Last updated: August 19, 2021

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This time we will talk about peppermint oil, a product recognised for its many benefits, including its anti-inflammatory, healing, relaxing, expectorant and refreshing properties.

We will tell you about all the characteristics of this oil, used both in the cosmetic industry and in alternative therapies and naturopathic medicine, so that you can get to know its enormous benefits and make the most of them, depending on your needs.

We will also inform you about the aspects you should take into account before consuming peppermint oil, and the different places where you can get it. By the end of the article, you will have all the information you need about this powerful product, so don't miss out!




First the important things

  • Peppermint oil, extracted from mentha piperita, is characterised by its multiple properties and benefits for physical, mental and spiritual health, which is why the market offers it in a wide variety and assortment of products, adapted to different uses.
  • Due to its multiple benefits, peppermint oil is used for medicinal purposes (for its healing, decongestive and anti-inflammatory properties, etc.), cosmetics (skin, hair and cellulite products), and therapeutic purposes (relaxing massages).
  • Although peppermint oil stands out for its many advantages, there are also certain factors that should not be overlooked when buying this product, such as the adverse effects that it may cause in certain cases.

The Best Peppermint Oil: Our Picks

Buying guide

This buying guide is designed to inform you about the most relevant characteristics of the product you are interested in buying. Therefore, we will tell you what peppermint oil is, what are its main uses and advantages, and its possible contraindications.

Neem oil shampoo, among so many nutritional benefits, helps to eliminate common hair problems, such as dandruff and lice. (Photo: Social Butterfly / Pixabay.com )

What is peppermint oil and what are its benefits?

Peppermint oil is obtained from the leaves of the mentha piperita plant, a hybrid of the water mint, spearmint and mentha arvensis plants. It has a wide variety of medicinal, cosmetic and therapeutic uses, as it has healing, decongestant, soothing, refreshing and relaxing properties.

Peppermint has long been used for a variety of treatments due to its many benefits. In fact, it has been studied by many scientists, who have proven the versatility of this powerful plant.

Originally used only as a home remedy, peppermint oil is now commercially available for a variety of uses. Among its main benefits, it helps to heal infections, brings stomach relief, improves skin and hair, relieves stress, decongests the respiratory tract, etc.

Advantages
  • It is decongestant
  • It has relaxing properties
  • It is refreshing
  • It soothes the skin
  • It is anti-inflammatory
  • It is aromatic
Disadvantages
  • It is contraindicated for diabetics
  • Not suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • It can be toxic if used pure, especially in children

Medicinal, cosmetic or therapeutic peppermint oil - what should you pay attention to?

The three main uses of peppermint oil are medicinal, cosmetic and therapeutic. Below we will describe how this essential oil is used in each case, so that you can assess which one is most suitable for you, according to your interests and needs.

Medicinal peppermint oil. This oil is a natural option for treating different types of pathologies and chronic or temporary ailments, such as digestive and stomach problems, headaches, mouth and teeth infections, inflammation, respiratory complications, etc.

Cosmetic peppermint oil.Due to its softening and nourishing properties, peppermint oil is widely used in the cosmetic industry for skin and hair care. As it is also decongestive and anti-inflammatory, it is used in creams or ointments for the treatment of varicose veins and to reduce cellulite.

Therapeutic peppermint oil.Another of the great benefits of peppermint oil are its aromatic, refreshing and relaxing properties, which is why it is widely used in aromatherapy through decontracting, de-stressing and stimulating massages.

Medicinal Cosmetic Therapeutic
Uses Pain, infections, inflammations Cellular nourishment, hair restoration Relaxing, stimulating massages
Properties Healing, decongestive, anti-inflammatory Moisturising, softening Sedative, aromatic
Presentation Essence, capsules, tablets Essence, creams, ointments Essence

Are there varieties of peppermint oil?

There are many types and varieties of this wonderful plant, including Korean mint (very strong and fragrant), lemon mint (with an intense citrus aroma) and chocolate mint (has a sweet taste, and its foliage has purple tones).

There is also spearmint and water mint (from which mint oil is extracted), wild mint (also used for oil production), white mint (one of the most common), and black mint (known for its particular and delicious aroma), among many others.

