PEPPERMINT (Mentha piperita)
THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES: tonic, cytophylactic, anti-infective, antiseptic, decongestant, antibiotic, antifungal, antidepressant, anti-toxic, aphrodisiac, astringent, calmative, nervine, anti-inflammatory to the nerves and the prostate
AFFINITY FOR: digestive system, tissues, nerves, mind, earth element, wood element, yang energy, throat chakra, lung meridian, small intestine meridian
RESONANCE: physical, mental
PLANT FAMILY: Labiatae
PART UTILIZED: stems, leaves, flower buds
EXTRACTION METHOD: steam distilled
AROMATIC CONSIDERATIONS: Peppermint oil stimulates the mind, increasing the ability to focus and concentrate. When inhaled, it restores the sense of taste by stimulating the trigeminal nerve. Oddly, inhaling peppermint oil can also curb the appetite.
APPLICATION: Peppermint oil should be diluted well before applying to the skin. Placing one drop of peppermint under the tongue and breathing past it (the peppermint oil) has been known to stop an asthma attack or clear the nasal passages and sinus cavities. Vocal performers often use this trick to dispel mucous from their throats and stimulate their vocal cords.
Peppermint is a good massage oil for stimulating circulation. Peppermint is too strong to be added to a bath.
EMOTIONAL / SPIRITUAL / MENTAL ASPECTS: Peppermint is like a rush of fresh energy into the system. It allows us to relax instead of letting anxiety build up in our body or mind. Peppermint oil is specific for people who move between highs and lows, sadness and happiness, until the ever-widening mood swings settle into lethargy, intolerance, and frustration. Just as peppermint strengthens the digestion and aids the absorption of nutrients on a physical level, it enhances our ability to "digest" new ideas and impressions.
PHYSICAL / MENTAL ASPECTS: Dr. Dembar of the University of Cincinnati discovered in a research study that inhaling peppermint oil increased the mental accuracy of the students tested by up to 28%. Peppermint oil can also be used for headaches and nerve regeneration.
Peppermint is renowned for action on the digestive system and for use in bowel disorders. It is one of the best essential oils for nausea, vomiting, morning sickness (small amounts only), mouth or gum infections, fainting, and motion sickness.
Peppermint oil is strongly anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Peppermint oil increases circulation. All varieties of peppermint essential oil are useful for muscle pain, inflamed joints, and arthritis. The anti-inflammatory properties make peppermint essential oil supportive of prostate function.
GENERAL INFORMATION: Peppermint, like lavender, is soothing in small amounts and strongly stimulating in larger amounts.
CAUTIONS: Peppermint oil is stimulating to the uterus. Extreme caution, mostly as to the amount used, should be taken with peppermint oils if pregnant. Peppermint is too strong for infants and babies, use Spearmint as an alternative.