Have you ever read a label and wonder why you are ingesting those unpronounceable words? Have you thought that maybe the chemicals we consume are slowly killing us? You are not alone. Many people are detoxing by removing the chemicals from their diets and cleaning agents. They are turning to all-natural and effective products to treat irritable bowel syndrome, stomach aches, muscle pain and indigestion, among other things. One of these natural options is peppermint oil, an essential oil grown in North America.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health, several studies have found that peppermint oil is effective against irritable bowel syndrome. In addition, more than 300 studies have shown peppermint oil as effective for other stomach-related ailments as well. However, NIH says that more research is needed on many of the uses to be proven 100 percent effective.
A hybrid of watermint and spearmint makes up the peppermint herb, which grows throughout Europe and North America. Peppermint is often used to flavor food, and the leaves can be used fresh or dried in teas. Besides these, peppermint oil is used as a home remedy for nausea, indigestion, cold symptoms, headaches, muscle and nerve pain, stomach problems, and bowel conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. Essential oil of peppermint may be found in small doses in capsule or liquid forms. The essential oil can be diluted with another oil and applied to the skin.
Peppermint oil is derived by steam distillation from the peppermint plant. The oil is clear with a slight tinge of yellow. Its main element is menthol with its heady fresh, minty scent and the notable cooling sensation when touched or tasted. This oil is recommended to be used in combination with another oil rather than in its pure form. In this video, Dr. Josh Axe explains some uses of peppermint oil.
In 1990, the Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of peppermint oil as an over-the-counter drug for use as a digestive aid because its effectiveness had not been proven. Today, peppermint is sold as a dietary supplement. Unlike over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements do not have to be proven effective to the satisfaction of the FDA to be marketed. Also, unlike over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements are not allowed to claim that they prevent or treat illness.
What Benefits Do You Get From Peppermint Oil Uses?
You may see these digestive benefits from using peppermint oil:
- Reduced stomach aches
- Reduced gas
- Treatment for diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems
- Reduced heartburn
- Controls nausea
- Relieves esophagus spasms
- Reduced hunger cravings
- Reduced bacterial overgrowth in small intestines
- Reduced liver and gallbladder complaints
- Prevents spasms during endoscopy procedures
- Relaxing colon during enemas
- Decreases reactions to anesthesia
- Reduction in symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Women in particular have gotten these benefits from peppermint oil uses:
- Relief of morning sickness
- Reduction in severity of menstrual cramps
- Reduction in production of breast milk (when used in large amounts; helping during weaning) and nipple pain
- Relieve hot flashes during menopause
- Relieve symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Peppermint oil can also be used as a pain reliever to:
- Relieve tight muscles
- Relieve headaches/migraines
- Relieves rheumatoid arthritis and other joint issues
- Other pains
To help with oral care, these are peppermint oil uses and benefits:
- Freshens breath
- Relieves toothaches
- Decreases inflammation of the mouth
- Flavors agent for medicines and mouthwashes
- Reduces dental plaque
Respiratory benefits of peppermint oil include:
- Clearing respiratory tract
- Alleviating cold symptoms
- Alleviating allergy symptoms
Peppermint oil also benefits the head by:
- Increasing growth hair
- Reducing itchy scalp
- Improving mental focus
Miscellaneous benefits of peppermint oil uses include:
- Boosting energy
- Replacing some pharmaceutical drugs, such as pain relievers
- Treating bacterial infections
- Repelling mosquitoes
- Fighting tuberculosis
- Preventing prostate cancer growth
The benefits and effects of peppermint oil can change due to the person’s age, health and type of medication a person is taking. People purchasing peppermint oil need to make sure the oil is pure so it is as effective as possible, and they should read the labels to understand what they are buying.
Peppermint Oil Uses Treat Digestive Problems
Peppermint oil is famous for its properties that help fight problems with your digestive tract. Studies have shown peppermint oil can treat diarrhea, helps with bloating or gassy feeling, reduce nausea, solve heartburn and indigestion, take away stomach pains and cramps, stop esophagus spasms, reduce hunger cravings, stop growth of bacteria in intestines, address liver and gallbladder problems, prevent spasms during endoscopy procedures, relax colon during enemas, and reduce reactions to anaesthesia and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
- Stop Stomach Pains, Nausea, Gas, Indigestion, Diarrhea With Peppermint Oil Uses.
