These days, more and more people are recognizing the benefits of alternative medicines. Peppermint oil is one such growing trend but what is peppermint oil, what is peppermint oil good for, and how much peppermint oil is too much? Read on, for a crash course in what peppermint oil has to offer.
What is peppermint oil?
Peppermint oil is a cross between spearmint and water mint. Simply put, peppermint oil is the extracted nutrients and fluids of the peppermint plant. It is often used as a flavoring in food and drinks but also has a range of medicinal benefits from aiding a sore throat to easing indigestion and even having benefits for things like irritable bowel syndrome. Some people also find it helps ease headaches and sore skin although more studies are needed to understand this better.
How can I use peppermint oil?
So how do you use peppermint oil to reap the rewards? Here, we outline 5 ways to use peppermint oil.
#1 To ease a sore throat
Peppermint oil can be gargled with hot water to ease a sore throat but don’t swallow the mix of 3 drops and 1/2 a cup of water. Rubbing it onto the affected area can also be beneficial.
#2 To clear congestion
For respiratory relief, you can rub it into your palms and deeply inhale. For a more intense method of decongestion add 5-7 drops to a bowl of steaming water. Breathe in over the bowl with your head covered by a towel to maximize the effect.
#3 For indigestion
Adding a drop or two to your favorite hot drink can help ease indigestion or the effects of irritable bowel syndrome.
#4 For dry skin
Some people find peppermint oil mixed with water can be applied to cracked or dry skin to relieve irritation.
#5 To soothe a headache
You can help ease a headache by rubbing peppermint oil into your temples gently. Be careful to keep it away from the eye.
How to use peppermint essential oil for hair
Peppermint oil can promote hair growth and improve thickness and volume. One cause of this is driven more the cold tingling feel you sometimes get with menthol and mint products. This effect actually draws blood to the area, helping to promote follicle growth. Just mix 2-3 drops of your favorite peppermint essential oil into enough olive or coconut oil to cover your hair. Once mixed together, apply this to your hair and massage the scalp as you would with shampoo. Give it at least 5 minutes before washing out for better effects.
How much peppermint oil is toxic?
As mentioned above, when using peppermint oil to gargle, it is best not to swallow the mixture as too much can potentially be toxic and even fatal. However, small amounts can be beneficial for certain conditions, such as IBS. Adults should take no more than 0.2-0.4 mL of peppermint oil 3 times a day. For children or anybody weighing less than 45 kilograms, no more than 0.1 mL should be ingested 3 times daily.