Weekly essential oil highlight…Peppermint

Such a great oil to use all year round but it really comes into its own during the hot summer months. Cooling, refreshing, enlivening and actually calming too.

Botanically known as Mentha Piperita. There are so many different varieties in the mint family. Today at the garden centre you’ll spot apple mint, lemon mint, moroccan mint. The choice is huge. Spearmint, Mentha Spicata shares many similarities with peppermint but it is much milder and sweeter. It is less vigorous in action and therefore more suitable for the treatment of children. Some clients find peppermint too strong and overpowering and it can easily take over a blend so in those cases I’d opt for the lighter spearmint.

We’ll talk about its amazing properties in a moment but first of all it is important to point out the safety caution that peppermint carries. Never use the oil in concentrations above 3%. Thats actually quite high, bearing in mind that I use 2.5% for a full body aromatherapy massage but the problem here is that it can irritate mucous membranes. In cases of cardiac fibrillation it may not be compatible with some medications so avoid it completely. Homeopaths agree that it may antidote homeopathic remedies. Opt for spearmint with babies and infants as it is simply too strong.

Peppermint has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Its main use has been for digestive issues. Sluggish digestion, indigestion, flatulence, colitis, reflux, constipation. It practically deals with every digestive complaint. Also a liver detoxifier. A calming oil for period pains blended with lavender is so soothing. Rub your tummy in a clockwise action and always blend the oils in a carrier oil.

I love using it for muscular aches and pains. Initially the feeling on the skin is cooling and then it becomes warmer easing away the pain. Aching legs and feet, oh my, this is stunning. The coolness takes away that feeling of heavy tired legs.

We’ve all caught too much sun at some point, especially at the moment with the hot weather. Peppermint is brilliant for calming sunburn. Blended again with lavender, the peppermint has its cooling actions and the lavender calms, reducing inflammation. Sinisitis, headaches, infections, colds and fevers, dizziness… peppermint can help with all of those. Oh and one more thing…. insects hate it!

Such a powerful oil.