allergy relief diffuser blend recipe
Blending oils is an art. Doing it the right way can really transform your environment and your physical and mental health positively. But it can be difficult to figure out which oils go well together.
Peppermint oil has energizing and detoxifying properties. It is a very versatile oil which blends well with other essential oils. In terms of notes, peppermint oil is a “top note” which means that it evaporates quite quickly, but is also the main initial scent to be perceived. It makes for a great ingredient in homemade diffuser blends.
Peppermint Oil blends really well with oregano oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, and lemon oil to create wonderful smelling concoctions! Try them out in different combinations to see what floats your boat.
It took some experimentation with different combinations for me to get the right diffuser blend but I got this one down. Here's how to create a diffuser blend that will freshen up any room and help you deal with seasonal allergies.