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.
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Have a Great Day
**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.