5 Surprising Health Benefits and Uses of Peppermint Oil

Emmy Schneider-Green
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Name a flavor more wintery-wonderland and holiday-appropriate than crisp, fresh peppermint.

We’ll wait.

What pumpkin-spice flavored everything is to fall, peppermint is to winter. Whether it’s a seasonal latte or a classic candy cane, it just seems like peppermint, fresh snowballs, and holiday lights all go together.

But beyond just sipping on a peppermint latte or hot cocoa (like this one), there’s a whole host of ways you can use and enjoy peppermint, no matter the season.

While you may mostly think of it as a flavor for cookies or beverages, peppermint oil (in its purest form) actually packs in a ton of little-known health benefits. It has been used for its medicinal and healing purposes for centuries.

Mentions of peppermint oil date all the way back to 1,000 B.C.E. It was used medicinally by ancient Greeks and Egyptians as well as in ancient Japanese and Chinese folk medicine.

And it’s no surprise why! Peppermint oil has a powerful effect on everything from alleviating seasonal allergies to soothing digestive woes and inflamed muscles. And it also has proven antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Peppermint health benefits are plentiful!

Convinced yet?
 
 

Here Are 5 Handy Peppermint Health Benefits:

Here are a few ways you can use peppermint oil for your health, beyond just sipping that latte.
 

1. Remedy Digestive Woes

Had one (or five) too many holiday cookies? This time of year especially, when feasts and treats are more common than kale salads and smoothies, we might find ourselves with less-than-thrilled tummies.

Luckily, peppermint oil is a totally natural and proven-to-be effective way to soothe upset stomachs. One of the many peppermint health benefits is to get our digestive systems back to working as they should.

There are a couple ways to use peppermint for upset tummies. You can brew a nice cup of peppermint tea (which you can purchase at any supermarket or health food store). Just make sure it’s actual peppermint tea bags and not artificially flavored.

Or, if you’re up for something a little harder, you can also just drop pure peppermint oil into water. No need to use more than a drop or two in a full glass of water. This stuff is pretty intense.

You should feel relief quickly too. Studies have shown that peppermint oil knocked out 50% of IBS symptoms in 75% of the patients that took it!

Need some serious digestive help? Here’s How to Improve Your Digestion Using Essential Oils
 

 
 

2. Soothe Headaches Naturally

Family get-togethers or work stress getting to you? Next time you find yourself with a headache or migraine, peppermint can do wonders to sooth the pain and knock it out fast.

In fact, a clinical trial showed peppermint oil to be just as effective as acetaminophen!

Just rub a few drops of pure peppermint oil into the temple area and massage in. You can also dab it around the forehead and back of your neck anytime you feel a tension headache coming on.
 

3. Feel More Alert and Energized

If your go-to response for combatting that afternoon energy slump or just getting going in the morning is a caffeinated beverage, you might be surprised how well peppermint oil can do the same thing (and without any accompanying energy crash).

We all know peppermint is refreshing. So next time you’re feeling groggy or just all-around meh, dab a few drops on the inside of your wrists or around your forehead and temples. You can even mix the peppermint into a carrier oil such as coconut or shea, and rub it over your chest, neck, and arms. Just be careful to avoid the eye area.
 

4. Boost Your Workouts and Athletic Performance

Who needs pre-workout? Proving this energy-boosting benefit of peppermint, researchers found that athletes were better able to perform in physical tests after taking a single dose of peppermint oil. They utilized oxygen better, and were more forceful and vigorous in their movements.

Put a drop or two into your water bottle and enjoy it before and during your next sweat sesh.
 

 
 

5. Beat Seasonal Allergies

If you’re a seasonal allergy sufferer, the change of seasons can also bring with it a host of icky symptoms like stuffy noses, sore throats, and sinus pressure. And who has time for that?

Luckily, a little-known peppermint health benefit is its ability to stomp out seasonal allergies. If you’ve ever used menthol rubs or cough drops when under the weather, you know how soothing peppermint can be.

Next time you feel any allergy ickiness coming on, dab a few drops on your temples, chest, and the back of your neck. Not only will you feel an immediate boost in your clarity and energy (because peppermint is a proven expectorant and anti-inflammatory), it’ll also act like a natural version of an over-the-counter like Nyquil or Mucinex.
 
 

The Takeaway on Peppermint Oil and Peppermint Health Benefits

As is usually the case, when it comes to healing remedies and medicine, Mother Nature almost always has the best treatment for us.

Pick up a bottle or two of pure peppermint oil (organic if possible) and keep it in your bag and medicine cabinet so you always have it nearby. It’s truly one of the most powerful and versatile natural cure-alls.

Looking for a ton of other ways to use essential oils like peppermint? Here are 85 Ways to Use Essential Oils That Might Surprise You

After all, enjoying this season in tip-top health means more chances to enjoy those peppermint treats and lattes – and we’ll cheers to that!

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.

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Emmy Schneider-Green

Emmy is a passionate vegan foodie and fitness nut with a wanderlust spirit. When she’s not coaching her fitness and health clients or traveling around in her old renovated RV, she’s writing content on food, environmentalism, holistic health, and travel, or lifting weights, to show through bodybuilding the power of a plant-based diet and lifestyle.

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