Because peppermint has soothing properties, it can relax muscles that cause cramping and pains in the stomach. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, peppermint soothes stomach muscles and improves the flow of bile, which the body uses to digest fats. As a result, food passes through the stomach more quickly. Besides the stomach, peppermint relaxes muscles that allow painful digestive gas to pass. The build-up of gas is what causes indigestion and bloating. However, peppermint oil will not help people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. In fact, it could make the condition worse, researchers found.
- Peppermint Oil Uses Fight Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Several studies have connected peppermint oil in capsule form to relief of symptoms of IBS, such as pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea. One study examined 57 people with IBS who took either peppermint oil capsules or a placebo. They took these for four weeks twice daily. Of the people who took peppermint oil in capsules, 75 percent had a significant reduction in IBS symptoms. Another study compared peppermint oil capsules to placebos in children with IBS found that after two weeks, 75 percent of those taking peppermint had reduced symptoms. Finally, a more recent study conducted in Taiwan found that patients who took peppermint oil formulation three or four times a day for four weeks experienced less abdominal distention, stool frequency and flatulence than those who took a placebo. Nearly 80 percent of the patients who took peppermint oil also had alleviation of abdominal pain.
- Control Anesthesia Reactions with Peppermint Oil.
When people have surgery, they need to have an anesthetic. The type of surgery determines what type of and how much anesthesia patients receive. After surgery, during recovery, the body reacts to the anesthesia. Often, vomiting or stomach pains are common side effects of anaesthetics until the medicine is completely out of their system. Researcher Susanna Stea found patients undergoing surgery can benefit from complementary non-medicinal treatments, such as acupuncture, relaxation techniques, massage therapy and soft manipulation without putting a burden on the therapeutic plan but, in fact, relieving it. Among complementary medicine treatments, particular attention is given to essential oils treatments that, for their pleasantness and inexpensiveness, can turn out to be quite useful. Efficacy studies of peppermint essential oils to treat nausea have shown positive results, Stea says.
- Reduce Spasms from Esophagus, Endoscopy Procedures, Relaxing Colon during Enemas.
Peppermint oil has been effective for people undergoing certain medical procedures. NIH researchers found that using peppermint oil as an ingredient in barium enemas seems to relax the colon during the examinations. Also, taking peppermint oil by mouth before the start of a barium enema also seems to decrease spasms.The same is true for endoscopy procedures. How does it work? The properties in peppermint oil make it a muscle relaxant, which reduces the spasms in the intestines and digestive tract.
- Reduce Hunger Cravings.
Research by smell researcher Dr. Alan Hirsch linked peppermint oil to reduced food cravings, which allows for weight loss.
Peggy Clarey commented on the Zest Lady that she has been trying to lose weight most of her life. She had at one time lost 50 pounds, but gained it back. When she started using peppermint oil and other essential oils, she lost 45 pounds and kept the weight off. Hirsch says people feel full because of a signal in the brain. They stop eating because of the full signals. Emotions can set off a desire for food. By inhaling certain scents, people can control these cravings. The sense of smell can suppress appetite and all those irrational emotional responses to food.
Women Use Peppermint Oil to Eliminate PMS, Menstrual Cramps, Menopause, Morning Sickness and Breast-Feeding Symptoms
Because of its properties to stop upset stomachs and nausea, peppermint oil is able to help pregnant women who experience morning sickness or pain during breastfeeding. It also relaxes muscles, so it stops menstrual cramps too. According to the NIH, peppermint oil eliminates symptoms of menopause, polycystic ovarian syndrome and pre-menstrual syndrome symptoms of bloating and headaches. A study conducted in Iran reported that applying peppermint water directly to the nipples helped prevent dryness and cracking caused by breastfeeding.
- to 11. How to Use Peppermint Oil for Women’s Problems?
Add a few drops to your morning tea to take away morning sickness, menstrual cramps, PMS and breastfeeding symptoms. Although research is still inconclusive on whether peppermint oil relieves menopausal symptoms, some women are experiencing great results.
Lana Beers posted on the Oils Testimonials Website that she ran into an old friend who was having problems with hot flashes, and hormone replacement therapy wasn’t helping her. Beers told her friend to put peppermint oil on her neck and chest before bedtime. The friend reported that her hot flashes were gone in 20 minutes! She also was able to sleep through the night. Why does it work? Peppermint oil has cooling properties, which is effective against menopausal symptoms.
Women overwhelmingly recommend peppermint oil for PCOS symptoms. The pains are similar to irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint oil has the same effect on women who have PCOS as it does on women with IBS.
