Reduce Pain and Inflammation with Peppermint Essential Oil

by Andrea Butje on September 4, 2013

peppermint essential oil propertiesPeppermint essential oil (Mentha x piperita) is easily recognizable by its sweet, minty aroma.

Peppermint essential oil is well known for being uplifting and energizing, and is commonly found in blends for pain and swelling.

Peppermint oil is distilled from the leaves of the peppermint plant. During distillation, the aroma is refreshing and awakening! I was amazed to see the quantity of peppermint leaves used to distill a small amount of essential oil. It’s easy to understand why the oil is so strong.

Peppermint contains a high percentage of menthol, which has several well researched properties. Menthol is proven to be:

  • Analgesic.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Antibacterial.
  • Antispasmodic.
  • Stimulating.
  • Cooling.

What does this mean for people like you and me? Products containing true Peppermint essential oil can be very helpful for reducing muscle pain and muscle spasms, and reducing hot, red inflammation from an acute injury such as a sprained, swollen ankle.

Peppermint essential oil can be used in blends for cold and flu, and it’s very cooling for a fever. It can also help relieve headaches.

Peppermint is especially famous for being a great digestive aid. Look for peppermint herbal tea to help settle nausea or a stomach ache. If you’re making a digestive blend with Peppermint essential oil, try adding 5–8 drops to 1 oz (30 ml) of unscented cream or lotion, and apply a small amount of the cream to your stomach or the back of your neck.

Another great blend is 5–8 drops of Peppermint in 1 oz (30 ml) of jojoba oil or unscented organic lotion to create a stimulating and refreshing foot cream. This one’s great for foot massages!

Safety Information
Purchasing Peppermint oil for your own use? Great! It’s a wonderful oil to keep on hand. But as with any concentrated substance, you should be careful when using it. Stick to these guidelines:

  • Do not apply to children or babies under five years old.
  • Do not apply to the face or near the eyes.
  • Wash hands well after use so you don’t accidentally touch your eyes.
  • Do not use Peppermint in the bathtub.
  • Always dilute Peppermint essential oil before applying it to your skin. I use 5–8 drops per 1 oz (30 ml) of cream or jojoba oil.

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Andrea Butje

Owner/Instructor at Aromahead Institute
Aromahead Institute, owned by Andrea Butje, is a premier resource for online aromatherapy classes. Andrea offers her inspired approach to online aromatherapy certification through essential oil videos and original education materials. Check out her book, Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health and Home, on Amazon!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne September 4, 2013 at 8:22 am

Last week I was having a problem with my right ear being plugged for a few days. I finally rubbed a drop of peppermint essential oil all around the back of my ear, down my neck and under my jaw. I went back to my busy day and about a half hour later I was stunned to notice that my ear had unplugged and has stayed that way ever since.

Reply

Andrea Butje September 4, 2013 at 9:19 am

Anne, That is great to know, thanks so much for sharing and really glad your ear is better!

Reply

Ion Doaga September 8, 2013 at 8:33 am

I like to add peppermint into the tea, especially in winter times.

During winter time my body hibernates and the strong scent of the peppermint revitalizes me.

Reply

Magdalena September 13, 2013 at 11:23 am

Question: why peppermint shouldn’t be used in the bathtub? Is it safe to use in a bath diluted in a carrier oil?

Reply

Andrea Butje September 14, 2013 at 8:42 am

Magdalena,

Peppermint can irritate and even burn the skin in a hot bath-even in a carrier oil I would not recommend it for a bath.

Reply

Jessica nombuso September 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Is good mix with my body cream

Reply

Andrea Butje September 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Yes! Great!

Reply

Audrey Lightfoot September 30, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Peppermint is a mucous membrane irritant. It will burn your private areas in the bath.

Reply

Julyan Lee July 20, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Hi Andre,

1) What would you recommend for children below 5 having fevers?
2) Why is it not recommended? What if it’s heavily diluted?

I admit I have been using peppermint on my toddler whenever she has a fever. But I do dilute it heavily to help bring her high fever down. So far, it has helped her.

Reply

Andrea Butje July 21, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Hi Julyan – Child fever can be an indication of more serious illness, so I would recommend seeing a medical professional. We follow the guidelines of Robert Tisserand and his book, Essential Oil Safety. He has done extensive research and compiled solid information on the safety of essential oils. According to Tisserand, there have been many reports of Peppermint being neurotoxic for young children, so his recommendation is not to use it for young children under 5.

Reply

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