Who What When Where & Why to use Peppermint Essential Oil

Who What When Where & Why to use Peppermint Essential Oil

Ahhh Peppermint Essential Oil, it is one of my favorites.  It can do a plethora of things from helping cool your body to keeping ants and spiders out of your house.  Here’s the skinny on this fantastic oil and how I use it… what seems like daily.

Who came up with the bright idea to use this plant originally.   It came on the scene with the Romans and Greeks who would crown themselves with peppermint at their feasts.  It was also used by them to season both sauces and wines (I’m not entirely confident in their wine decisions, but I guess it’s too late to really tell them).  Although there is a little evidence that it was also used by the Egyptians, it was definitely used by the Roman and Greek Physicians in their medical practice.

In Greek Mythology, of course, it has a romantic somewhat tragic story.  Mint was once the nymph Menthe, whom Pluto had wondering eyes for because she was super hot.  Persephone, Pluto’s jealous wife, pursued Mentha gave her a smack down like no other, ferociously beating her into the ground.  Pluto then changed Menthe into a delightful herb, and she was no longer a problem for Persephone.

What is peppermint?  Peppermint (menthe piperita) is considered the “River of Creativity”, peppermint is a plant that grows from 1-3 feet in height.  The oil is steam distilled from the leaves and flowers of the plant.

When do you use it?  Well if you’re me, every day.  I love the way that it smells, and it’s cooling affect on the body.  Historically it has been used in tons of medical treatments.  It is even the original chemical constituent that is synthetically reproduced in aspirin, “always use peppermint instead of aspirin“-Tisserand, 1977 p269.  Tisserand goes on to quote many essential oil scholars about the cooling affect it has on the body, the stimulation of the bowel, its ability to dispell nausea as well as its antiseptic qualities.  I never travel out of the country without it, as when traveling across Thailand in a train, or using public restrooms in Cuba, I need it to either help stave off motion sickness, or cover unbearable smells by rubbing it under my nose.

While Peppermint is also used to relive skin irritation or itching, for some, it can also be very irritating to the skin and should always be diluted to less than 1%, as over time the body can become sensitized to it and a sudden reaction could happen (Tisserand, 1977, p270).  It should also be avoided while pregnant or nursing. Tisserand also states that “when applied externally it relieves the breast of curdled or congested milk and prevents infection.  Internally it will discourage the flow of milk to the breast“. Which makes no sense to me after he says not to use it while breastfeeding or pregnant, but, hey I’m not one of the worlds leading experts in Essential Oils, so I’m not going to argue with him.

A great time to use Peppermint essential Oil is during meditation as it helps you to truly remain present.  It is also said that it can help you get in touch with your subconscious and deep inner feelings, with peppermint in the diffuser make sure you take some time to journal, as it will be a very effective journaling session.

Complimentary stones to use in combination with Peppermint for any spiritual practice would be Apache Tears, Orbicular Jasper, Orthoceras Fossil, Elestial Crystal, Time Link Crystal (Limbo 2016, p173-174)

Where is Peppermint grown?  Well if you know anything about gardening, you know that it grows just about everywhere and invades into flower beds often taking over where you don’t want it to. Many gardeners consider it a weed and fight like hell to keep it contained.  I have felt a lot like Persephone while trying to keep my peppermint in check, only to eventually rip it all out and limit its growth to containers.  Despite how lovely it looks and smells, I just don’t want all my flower beds to be peppermint beds.

Despite it’s current day affliction to growing everywhere you don’t want it to, it is cultivated in Italy, parts of the US including the Pacific Northwest (shout out to the #PNW ), Great Britain and Japan as well as in the Mediterranean where it originated.

The doterra peppermint is actually sourced from the Pacific Northwest in the most sustainable way possible.  Here is a video on the sourcing of Peppermint Oil that I love.  I really enjoy hearing from the second and third generation farmers that have learned this trade that has passed down through their family.  It is also of considerable note that Dr. Pappas, the worlds leading expert speaks to this brand of Peppermint Oil in the video.

 

Why do I use peppermint?  Well I use it because it takes me back to Christmas time as a child and those sugary candy canes.  It also calms my stomach and keeps me awake in the middle of the afternoon when I’m dying for a nap.  I love to use it with Lemon and Lavender when their are all sorts of pollens in the air.  It is truly just a delicious smelling oil.

Another reason I use it is because of it’s cooling qualities.  I will roll some on the bottom of my feet before going into a hot yoga class.  While I find it cooling there are some that find it warming, which is the body responding and heating up in response to the cooling qualities of peppermint. In this way it has been used both for treating disorders of heat or cold, such as influenza, fevers or chills (Tisserand, 1977 p269).

I have always loved peppermint tea, and I love it diffusing in my house.  I love the taste of peppermint and when I make brownies, which is not often, I put 4 drops in with the brownie mix before baking to have the best peppermint brownies on the planet.

Recently because it is spring I have been getting tons of questions about natural insect repellents.  Here is my recipe that I spray in the corners and wipe my baseboards down with to keep the spiders at bay:

Natural Spider Repellant

  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 7 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil (spiders hate it)
  • 15 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil (spiders Run from it)
  • 15 Drops Cinnamon Essential Oil (it causes irritation to their legs)

Mix it all together in a spray bottle and shake before using.

To learn more about the most high quality essential oils that are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, click here and give me a shout.

Follow this blog, for weekly updates on Essential Oils, Healthy Living, Recipes and other Hippy Dippy stuff.  You can also check out my youtube channel at Essential Oils Gangsta and if you found this helpful or interesting please feel free to share it.

If there are specific blog posts you would like to see, comment in the comments section, or feel free to comment on your favorite use for peppermint essential oil.