- Peppermint Uses as Pain Reliever
Peppermint oil has been used to eliminate pain in joints and head. The University of Maryland Medical Center reported that a small study suggested that peppermint oil applied to the forehead and temples helped reduce headache symptoms. Because of the muscle relaxing properties in peppermint oil, you can use it to eliminate muscle pain. Peppermint oil also helps alleviate joint pain from arthritis or injuries and other inflammatory-related pains.
- Peppermint Oil Makes Migraines Go Away.
When applied in the right spot, peppermint oil can take away pain. If you have migraines or headaches, you want to put some oil on your thumbs. Watch this video to learn how to use peppermint oil properly. The person in the video is a certified aromatherapist who uses Essential Oils to treat people. Even if your headache isn’t as severe as a migraine, the healing properties in peppermint oil will help you get rid of the agony. NIH researchers found peppermint oil can be used against migraines and tension headaches by applying the oil to the skin.
- Join Others Who Use Peppermint Oil for Joint Pain.
The NIH reported that peppermint oil can be applied to the skin to address headaches, muscle pain, nerve pain and joint pains. To be effective, you want to dab a few drops on your skin where you feel the pain. You also can put some in a foot bath to sooth aching feet. When applied to the skin, peppermint oil warms the surface, which relieves pain beneath the skin.
- Loosen Tight Muscles, A Peppermint Oil Use.
When you exercise, you often feel cramps or tension in your muscles. The pain can be unbearable. However, a few drops of peppermint oil can alleviate this pain and tightness by relaxing the muscles. Simply apply the oil to the skin where the muscle hurts.
- Other Pains Go Away with Peppermint Oil.
Like headaches and joint pain, peppermint oil will remove pain in other areas of your body. Researchers have found overwhelmingly that this use of peppermint oil works.
Oral Care Uses of Peppermint Oil Outlined.
Peppermint long has been added as a flavoring to mouthwashes and dental rinses. Other foods use peppermint as a flavoring agent. But, more recently, dentists have found peppermint oil uses might actually fight dental problems, such as toothaches, bad breath, dental plaque and inflammation of the mouth.
- Reduce Inflammation by Using Peppermint Oil.
Inflammation of the mouth can lead to problems with gums and possible tooth loss. It also can cause abscess or problems with teeth. Sometimes, inflammation and mouth sores go hand-in-hand. If you don’t have time to visit your dentist or your six-month check-up is months away, you can use peppermint oil to cut the inflammation of the mouth and mouth sores. Studies have shown that peppermint oil fights cavities.
How do you use peppermint oil to reduce inflammation of the mouth? Follow these steps:
- Add a few drops to toothpaste or to caraway oil.
- Brush normally.
- Drink the mixture.
- Rinse with water.
- Or you can rub peppermint leaves on your teeth or the inflammation.
- Peppermint Oil Plaque Elimination Is Done.
Early evidence shows that peppermint oil or extract combined with other herbs reduces dental plaque. However, peppermint does not seem to be better than standard treatments, NIH researchers reported.. However, the American Dental Association has been approving products with peppermint for a long time. Thus, the properties in peppermint has uses against plaque to fight cavities. According to studies, peppermint oil performed better than the mouthwash chemicals chlorhexidine at reducing cavities. This woman uses peppermint oil for oil pulling, a method to fight cavities.
- Get Rid Bad Breath with Peppermint Oil.
Because mint kills bacteria, peppermint oil can remove bad breath, which is caused by bacteria in the mouth. However, some causes of bad breath can’t be cured with peppermint oil, GERD symptoms for example. Peppermint would cause GERD symptoms to be worse. Studies have shown that peppermint freshens breath, which ADA has long known. You can make homemade toothpaste, mouthwash, or add a drop under your tongue followed with glass of water to freshen breath.
- Target Toothaches with Peppermint Oil Uses.
When you have a toothache, your whole mouth can hurt. It can be difficult to chew or talk. Cold or hot temperatures can send pain signals to your brain. It adds a soothing and cooling to your mouth, which takes away the pain of the toothache. However, toothaches usually mean something is wrong with the tooth, gums or roots, so you should head to your dentist as quickly as you can. While you are waiting for your appointment, though, peppermint oil will relieve the pain.
How to Use Peppermint Oil for toothaches? Follow these steps:
- Add a few drops to caraway oil.
- Gently rub into the area where the tooth hurts.
- Wait 20 or 30 minutes.
- Pain will be gone.
- Or add drops to a cold compress and put on the outside of your mouth.
- Wait 20 or 30 minutes.
