24 Uses For Peppermint Oil That You Probably Didn’t Know About

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What if I told you that you could get rid of your headache and clean your house with the same product? You can also do 22 other things with this item, all for about $10. Peppermint oil.

You may have heard about the therapeutic effects of peppermint, but it’s more than a fun addition to your water and an aromatherapy. Once you keep a small bottle of peppermint oil on hand, your life will never be the same again.

What, exactly, is peppermint oil? It comes from the leaves and stems of peppermint plants. Then, it’s distilled through steam, which results in oil evaporating from the plant. After the steam and oil cools off, “pure” oil is separated out. I love this brand, from Majestic Pure, but there are many wonderful ones out there.

Note: Several of the below suggest putting peppermint oil directly onto your skin, though it’s recommended that you test it out first on the inside of your arm. Also, be sure to avoid contact with your eyes. 

Health Ailments

1. Headaches

Just rub a few drops on your temples, over the sinus areas, forehead, and on the back of your neck. You can also add a few drops of almond oil to dilute it a bit, but I find the mint works fine on its own.

2. Thyroid

While you’re near your neck, you may as well put some peppermint oil onto your thyroid—you know, that butterfly-shaped area under your neck that controls metabolism and appetite, to name a few. Rub the oil in and repeat a few times every day for optimal thyroid health.

3. Congestion And Allergies

You can use peppermint in many forms to alleviate congestion from a cold or sinus infection. You can place a couple drops under your nose, a drop directly onto your tongue, and add drops to water and diffuse it in your room. Then, sit (or lie) back and inhale deeply. You can also add some to a pot of boiling water and breathe in the steam, with your face about a foot above the pot. (Do you remember your parents having you do this when you were a kid? Well, it still works!)

4. Mental Stimulation And Alertness

There are a few ways to use peppermint oil to help you wake up. You can diffuse it so the air in the room becomes full of the scent. Or, you can apply some under your nose, onto the back of your neck and shoulders. You can also inhale your little bottle of peppermint oil before or while exercising to keep your stamina going.

5. Nausea, Indigestion, And Constipation

Like with headaches, peppermint oil is extremely healing in getting rid of nausea, indigestion, and constipation. The easiest thing to do is inhale it and put a couple drops on your wrists—which you can do no matter where you are. If you have more privacy, you can rub some drops directly onto your abdomen. You can also make tea from fresh mint leaves to help relax your stomach.

6. Heartburn

Speaking of indigestion, peppermint oil also helps with heartburn. Just add a drop to herbal tea—and use honey or agave to mix the oil and tea together. You should feel better in no time at all!

7. Stomach Pain & Cramps

Once again, rub some on the sore areas of your stomach—whether the pain is from muscle cramps after working out or menstrual cramps. The oil’s anti-inflammatory properties will soon soothe your pain away.

8. Fever Blisters And Chapped Lips

Dab the oil onto your lips and around their perimeter to help alleviate cracked lips or cold sores.

9. Reduce Your Appetite

That’s right, peppermint oil is the best (and cheapest!) diet aid around. Just a few drops will make you feel more full than usual.

10. Lessen Sugar Cravings

Adding peppermint oil to tea can lessen your sweet cravings, and we could all use less sugar in our lives, right?

11. Reduce Anxiety

To feel less relaxed, overall, carry a water bottle infused with mint. Check out this easy recipe that’ll have you feeling less stressed in no time! You can also make peppermint tea—especially since it’s getting cold out there!—and it will help your body and mind relax.

12. Fresh Breath

Move over, mouthwash! Peppermint oil’s in town. You can either place a drop in your mouth or add a drop to water, then rinse. You can also chew a mint leaf or two for instant gum-fresh breath.

13. Clearer Complexion

When you dab peppermint oil onto acne a few times a day, it kills the bacteria on your face. The higher the quality of oil you use, the better—and make sure there are no additives like perfumes or fragrances (which our faces don’t like).

14. Sore Feet And Stress-Reducer

Add drops of peppermint oil to a foot bath. (I know this would have come in handy back when I used to waitress.) Plus, with all the holiday shopping you’re probably doing, a peppermint oil foot bath—or regular bath—will do you wonders and energize you for another day of shopping.

15. Hiccups

Hiccups? I know. What can’t peppermint oil do? Put a drop on each side of your neck, three notches up from the large vertebra at its base, and voilà! This has got to be one of the easiest ways to get rid of them. You’ll see!

16. Toothache

Yep, until you can get to the dentist, put some peppermint oil on a Q-tip and apply it directly onto the tooth pain. Boiling peppermint leaves in water and drinking the warm tea will also help. You can also dab peppermint oil onto your teething baby’s gums (!).

17. Dry Scalp

This is one of the best solutions to fight a dry scalp without spending a fortune on specialty shampoos. Simply add up to five drops to your favorite shampoo, then shake up the bottle. Easy!

Around The House

18. Cleaning Agent

Some people clean with lemon juice, others opt for peppermint oil. Because of its antifungal and antibacterial agents, mix it with some water and vinegar and use it to clean your house, from the windowsills to the kitchen counter.

19. Stop Unpleasant Odors

You’re probably sick of the “pleasant” smell emanating from your garbage can as much as I am. Now, get rid of it when you put a few drops of peppermint oil at the bottom of the can! Who knew?!

20. Ants, Bugs, And Rodents

Ants—and many bugs—don’t like peppermint, so wipe your baseboards, floors, and wall cracks with the oil. Plus, you can soak cotton balls in the oil and place them in strategic places to deter the bugs. You can also make a peppermint oil spray when you add up to 15 drops to a water bottle. This works for deterring larger animals, too, like mice, rats, and raccoons, who may be looking for housing during these winter months.

21. Ticks

Like ants, ticks aren’t fans of peppermint, either. Save some of those cotton balls for ticks and when one affixes to your skin, pry him off with the oil-infused cotton ball.

22. Bug Bites

Speaking of bugs, what about bug bites? If you mix peppermint essential oil with lavender essential oil and then put the combo on bug bites, it’ll alleviate the itching. No more chemically-laden bug sprays necessary!

23. Poison Ivy And Poison Oak

If you’ve ever had poison ivy or poison oak, you know they’re no fun. To alleviate the itching, you can either apply the oil right onto your skin or dilute it with a vegetable-based oil, like coconut or sesame oil.

24. Plants

Tired of aphids eating up your plants? You’ve looked at sprays to get rid of them, but don’t like the pesticides. Instead, use peppermint oil. Add some drops to a spray bottle of water and spray away.

There you have it. Some peppermint oil a day keeps many ailments away! I know I’m about to go get some more myself, so what are you waiting for?

Health, Life

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About the Author
Natalia Lusinski
In addition to Simplemost, Natalia is an ongoing writer for Bustle (sex, dating, relationships, and money), HelloGiggles (pop culture and news), The Delite (feel-good stories), and Don’t Waste Your Money (yep, money issues!). You can also find her writing in the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune's RedEye, xoJane, Elite Daily, Scary Mommy, Elephant Journal, and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, among other publications. She has a Ph.D. in couch-surfing, having spent four years sleeping on over 200 L.A.-area love seats and sectionals, all in an effort to whittle down her student loan debt. She still loves couch-surfing in other cities, too (hint, hint).

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