Why Peppermint is an Essential Winter Time Oil
With the first of December + the start of the holiday season comes the return of favorite holiday flavors, like peppermint! Whether you’re indulging in a peppermint mocha or decorating with candy canes, peppermint is a winter flavor staple. What many people don’t know though is that peppermint can also be very beneficial for your health when used as an essential oil. Aromatherapist, Piper Toth, recently led an aromatherapy Studio Spotlight for #OUCHAARG + gave us an even deeper insight into the benefits of peppermint. Here is a quick Q + A with her to spread the wisdom about peppermint!
First, what is your background in aromatherapy + essential oils?
Well, it’s really interesting. There is really no standard for aromatherapy, so there are people who get certified, but there isn’t really a standard. I have practiced + studied for about probably 200+ hours. I tool a course many years ago in aromatherapy + I’ve also had my own aromatherapy business.
What are the benefits of peppermint as an essential oil, rather than just a winter time flavor?
Peppermint is really great for winter, so it’s a good one to spotlight. Not only does it make us think of holidays or winter, but it’s got menthol in it. Menthol is really good for easing headaches, muscle pains + aches, it has a cooling sensation but it also has a heating component to it which it why it’s good for headaches + muscle pains. Peppermint is an analgesic, but it also has a part of it that is anti-viral so it’s really good for cold + flus, it’s a fever reducer. It’s a good oil to have around this time of year because a lot of us get sinus congestion, cold, flus + it’s something really beneficial to have around.
How is the essential oil made?
Peppermint is actually a hybrid, so the botanical name comes from plants — it’s called menta piperita. So, that is a hybrid of the water mint + spearmint ++ so both of those two are used. It’s a process of steaming the solution where they take the plant material + distill it to get the actual essential oil from the plant.
In your opinion, what is the best way to reap the benefits of peppermint?
You definitely don’t want to use peppermint directly on your skin. Really, you’re going to want to dilute it + you should use it in moderation. For instance, if we’re going to use one ounce of a carrier oil — like an almond oil — you would only use 5-6 drops of peppermint in it, which would make it a 1% dilution rate. You’ll notice too, if you smell peppermint, you can kind of tell it’s a strong scent. So, really a good an easy way to use it is if you just have peppermint essential oil, you put a drop in a tissue [you don’t have to dilute that because it’s not going directly onto your skin] + then you just inhale it from the tissue.
You’re actually going to want to use it as a vapor rub + you can kind of make your own by using a sweet almond oil + then adding peppermint + eucalyptus essential oils to it. Basically, what you want to do is one ounce of sweet almond oil + you would add 3 drops of peppermint + 3 drops of eucalyptus to that.
What are some other oils that would be good to mix with peppermint?
If you have a diffuser, you can make holiday blends which can be fun to do. So, you can do peppermint, cinnamon + orange together to kind of create this nice holiday blend. Also, peppermint in particular blends well with any of the citrus oils + it can also blend well with any of the wood oils, like pine or fur. Again, creating that holiday winter feel, but you’re also getting the respiratory support.
Finally, why are essential oils preferable to artificial lotions + blends?
What’s great about essential oils is they’re natural, but they don’t accumulate in the body. Your body removes the oil in natural ways, like through sweat. You can keep kind of using it since it doesn’t accumulate.
Like all new health practices, it is important to be properly educated on aromatherapy. Be sure to read all safety guidelines from certified professionals prior to using.
What are your favorite ways to use essential oils? Share with us in the comments!