- Pain will be gone.
Some mothers have used peppermint oil to fight teething pain in babies, but peppermint oil is not recommended for children under six.
- Clean Out Congestion, a Peppermint Oil Use.
Have you ever had a sore throat and bought cough drops to soothe the fire in your mouth? Did you notice that menthol is an ingredient in cough drops, which is why they work so well? Menthol is also an ingredient in peppermint oil. The menthol is the reason that peppermint oil is recommended for respiratory problems. In addition, peppermint oil has soothing properties, which cools the fire in your throat. This homeopathic doctor explains how to use peppermint oil to open nasal cavities.
- Try Peppermint Oil to Fight Colds.
As stated previously, the menthol soothes sore throats, but other properties open airways and nasal passages. Peppermint oil acts as an expectorant and decongestant, Drink it in your tea and relieve pain in your throat.
How else can the use of peppermint oil relieve cold symptoms?
If you put drops in your vaporizer, it works like a hot shower to clear your nose from being stuffed up. If you rub some on your chest with eucalyptus oil, the oils together act as a natural vapor rub that soothes pain and clears up nasal passages.
- Relieve Respiratory Tract Congestion with Peppermint Oil.
Peppermint oil may help clear your respiratory tract. According to doctors, peppermint oil can relieve symptoms of allergies or bronchitis when the respiratory tract is opened. Some doctors have used it successfully for asthma patients. However, more research is needed about asthma and allergy relief.
- Allergy Relief Comes with Peppermint Oil Use.
Studies have found that extracts from peppermint leaves may stop histamine release, which says it may help alleviate hay fever and other allergy symptoms. More studies are needed to determine if it helps fight allergy symptoms. This man has used peppermint oil to help with his sinuses and allergies.
Peppermint Oil Can Grow Hair, Improve Mental Focus and Eliminate Itchy Scalps.
- Peppermint Oil Use Takes Away the Itch.
Whether you’re battling a rash or poison ivy, applying some peppermint oil mixed with lavender oil is certain to cool and soothe any itch. People have used peppermint oil on their head to take away itchy scalp. The NIH says peppermint oil can be used as anti-itch cream. Peppermint oil can temporarily relieve itching linked to insect bites, eczema, minor burns, sunburn, minor skin irritations, minor cuts, scrapes and atopic dermatitis. However, you should visit a doctor if the itchy scalp persists or the skin condition worsens.
- Clear the Brain, Be a Genius from Peppermint Oil Use.
Peppermint oil stimulates the brain to make you more alert. It has been used for many years to promote mental sharpness. A study performed by Dr. William N. Dember of the University of Cincinnati found that inhaling peppermint oil increased the mental accuracy of students by 28 percent!
A farmer used peppermint oil every day while working with horses and found it improved her ability to train the horses. She also discovered that the horses liked the smell of peppermint oil, and appeared to helps them improve their focus too.
It’s also possible that peppermint oil might help those who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but more studies have to be done before this use of peppermint oil is asserted.
- Peppermint Oil Grows Hair.
Peppermint oil has been used around the world for many years as a way to help grow hair. When peppermint oil is used properly, it can attack common hair concerns, such as dry scalp, hair loss and hair growth. Despite the benefits, peppermint oil is very strong and may irritate people with sensitive scalps. You should mix with a carrier oil or other essential oils to avoid the burning sensation when applied to the scalp.
How can I benefit from peppermint oil use on my scalp?
Try adding peppermint oil to your shampoo or body wash. You also can mix with other oils and apply directly to the scalp.
Although regarded as safe by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, peppermint oil can cause skin discomfort and swelling when applied undiluted to any large areas of skin or mucous membranes.
Miscellaneous Ways Peppermint Oil Use Helps the Body
- Bugs Hate it When You Use Peppermint Oil.
In Israel, researchers published a study that compared seven commercial bug repellents. The All-Natural Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent (which is a blend of cinnamon, eugenol, geranium, peppermint, and lemongrass oils) was tied as the most effective mosquito repellant with OFF!® (which is loaded with toxic chemicals like DEET). Another study showed that peppermint oil resulted in a little less than three hours of protection against against mosquitos with just 0.1 mL of oil applied on the arms. However, you should reapply peppermint oil after 150 minutes. In addition to mosquitoes, ticks, ants, spiders, cockroaches, mice and lice also don’t like peppermint oil.
If you have been bitten, you can relieve the itch with peppermint oil too.
Use these steps to stop the itch.
