Originally native to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, peppermint has been used since as far in time as 1.000 BC in Egypt. It’s sweet and refreshing scent has made peppermint essential oil a favourite of many aromatherapy producers. If you are looking to calm, refresh and cool down, peppermint oil is one of the best essential oils for skin to use.
Extraction of Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil comes from the steam distillation of Mentha x piperita, a hybrid mint originated by crossing Mentha aquatic and Mentha spicata. This plant is now cultivated throughout the world, thought originally it was only indigenous to Mediterranean areas. The distilled oil is a clear, clear fluid with a hint of yellow.
Uses of Peppermint Essential Oil
This essential oil can be used as part of a blend of calming oils, perfect to help settle down an upset stomach or even morning sickness during the first stages of pregnancy, provided advice from a doctor is sought first to eliminate any possible underlying affliction causing it. It can also be used successfully to help provide mental stimulation and increase focus, aiding study and mental clarity.
Peppermint oil can also be used to refresh and cool skin, so it’s a popular ingredient on lotions, lip balms and products for oily skin, specially when combined with tea tree oil. It can also help reduce the redness and itchiness caused by excessive exposure to the sun. It’s an energizing scent that can help excessive fatigue and depression.
Another popular use of peppermint is to help alleviate headaches and even migraines, by rubbing a few diluted drops on the forefront and temples of the afflicted person. It can also help alleviate the symptoms of a cold or chest infection, by helping breathing.
Peppermint also stimulates the digestive system, so a tea made from peppermint leaves can help reduce the consequences of excessive eating such as flatulence, or help colic in children.
As with any other aromatherapy product, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding it’s important to consult your doctor first to make sure the use of aromatherapy is not contraindicated. Other afflictions that can be worsened by peppermint essential oil are fever, epilepsy or heart problems.
Peppermint essential oil should never be used undiluted, especially on sensitive skin, and special care should be taken to keep it away from eyes.
Other essential oils for skin that are often used with Peppermint on cosmetic and personal care products are lavender and tea tree oil.