Essential Oil of the Month: Peppermint

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Ho Ho Ho!  It is December and I am celebrating with my favorite essential oil … EVER!  Peppermint!  If you already have lemon (November’s essential oil of the month) you are well on your way to your new favorite blend.  Lemon, peppermint, and orange.  I could diffuse peppermint every day of the year.  It smells so fresh and energizing.  It clears congestion, it eases nausea, it is a super star!  Peppermint is an extremely versatile and useful essential oil to have on hand.

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About the Oil:

Peppermint is actually a great perennial herb to grow in your garden.  Peppermint is a relative of spearmint and water mint and is considered the strongest scented mint.  The fresh leaves can be used in tea, baking, and cocktails.  Just a word of warning, peppermint (along with all mint plants) tend to be invasive wherever they grow.  Their roots travel underground and pop up all over the place.  Once it begins spreading, you will be cursing as you continually are pulling up new shoots.  If you want to keep your peppermint contained, simply plant it in a container, it does great.  If you wanted it to add to your landscape but don’t want it taking over, plant it in a container and put the entire container underground.  This will contain the roots underground but from the top will appear like it is planted in the garden with everything else.   The essential oil is extracted from the plant right before it begins to flower as the oil concentration is highest at this time.

I know what you may be thinking … why do you have pictures of candy canes all over the place?  That isn’t where peppermint oil comes from you silly girl!  Or maybe I am just thinking it for you.  Being that it is December, I didn’t have access to any peppermint plants to photograph, so I decided to be festive instead : )  Peppermint is such a popular flavor added to candy and gum because it is so strong, fresh, and clean tasting.  This time of year we are bombarded with peppermint flavor via candy canes and baked goods!  Get crazy with it, diffuse peppermint oil while eating a white chocolate peppermint cookie and sipping on hot chocolate with a candy cane sticking out.

crushed peppermints

Safety first:

Peppermint can cause skin irritation in those with sensitive skin.  Always test yourself for skin sensitivities before applying oil directly to skin.

Qualities:

Peppermint has a strong minty scent that is fresh and uplifting.  The clean and bright scent helps improve mental clarity and sharpness.  Peppermint oil is often described as energizing.  If you need a boost of energy, peppermint is a great oil to grab.  Peppermint also is great to boost moods and positive energy.  Peppermint has been studied to trigger feelings of fullness, which can be used to curb hunger.  That is why you have probably heard to throw a piece of mint gum in your mouth before heading in the grocery store.  It will stop some of that impulse buying, especially strolling through the bakery.

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How to Use:

  • To relieve nausea, inhale peppermint straight from the bottle
  • To clear nasal passages, rub a few drops of peppermint oil on your chest before going to bed
  • To clear congestion, drop some peppermint oil into the shower before stepping in
  • To energize and boost mood, diffuse peppermint with lemon and orange
  • Rub a few drops of peppermint on your abdomen to relieve stomach upset
  • Inhale peppermint to curb the desire to snack

DSC_1239 much love,

Heather

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