The wonder of Peppermint
Over the past few days I have really been needing some focus and clarity with lots of different work projects on from filming a series, preparing my lessons and teaching my students and so I have I found a real gratitude for the Mentha x piperita oil commonly known as Peppermint.
This common garden herb is one of many mint varieties and very popular in gardens across the UK, it grows like mad so many people keep it in pots but that is why it is a lesser priced oil as it so abundant and the essential oil is prolific in the leaf.
The beautiful clearing minty, fresh aroma is due to the menthol content of the oil which is around 50% of it and with menthol being an alcohol it makes the oil very pain relieving too which is why it works so well for headaches. It has been used since ancient times for toothache, headache and cramp as well as digestive issues.
The other key components in the oil are ketones which can build up in the bodies so care needs to be taken place to not overuse peppermint but don’t let that put you off using a beautiful and versatile oil. Peppermint essential oil is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, digestive, expectorant and mucolytic. Meaning that as aromatherapists we use it for for migraine, neuralgia, bronchitis, sinusitis, colic, herpes, indigestion, nausea, colitis, IBS, irregular periods, apathy and nervous conditions.
Emotionally, peppermint essential oil helps clear and release emotions of failure, restriction, rigidity and fear of dependence.
The oil increases optimism, clarity, strength to resolve emotional pain, renewal and helps those in despair, pessimistic, heavy and in emotional pain. The physical cooling effect it has can also help calm inflamed and hot emotions such as anger and frustrations.
Peppermint essential oil is not advisable for babies and young children as the oil is too powerful and rich in menthol however from the distillation process we get peppermint hydrolat which is water based and much more gentle. You can keep peppermint hydrolat in the fridge and use it as a cooling face and body spray when required in the summer or for hot flushes. It also acts well as a more natural mouth wash as it is mildly antiseptic and can help combat itching and stings.