The other day, I took my son to a local park for bike riding and beach combing. He is just learning to ride his bike so tumbles are not uncommon at this point. Sure enough, on this particular outing he tilted over into the prickly tangles of a blackberry vine. With badly scraped knees and tears a flowing, he described shooting pains.
Luckily, I had a small pouch of essential oils with me (as we “oilers” always do) and I pulled out the Peppermint to use on his wounds.
Good ole Peppermint. A drop or two on his wounds and the tears stopped as he felt immediate relief. Thanks to Peppermint essential oil, we carried on with our activity as planned. My happy camper was back! Within the hour, the residual redness from his injury was also gone. Whew!
Peppermint (mentha piperita) is an analgesic (i.e. pain reliever) and an anti-inflammatory, so it was a great choice for my son’s scraped knees (Modern Essentials, 6th edition.) Lavender might be another good natural solution in a situation such as this.
Sourced from Washington State and steam distilled from the leaves of the Peppermint plant, its primary chemical constituents are up to 45% menthol and about 25% menthone. I personally like to use therapeutic grade Peppermint oil Aromatically, Topically and Internally. On occasion, I’ve used Peppermint topically without dilution (a.k.a. neat) but, as with all essential oils, it is best diluted with carrier oil. Carrier oil is used to spread, or carry, an essential oil over a larger area. I like to make a small roller bottle with Peppermint, which is roughly 1 part peppermint oil to approximately 6 parts fractionated coconut oil or other carrier oil. Peppermint essential oil (or any Menthol product for that matter) is not recommended for infants under 30 months.
Diffusing Peppermint aromatically is energizing and invigorating. You can diffuse it in the mornings as a wake-me-up and in the early afternoons as a pick-me-up! (It’s especially nice combined with Wild Orange, another uplifting essential oil.) You can inhale the Peppermint aroma directly from the bottle or you can place one drop in your hands, rub them together and cup them over your nose (like a tent) and inhale. This “tent” supports healthy respiratory function and clear breathing. Be careful not to get Peppermint oil in your eyes. If it happens, however, you may feel some discomfort and maybe a little stinging. Rest assured it’s not going to harm you. You can dilute it in a carrier oil to avoid this possibility altogether. If you do use it “neat” (i.e. undiluted) and it happens to get in your eyes, use a little milk or carrier oil (like coconut oil) on a cloth and place over your eyes.
Studies found at pubmed.gov support the many therapeutic uses of Peppermint. One study shows that Peppermint essential oil may enhance athletic performance with internal usage. With just one drop in a large glass of water, athletic performance may be enhanced primarily due to relaxation of the bronchial smooth muscles and increase in the ventilation and brain oxygen concentration (1.) My personal experience reflects these findings. Intense spin class? Bring it on! A drop of Peppermint before I do a high intensity exercise class elicits a more vigorous and enjoyable workout.
Peppermint Essential Oil supported my son’s quick recovery from blackberry vine scrapes. Here are a few other uses:
- Ease Muscle Tension
- Cool the Body
- Calm Itchy Skin (I love Peppermint for this reason alone!)
- Repel Spiders and Ants (add 5-10 drops to a spray bottle filled with water or put a few drops on a cotton ball and place near the unwanted intruders)
- Alleviate occasional Stomach Upset
- Ease Nausea or Motion sickness
- Strengthen Mental Alertness & Focus
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
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