Peppermint Oil: Uses & Benefits


Are you looking for a fantastic-smelling natural insect repellant?

Do you want to boost your mind and your mood?

Do you want a natural way to clear out respiratory congestion?

Most recognize peppermint as an ingredient in toothpastes and mouthwashes, but this herb actually has the honor of being one of the world’s oldest medicines.  And for good reason – this versatile essential oil can be used to serve many purposes!  This oil can be used to soothe indigestion and nausea, as well as to control bowel and stomach spasms.  It can be used to soothe pain and ease headaches.  Its ability to eliminate bad breath – not just its flavor – explains its widespread use in toothpastes.  It can even be used to relieve stress!

What is Peppermint Essential Oil?

Quick Facts

  • Scientific Name: Mentha piperita
  • Application: Aromatic, topical, internal
  • Plant Part: Entire plant
  • Extraction Method: Steam distillation
  • Aromatic Description: Minty, herbal
  • Main Chemical Components: Menthol, menthone, 8-cineole

Principal Benefits

  • May temporarily soothe indigestion and stomach cramps
  • Promotes overall dental health
  • Can be used to reduce impacts of respiratory issues

How to Use Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is commonly used in rubs and balms to relieve symptoms of congestion, asthma, bronchitis, and colds.  Its antiseptic properties, as well as its minty fresh taste, make it a fantastic ingredient in homemade mouthwashes.  It can also be diffused or used in massage oils to decrease the effects of stress.

Peppermint Essential Oil Uses

  • Consume 1-2 drops in a glass of water or tea to calm stomach troubles.
  • Dilute with a carrier oil and apply directly to the skin to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling and also to increase blood circulation to the area.
  • Combine a drop along with a drop of lemon oil in a glass of water to make a refreshing mouth rinse.
  • Add a drop to a facial cleanser to brighten a dull complexion.
  • Rub on chest as a part of a lotion or balm to temporarily relieve respiratory issues resulting from congestion, coughs, and colds.

Directions for Use:

  • Aromatic: Add 3-4 drops to a diffuser, or dilute one drop with carrier oil and place directly beneath the nose.
  • Topical: Dilute with a carrier oil and massage into the skin.
  • Internal: Take 1-2 drops in a veggie capsule or diluted in a glass of water or tea.

Peppermint Essential Oil Health Benefits

  • This oil has long been used to alleviate symptoms of nausea and indigestion.  In addition to reducing excessive gas, it also has been known to calm the GI tract and to stimulate appetite.
  • Diluting with a carrier oil and massaging into the forehead can be a natural remedy to reduce headaches.  Some studies have even demonstrated that this technique may have some effectiveness even against migraines (though users should note that the FDA has not published or backed any studies supporting this claim).
  • Can be used to support the overall immune system as a result of its antibacterial and antiviral effects.
  • This oil contains a high concentration of menthol, which can be used to target respiratory issues such as congestion and coughs.  Rubbing into the chest has been noted to quickly clear up nasal and sinus congestion.
  • Incorporating a few drops into a shampoo or scalp massage can stimulate hair growth and contribute to having a healthy, shiny head of hair.
  • This oil stimulates blood flow, and as such can be applied topically to the skin to reduce swelling and inflammation of the targeted area.
  • This oil can be topically applied to the nails to reduce the risk of fungal infections.
  • Diffusing into a room can promote feelings of alertness and focus, as well as reduce the effects of tension and anxiety.
  • This oil’s antiseptic properties make it a practical addition to dental hygiene practices.  Its use can reduce bad breath and fight gum disease, and as such it is incorporated into many toothpastes and mouthwashes.

Peppermint – Mentha piperita

Peppermint Essential Oil Research

Peppermint is a hybrid of the spearmint and watermint plants, is native to Europe, and has the impressive reputation of being one of the oldest medicinal herbs in world history.  Though the benefits most essential oils have not been backed by academic study, some (though far from all) of its medicinal uses have actually been studied by the scientific community.  In some cases doctors of alternative medicine may even prescribe it, and it is even sold in over-the-counter capsules or tablets.  However users should note that the benefits listed in this article may not be backed by the scientific community or by the FDA.

Peppermint Essential Oil Nutrition

Peppermint essential oil contains a multitude of vitamins and nutrients.  Calcium is regarded by many as the most important mineral to healthy bodily functions, calcium promotes bone health, muscle and nervous functions, proper blood circulation, and helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Iron assists with a number of functions of blood quality and circulation, including production of hemoglobin and promoting efficient transport of oxygen to muscle and tissue.  Manganese benefits the digestive processes, leading to the breaking down of cholesterols and fats, production of energy, and provision of nourishment to the brain and nervous systems.  It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, as well as beneficial acids such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C.  It oil may not  pack a powerful enough punch to be used as the sole source of these compounds, or the many others that it contains, but it can be used as a supplement to other healthy lifestyle practices.

Peppermint Essential Oil Safety

Peppermint oil is safe to ingest in small quantities; however users should exercise caution and limit direct ingestion to small and diluted dosages, as this oil is highly concentrated and may induce feelings of nausea or vomiting when consumed in high concentrations. Direct application to the skin is likely to result in irritation, so users should dilute with a carrier oil or lotion prior to topical use.  The use of essential oils should not be substituted for any prescribed medication for any medical condition, and should not be used against the advice of a medical practitioner.

Peppermint Essential Oil Substitutes

While some benefits of peppermint oil have been studied by the scientific community, this article does not claim that any of the benefits listed herein have been verified or published.  As mentioned above, essential oils should never be substituted medications prescribed by a doctor or against the recommendation of a medical practitioner.  However the benefits of this oil may be used to complement medications and supplements that target specific ailments.  It can also be taken as a supplement to healthy lifestyle habits or nutritional multivitamins to promote overall physical health and emotional wellness.

Peppermint Essential Oil Blends Well With

Peppermint oil’s distinct aroma can be difficult to blend with other oils; however finding the perfect blend can create a delicious air freshener that really brightens up the room.  Oils with distinct earthy or woody notes can be mixed with the its minty fresh scent to create a smell reminiscent of the holiday season.  Consider oils such as pine or cedarwood to produce such an effect.   This oil can also be paired with other oils that combat indigestion and promote healthy digestive function to create a powerful after-dinner tonic.  Consider combining with cumin or coriander oil to produce this effect.  Blending with other insecticidal oils, such as cedarwood or lemon oil, can create a mosquito spray with a pleasant aroma.

Other pairings worthy of consideration include eucalyptus, marjoram, rosemary, sandalwood, vetiver, and wintergreen.


Peppermint oil is frequently used as a flavorful addition to shakes and desserts, but this minty herb has also been used for thousands of years as one of the world’s oldest medicines due to its ability to alleviate symptoms of headaches and nausea.


Can peppermint oil really make your headaches disappear?  The FDA does not evaluate any stated health benefits of essential oils and, though some scientific studies of the benefits of this oil do exist, this article does not referenced any such studies.  Essential oils should never be used in place of prescribed medication or specifically to treat or diagnose any illness, nor should they be used against the advice of a doctor.  However avid users of essential oils have reported that peppermint oil has effectively reduced discomfort resulting from nausea and headaches, and similar testimonials exist for the other benefits detailed in this article.