Native to Europe, this peppermint herb has a long history for medicinal uses like stomach problems, muscle pains, and even headaches. Peppermint essential oil, botanical name Mentha piperita, is extracted by steam distillation and is an extremely potent essential oil. It blends well with basil, bergamot, cajeput, cedarwood, eucalyptus, lemon, lime, mandarin, marjoram, niaouli, pine, rosemary, spearmint, and thyme.
Peppermint oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, insecticidal, antispasmodic, and carminative properties and the entire plant contains menthol. This fragrant oil is often used in aromatherapy, lozenges, toothpastes, balms, and rubs, because of the methanol and menthone components.
How does peppermint oil work?
Many products harness the benefits of peppermint oil, but working with it in its most natural state yields far more benefits. Because it is an essential oil and a rather potent one at that, using it in its undiluted form is not recommended. Great oils to dilute peppermint essential oils are almond oil or jojoba oil. With its cooling effect and sweet smell, it can be misjudged as safe for everyone but it can trigger side effects in people with sensitivities.
Benefits of peppermint essential oil
This oil contains a host of minerals and nutrients including, calcium, copper, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. It has omega-3, vitamins A, and C, and due to the menthol, menthone and methyl esters in peppermint essential oil it is widely used in cigarettes, chew gum, teas, ice creams, soaps and shampoos. It is believed to aid in indigestion, dental care, stress, and even respiratory problems.
Benefits of peppermint essential oil for hair
This oil is a powerhouse of nutrients and minerals with some fatty acids and that cooling effect from menthol so you know this is phenomenal oil for our hair. Peppermint oil can aid in oil secretion in skin, and therefore prevent acne and help with treat cracked lips and an irritated scalp. It has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, which help to cool the scalp and eliminate dandruff and fight lice. It can relieve a dry scalp, stimulate hair growth, and give hair a healthy shine. This is a great oil for adding to massage oil or hair oil along with a few drops in a shampoo or conditioner if having scalp or hair issues, as it will pass on those antimicrobial and antiseptic properties to those products.
It stimulates hair growth because of the increase blood circulation to the scalp when it is applied through an oil massage or in the shampoo or conditioner. This is one of the reasons you find this oil in products for baldness or hair thinning. There are several products that carry this great oil in their formula, but if you want the more potent oil you can create it yourself.
How to make your own peppermint oil
Fresh peppermint oil
Glass jar with tight lid
Wash the peppermint leaves before crushing or chopping them, as this will release the natural oil. Place them in the jar and pour the olive oil over them. Make sure the olive oil cover the leaves completely. Seal the jar tightly and wait 24 hrs. Strain the oil and add more chopped or crushed peppermint leaves and olive oil and then reseal. Repeat the process for five consecutive days. Remove the leaves by straining and pour the oil into another clean container and store in a cool place.