Peppermint is one of the most commonly used essential oils, and it’s easy to see why! Its cool, invigorating scent has countless uses both for your health and around the home. It’s my go-to solution for nausea and headaches. And this time of year anything peppermint instantly makes things feel like Christmas!
When I think of peppermint, the cooling and refreshing sensation of menthol immediately comes to mind. The more I explore peppermint, the more I see just how versatile and wonderful it really is. There are an infinite number of ways to use peppermint essential oil; read on for 8 ways to use this oil that’s truly essential.
8 Ways To Use Peppermint Essential Oil
One caution on peppermint: Avoid direct use of peppermint with infants and young children.
1. For Headaches
Peppermint is one of the most frequently used essential oils for headaches. Paired with lavender, it’s a favorite remedy for natural headache relief. In fact, numerous aromatherapy texts suggest the combination of peppermint and lavender as the first option to try when dealing with a headache.
The cooling sensation of peppermint oil is soothing, and peppermint can work especially well for tension headaches or headaches due to sinus congestion. Research has shown that local application of peppermint oil generates a long-lasting cooling effect on the skin, caused by alteration of the cold receptors.
- Banish Headaches. Give yourself a quick head massage to relieve a tension headache. Combine 5 drops of peppermint with a tablespoon of carrier oil like coconut or almond (or use a healing balm) and massage into the temples and the base of your neck.
- Stressed? Diffuse peppermint and lavender or mix a couple drops with a carrier oil and apply to the temples or back of the neck to relieve tension and pressure.
2. For Concentration & Focus
Are you having trouble focusing on the task at hand? Try peppermint! Its fresh crisp scent is a must-have in situations when mental focus and concentration are a must. It’s a common ingredient in blends formulated to help perk you up mentally, and when combined with rosemary, it’s an awesome way to fight mental fatigue!
Diffuse it near your work area or create a roller ball blend to have with you whenever you need it. Combine it with other mental-boosting oils like rosemary, eucalyptus, or orange to create your own personalized blend.
- Un-Block Writer’s Block. Peppermint leaves you feeling rejuvenated to keep those creative juices flowing. Simply spritz peppermint on your shirt before study time for improved concentration and alertness.
- Focus Room Spray. Peppermint plus rosemary make for a perfect room spray when you need to stay on task.
3. For Digestive Issues
Peppermint is probably most widely known for its effectiveness when dealing with digestive problems. It contains antispasmodic properties that are considered beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract and make it useful for a number of stomach issues. In fact, it’s my go-to oil when I’m dealing with any sort of tummy troubles in my household!
- Tummy Calmer. A couple drops of peppermint oil combined with a carrier oil (like jojoba) can be rubbed on an upset stomach or you can even diffuse peppermint when someone is sick with nausea or vomiting.
- Freshen Your Mouth. Add peppermint to your homemade toothpaste or use it to flavor a teeth whitening scrub. However, keep in mind that essential oils are highly concentrated and when used regularly can upset your mouth’s normal microbiome. Over time, this kills off the good bacteria that your mouth needs to fight gum disease and cavities. So only use this on occasion and not everyday.
4. For Pain & Inflammation
Did you know that peppermint contains anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties? Peppermint’s main constituent is menthol, which is commonly used in over-the-counter pain-reliever products.
It’s also what is responsible for the distinct cooling effect that takes place when peppermint is used topically. This cooling effect is soothing for skin inflammation, stiff joints, and muscle soreness.
- A Hot Feet Fix. Add peppermint to a cold compress and cool down your overworked feet. Add to a foot bath for a soothing soak.
- A Joint Effort. For a simple sore muscle and joint oil, combine a couple drops of peppermint oil with a carrier oil and rub on the sore area. Or, if you really want to pamper your sore muscles and joints, make some of this warming muscle rub.
5. For Respiratory Issues
Peppermint is a great option to consider when dealing with respiratory illness as well. It’s antibacterial and antiviral and also happens to be an effective natural decongestant. The menthol found in peppermint can help promote the feeling of clearer breathing and it is even considered beneficial when dealing with coughs.
When made into a simple chest rub, it can easily be applied to the chest or back when coughs and colds are present, or you can simply diffuse peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender to support healthy breathing and help fight illness.
- Support Healthy Breathing. Dilute a drop of peppermint oil combined with fractionated coconut oil and place under your nose to support open airways and help you breathe easily.
- Take a Deep Breath. Inhale deeply to invigorate lungs and increase alertness. Try this breathe easy inhalation blend.
- Soak It Up. Add peppermint and eucalyptus to DIY bath salts for a bath soak guaranteed to help you breath easy.
6. For Cleaning
Peppermint contains potent antimicrobial properties, so why not use it in your cleaning blends? I like to combine peppermint with citrus oils and really amp up the germ-fighting properties in a DIY cleaning spray. Plus, it makes my house smell wonderfully fresh!
It’s also a great option to consider as an air-purifying diffuser blend when someone in the house is ill. Simply combine it with other air-purifying essential oils and diffuse away!
As an added bonus, peppermint is considered an effective pest repellant. So, not only is it beneficial for ridding your house of germs, but at the same time you can deter pests as well!
- Get Rid of Ants. Mix 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray along cracks and crevices or wherever ants are seen.
7. For Room Sprays and Diffuser Blends
I love the aroma of peppermint, and I really enjoy using it in blends to scent my home. In a room spray, it can be used to deodorize specific areas of the house, or simply to freshen up stale or stuffy air.
It can also be diffused during the cold winter months to help invigorate you on an especially long winter day. My favorite is to pair peppermint with spearmint or vanilla for a sweet minty fragrance–or it can be combined with pine essential oil for a festive holiday blend!
- Awaken Your Senses. Before your next workout, apply a bit of peppermint to your chest or just take a deep breath straight from the open bottle. Then, after your workout add to shampoo to stimulate your senses and help with scalp health.
- Zero to Satiety in Seconds. Most people eat until they feel full. Diffusing peppermint will help reign in the urge to snack on junk food. It’s a good way to control appetite and feel full faster.
- Mail Delivery. Scent your own greeting cards and your recipient will delight in opening the envelope.
8. For Beauty Blends
In a 2010 study of the antioxidant activity of six popular essential oils, peppermint essential oil exhibited the greatest radical-scavenging activity. Why is that important? Free radicals are a key factor in aging, and the more antioxidant help in fighting them, the better!
- Savor the Combination. Peppermint makes a delicious addition to all things chocolate. Add a drop into your chocolate beverages and baked goods. Or combine peppermint with chocolate for a decadent sugar scrub. Yum!
- Treat Your Toes. Combine with sugar and crushed peppermints to make a refreshing peppermint foot scrub.
- Lick Your Lips. If you love mint chocolate ice cream, then you’ll love the cocoa butter and peppermint combination in this homemade lip balm.
As you can see, there are so many ways that you can use peppermint oil every day—I’ve barely scratched the surface! It truly is a versatile essential oil that is a must-have for any essential oil user. From fighting germs to relieving pain, peppermint is such a beneficial oil to have on hand.
However, just remember, due to its high menthol content peppermint this oil should never be used on infants or small children as it can cause life-threatening breathing problems.14