Have a Great Day

xo

s

 

**Please note, I am not a medical professional and this information is not meant to diagnose, treat or prevent illness.  Always consult with your physician. These statements have not been approved by the FDA.

 

Cedarwood Essential Oil, Uses and Benefits

Cedarwood Essential Oil, Uses and Benefits

 

One of my favorite trees, and consequentially, one of my favorite oils. Their variety of cedarwood comes from the Junipers Virginiana.  Many people, mistakingly think, that cedarwood is a part of the cedar family or cedruss family. That is not the case, in fact this particular variety of cedarwood; Juniperus Virginiana is part of the Cupressaceae family, and the Juniperus species.  It is native to the rocky mountains in north america and it’s oil, bark, berries and wood have a great history of healing among many Native American tribes. However many people mis use cedarwood when looking it up by the common name instead of the latin name.  

 

This history on the general cedarwood oil is long.  Some say that the original Cedarwood oil,  (cedrus libani) which originates in Lebanon was possibly the first essential oil to be extracted from and plant.  It was used by the Egyptians in the mummification process and was used in cosmetics as well as inserted into papyrus leaves to protect the paper from insects. It was so useful in fact that the Egyptians incorporated Lebanon into their empire to ensure continued supply

 

Getting back to our beloved Juniperus Virginiana that dōTERRA distributes.   It is the wood that was used to make pencils, and is hard to smell without reminiscing about middle school math class and using the excuse of sharpening your pencil to get up, move around the classroom and drop a note off to your best friend in a different section of the room.  At least for me, that is what I think about when I open the bottle and inhale the delightful scent.  It is funny how aromatherapy has the ability to transport us back in time based on the association of smell.  This time travel is a blessing, there are many scents I would love to be able to bottle.  Thank goodness dōTERRA is doing it for us in many instances.

Cedarwood (juniperus virginiana), anti mucous oil, it is great for respiratory complaints and inhaling it can help support healthy respiratory function.  A bonus since it also smells delightful.  Additionally, it is of value for use on all skin types as an astringent, antiseptic and to relieve itching.  It helps with reducing oily skin and helping with oily hair and dandruff as well as eczema and psoriasis.

One of the more common uses we think of when we think of cedarwood is it’s use in furniture and in closest.  It is a very good insect repellent, which is why it has been used to line closets to keep moths out since as far back as I can remember.  I also have a hope chest that is lined with cedar, to keep extra linens free from pests, and we spray it in our cabin in the woods to keep the pests at bay while we are not there.

Cedarwood Benefits

  • Antiseptic
  • Astringent
  • Balsamic, or Heals wounds and relieves pains
  • decongestant
  • depurative, or purifying and detoxifying
  • diuretic
  • expectorant, or removes phlegm from the respiratory tracts and lungs
  • pectoral, or a remedy for chest and lungs
  • insect deterrent

 

While research is still being done on many essential oils A 2012 study investigated the wound-healing and anti-inflammatory activities of Cedarwood oil. In this study Juniperus virginiana Cedarwood oil was tested along with Western Juniper oil. Both oils exhibited wound-healing and anti-inflammatory activities.

As you can see by the list above, cedarwood has a lot of useful physical benefits, it doesn’t stop there.  It can also have tremendous emotional benefits beyond teleporting your mind back to middle school.  It is a very grounding oil that helps to relax your mind making it a good oil for meditation. It also helps promote self confidence, so when using this oil, it is common to feel confident about yourself, while calm, making it easy to connect with others.  It is both grounding and heart opening.  Yes Please.  I want that in my life, and medicine cabinet.

 

10 ways to incorporate cedarwood oil into your your home

  1. Mist your freshly laid mulch to keep bugs at bay.
  2. Diffusing Cedar oil in your home, office, or workspace can help promote feelings of confidence and self-esteem.
  3. Add 1-2 drops to facial toner for added clarifying qualities.
  4. Add a couple of drops to your personal oil perfume blend to add a warm undertone that will be calming and help you to connect with others.
  5. Mix in a spray bottle and spray chicken bedding to keep bugs out of your chicken coop.
  6. Mix with coconut oil and apply to Psoriasis or eczema.
  7. Boost your dreams by putting a drop of this in your nighttime diffuser blend, or rolling on the bottom of your feet before bed.
  8. Mix a drop with coconut oil and apply as a natural mosquito repellent before a hike.
  9. Cedarwood essential oil has antiseptic properties which can help to treat minor wounds or skin damage.  Make your own balm for minor cuts or scrapes by adding a few drops of cedarwood oil to coconut oil and simply rub it gently into the affected area.
  10. Massage Cedarwood oil into sore muscles using the 1 tsp to 2-5 drops ratio

 

 

Oils that Mix Well with Cedarwood

As a warm, woody essential oil, Cedarwood produces an aroma that is reminiscent of the outdoors. Because of its warm properties, Cedarwood oil blends well with herbal oils like Clary Sage, woody oils like Cypress, and even other spicy essential oils like Frankincense.  I also love to add it to the diffuser with Bergamot for a grounding and focused yet happy and uplifting environment in my office.

Sweet Dreams Diffuser Blend

  • 2 Drops Lavender
  • 2 Drops Cedarwood
  • 2 Drops Serenity

 

Precautions when using Cedarwood

  • Although a test patch should always be done on sensitive skin and proper dilution of 5% (3% for children) should be followed with a carrier oil of your choice.
  • Use with Caution while pregnant, especially during the first trimester and if you are under the care of a physician consult with them prior to use.
  • Please note that not all essential oils are equal and I can only recommend using Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils.

 

One of the things that I love most about dōTERRA Essential Oils is that every month there is an option of placing a 100v order and getting a free oil.  This month, May 2017, the free oil for placing an order is Cedarwood.  If you would like more information about getting the deepest discounts on essential oils contact me, I’d love to get you started.