- Use a dropper to put a drop or two on the bite.
- Let it sit for a few minutes.
- Itch will be gone.
To use peppermint oil to prevent bug bites, use a few drops in shampoos and body washes. You also should apply it to the skin before going out at dusk or dawn.
- Replace Over-the-Counter Medicines with Peppermint Oil.
Many people do not like to take pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter medicines. They believe they are putting toxins in their bodies. While peppermint oil can’t treat everything, you can use it to replace some over-the-counter medicines. For example, it is great as minor pain reliever or anti-nausea treatment. You also can replace Tums or other heartburn medicines because of the properties in peppermint oil on digestive tract issues. People also have used peppermint oil instead of gas remedies because it has been shown to reduce bloating and ease stomach cramps. Try peppermint oil instead of PMS capsules or other women issues.
- Cure Bacterial Infections with Peppermint Oil Use.
Studies have linked peppermint oil with eliminating bacterial infections. Some research has shown a decrease in the number of bacteria in the intestines and in the mouth. They have extrapolated these studies to indicate that other bacteria can be killed using peppermint oil.
- Prevent Prostate Cancer Growth with Peppermint Oil.
Peppermint contains menthol, which may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. Researchers, Su-Hwa Kim, Joo-Hyun Nam, Eun-Jung Park, Byung-Joo Kim, Sung-Joon Kim, Insuk So, and Ju-Hong Jeon published a study in the Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Molecular Basis of Disease that found menthol was effective in treating prostate cancer in vitro due to TRPM8 activation. This activation can induce either cell proliferation or cell death depending on the cell types and spatiotemporal patterns. The study shows promise that peppermint oil can be effective in preventing prostate cancer. However, in some cases, the Food and Drug Administration found that people who use peppermint oil have actually developed prostate cancer. The research continues.
- Fight Tuberculosis with Peppermint Oil.
An NIH study reported that peppermint oil has an in vitro pronounced and equal antimycobacterial effect in doses of 300 and 600 micrograms/ml, respectively. Inhaling peppermint oil (based upon 20-min heat evaporation into the room atmosphere for two months) as a supplement to combined multidrug therapy for pulmonary tuberculosis has shown a significantly high positive effect for abacillation. This was followed by earlier positive X-ray changes in the lung and by attenuation of the intoxication syndrome. The findings suggest that peppermint essential oil may be used in combined multidrug therapy in patients with disseminated and infiltrative pulmonary tuberculosis.
- Boost Energy Levels by Inhaling Peppermint Oil.
Drinking peppermint tea or inhaling peppermint oil in a diffuser has been shown to boost people’s energy levels. People are able to accomplish more and be more alert with the peppermint oil.
How does it work?
Smelling peppermint has been found to stimulate the trigeminal nerve, which opens the area of the brain responsible for arousal and can make you more alert and full of energy. You can enjoy peppermint aroma daily without any negative side effects.
Like all home remedies, you have to be careful. Peppermint oil has some amazing uses, but they don’t replace traditional medicine. In fact, using peppermint oil can complement traditional medicine and dentistry. Also, the oil should be used in small amounts because too much can have some harmful side effects. You should consult a physician before using it as a replacement for other treatments.
Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Peppermint Oil
- According to historians, peppermint oil was used thousands of years ago in Egypt.
- Many historical novelists have incorporated peppermint tea as a treatment for upset stomachs for heroines who suffer these ailments.
- First described in England in 1696, peppermint and its oil have been used in Eastern and Western traditional medicine for its aroma, for cramps and for infections.
- According to Greek mythology, the nymph Mentha was sought after by Hades, whose jealous wife Persephone, forced her into the ground. Hades then turned her into a herb, knowing that people would appreciate her for years to come.
- In addition to its medicinal properties, mint leaves were rubbed on tables to welcome guests in Greece, and mint tea is still customarily offered to arriving guests in the Middle East.
- When selecting peppermint for your own use, the fresh leaves will impart a superior flavor to dried leaves (such as for use in tea). Look for fresh leaves that are green in color without any dark spots or yellowing.
WHERE TO BUY PEPPERMINT OIL FOR STOMACH PROBLEMS
Essential oils, like peppermint oil, are available to purchase online through sites, such as Amazon or in drug stores and natural food/product stores. You can also purchase them from an aromatherapists who will also likely have other essential oil recommendations. You can also buy from Young Living or Live Strong. Wherever you purchase your peppermint oil, make sure you are getting a pure product, which comes in a brown bottle with a stopper and is the right color.