Peppermint is one of the most commonly used essential oils, and it’s easy to see why! Its cool, invigorating scent is a go-to solution for nausea and headaches, and it’s so versatile that peppermint essential oil benefits both your health and the home. And whatever the time of year, anything peppermint-y instantly makes things feel like Christmas!
When I think of peppermint, the cooling sensation of menthol immediately comes to mind. There are an infinite number of uses for the refreshing oil so read on for some of our favorites!
How to Use Peppermint Essential Oil
One caution: Avoid direct use of peppermint with infants and young children. Due to its high menthol content, peppermint essential oil should never be used with infants or small children as it can cause life-threatening breathing problems.
1. Peppermint 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 is soothing, and its essential oil can work especially well for tension headaches [source] or headaches due to sinus congestion. Research has shown that a local application of peppermint EO generates a cooling effect on the skin caused by altering the cold receptors [source].
Give yourself a quick head massage to relieve a tension headache. Combine 5 drops of peppermint EO 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. Bonus: peppermint boosts hair growth while its menthol tightens hair at the root for instant volume.
Diffuse peppermint and lavender, or mix a couple of drops with a carrier oil and apply to the temples or back of the neck to relieve tension and pressure.
2. Peppermint for Respiratory Issues
Peppermint is a great option to consider when dealing with respiratory illness as well. It’s antibacterial and antiviral [source] and also happens to be an effective natural decongestant. The menthol found in peppermint can help promote the feeling of clearer breathing, and it’s even considered beneficial when dealing with coughs.
When made into a simple chest rub, it can be applied to the chest or back when coughs and colds are present. Or you can simply diffuse peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender essential oils to support healthy breathing and help fight illness.
Support healthy breathing.
Dilute one drop of peppermint EO with 1 teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil, and place it on the skin under your nose to support opening the airways to breathe more easily.
Take a deep breath.
Place a few drops on a tissue or hold the bottle under your nose. Inhale deeply to invigorate your lungs and increase alertness. Try this breathe easy inhalation blend.
Soak it up.
Add peppermint and eucalyptus EOs to DIY bath salts for a bath soak guaranteed to help you breathe easy.
3. Peppermint 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 [source]. Peppermint EO is 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 to fight the lure of distraction. Combine it with other brain-boosting oils like rosemary, eucalyptus, or orange to create your own personalized blend.
Unblock writer’s block.
Peppermint leaves you feeling rejuvenated to keep those creative juices flowing. Simply spritz peppermint EO on your shirt before study time for improved concentration and alertness.
Focus room spray.
Peppermint and rosemary EOs combine to make a perfect room spray for when you need to stay on task.
4. Peppermint for Digestive Issues
Peppermint is probably most widely known for its effectiveness when dealing with digestive problems [source]. It contains antispasmodic properties [source] that are considered beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract [source] and make it useful for a number of digestive issues. In fact, it’s my go-to oil when I’m dealing with any sort of tummy troubles in my household!
A couple of 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 EO to your homemade toothpaste, or use it to flavor a teeth whitening scrub. However, keep in mind that essential oils are highly concentrated and can upset your mouth’s normal microbiome when used frequently. Over time, this can kill off some of the good bacteria your mouth needs to fight gum disease and cavities. So only use this on occasion and not every day.
5. Peppermint for Pain & Inflammation
Did you know that peppermint contains anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties [source]? Peppermint’s main constituent is menthol, which is commonly used in over-the-counter pain-reliever products.
It’s also responsible for the distinct cooling effect that happens when peppermint is used topically. This effect is soothing for skin inflammation [source], stiff joints, and muscle soreness.
A hot feet fix.
Add peppermint EO to a cold compress and cool down your overworked feet. Or add it 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 essential 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.
6. Peppermint for Room Sprays and Diffuser Blends
I love the aroma of peppermint, and I really enjoy using it in EO 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 EO 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 EO to your chest, or just take a deep breath straight from the open bottle. Then, after your workout, add it to your 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 for you to control your appetite and feel full faster.
Scent your own greeting cards, and your recipient will delight in opening the envelope.
7. Peppermint for Cleaning
Peppermint contains potent antimicrobial properties [source], 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 to 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.
8. Peppermint for Beauty Blends
In a 2010 study of the antioxidant activity of six popular essential oils, peppermint essential oil exhibited the greatest radical-scavenging ability [source]. Why is that important? Free radicals are a key factor in aging, and the more antioxidants to help in fighting them, the better!
Savor the combination.
Peppermint essential oil makes a delicious addition to all things chocolate. Add a drop into your chocolate beverages and baked goods. Or combine peppermint with chocolate EO for a decadent sugar scrub. Yum!
Treat your toes.
Combine peppermint EO with sugar and crushed peppermints to make a refreshing peppermint foot scrub. Or add peppermint to a foot massage to revive tired toes and eliminate foot odor.
Lick your lips.
Peppermint makes a tasty addition to homemade toothpaste. And if you love mint chocolate ice cream, then you’ll love the cocoa butter and peppermint combination in this homemade lip balm.
Plump your pout
Add 4 drops of peppermint essential oil into a bottle of lip gloss and mix to combine. Apply it to your lips and as it absorbs the menthol creates a tingling sensation that increases blood flow and temporarily plumps the lips.
As you can see, there are so many ways that you can use peppermint essential oil every day—I’ve barely scratched the surface! It truly is versatile and a must-have for any essential oil user. From fighting germs to relieving pain, peppermint is such a beneficial EO to have on hand.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Holly Smith, a board-certified physician in nephrology and internal medicine with a background in nutrition. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.40
I bought peppermint oil to help with headaches. Interested in trying out some of these other ideas. Thanks!