All these varieties have multiple uses, and the benefits they offer are numerous. However, peppermint oil is extracted only from mentha piperita, due to the profile offered by this variety.

If the oil you use is not extracted from this specific variety then it is preferable to consume it.

There are different presentations and formats of peppermint oil. (Photo: silviarita/ pixabay.com)

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different peppermint oils

In this last section we will discuss the best buying criteria for choosing the right peppermint oil for you, as there are some very important factors to consider when choosing this beneficial product.

  • Presentations and dosage
  • Other uses
  • Components
  • Contraindications

Presentations and dosage

Although the characteristic format of peppermint oil is the glass bottle with pipette, you can also find other presentations of this plant, such as creams and ointments, or capsules and food tablets. Here are the presentations and dosages:

Glass bottle-essence. This is the traditional container for this oil, and usually comes with a dropper to dose its contents, although sometimes it comes with a small cork stopper that closes hermetically. As this oil is pure, it is recommended to dilute it, as it can be toxic.

The dosage is usually between 5 to 10 drops per 10 ml of water, neutral oil, shampoo, etc. The essences are often used for relaxing massages, or for inhalation, because they help to decongest the nasal passages, stimulate the nervous system, eliminate toxins, reduce stress and fatigue, etc.

Plastic bottle-capsules. Capsules are often used as food supplements based on peppermint oil and other nutritional or vitamin components. Normally 2 to 3 capsules (between 25 and 50 mg) a day are recommended, but it is advisable to consult a specialised professional beforehand.

Container of crushed mentha piperita leaves. Crushed mint leaves are also sold in vacuum-sealed containers, and are used to prepare infusions. The recommended dose is one teaspoon per cup, and drink 2 to 3 cups a day, although it is also advisable to consult a specialist.

Essential peppermint oil usually comes in a dosed glass bottle. (Photo: amylv / 123rf.com)

Other uses

The most common and well-known uses of peppermint oil are medicinal, cosmetic and therapeutic (as detailed above), but this beneficial oil also has other very interesting and valuable uses, which we will mention below:

Gastronomic uses. Its fresh flavour and unmistakable aroma make this oil an invaluable jewel for gastronomy, which is why it is used to prepare sweet and savoury dishes, and to prepare a great variety of liqueurs and aromatic infusions.

Domestic uses. Due to its perfumed and pleasant aroma, peppermint oil is also used as a household flavouring (it is used in electric diffusers, salt lamps and cleaning products). It is also used as a repellent to repel mosquitoes.

Components

It is important to know which are the compounds that make this oil have so many wonderful properties. In addition, it is ideal to know in detail everything that enters our body, as it is one of the best ways to keep it healthy.

This magnificent oil is composed of multiple nutrients, including vitamins A and C complex, and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and copper. It also has healthy fatty acids such as omega-3, which reduces inflammation, decongestion and stress.

Peppermint oil is characterised by its multiple properties and benefits. (Photo: fortyforks /123rf.com)

Contraindications

Peppermint oil, being of vegetable origin, is not usually harmful in adults, as long as it is taken in the appropriate doses; however, in some cases it can be counterproductive. Here are the details of those who should avoid it, or consult a doctor beforehand:

Pregnant or breastfeeding women. It has been proven that peppermint, either alone or as an oil, decreases the production of breast milk in the postpartum period, so it is advisable to avoid it or reduce its consumption if you are breastfeeding your baby.

Children under seven years of age. It is forbidden to consume peppermint oil in young children, as menthol can cause nausea or suffocation, either through topical use (creams, ointments, soothing or healing oils) or oral use (infusions, food, etc.).

Diabetics. According to various studies, peppermint oil can cause hypoglycaemia, which is when blood sugar levels are low. Many diabetics suffer from hypoglycaemia as a result of insulin, so consumption of this oil can be counterproductive.

People taking antacids. The combination of these medicines with peppermint oil, especially with the capsules, causes the capsules to break down in the stomach, generating more acidity, which is also counterproductive for the organism.

People with gallbladder problems. In some cases, peppermint oil can cause inflammation in the gall bladder, so it is not recommended for people suffering from gallstones or other related pathologies, as it could increase symptoms.

(Featured image photo: amylv/ 123rf.com)

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