The holidays are heading our way, bringing cool temps, festive lights, Santa sightings and, of course, candy canes. But candy canes aren’t the only way to enjoy the invigorating flavor and fragrance of peppermint this season!
Extracted from the leaves of (you guessed it!) the peppermint plant, peppermint essential oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Therefore, it boasts a wide variety of uses. The concentrated minty oil is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, cleaning and aromatherapy. It has also been used medicinally for thousands of years, dating back to Ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt.
Peppermint essential oil may help relieve:
- Muscle pain
- Nausea and other digestive issues
- Skin conditions
Ready to embrace the benefits of this mighty mint during the most wonderful time of the year? Following are eight great holiday uses for peppermint essential oil:
1. Recipe enhancer
2. House cleaner
Peppermint essential oil boasts antibacterial properties, so you can use it (instead of chemical cleaning products) to kill common bacteria around your home. Simply mix 10 to 15 drops of oil with a half cup of vinegar, a half cup of water and a few drops of dish soap to create an all-purpose cleaner that will have your abode looking and smelling minty fresh for holiday guests
There’s a reason peppermint is commonly found in oral care products. It kills harmful bacteria and stops halitosis (a.k.a. bad breath) in its tracks. To keep your breath fresh (and those around you jolly!), mix one or two drops of peppermint essential oil with a little water and gargle for approximately 30 seconds.
4. Skin cleanser
Peppermint essential oil can also calm skin inflammation. For a glowing complexion at your next holiday gathering, mix a few drops of peppermint essential oil with some coconut oil and apply the blend directly to any blemishes.
5. Hair helper
The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties in peppermint essential oil can relieve dry scalp and dandruff, stimulate new hair growth and give your locks a glossy shine. Just add a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner for holiday-ready hair!
6. Stress reducer
Send seasonal stress on its merry way by adding some peppermint essential oil to your bath water (toss in some Epsom salts for maximum relaxation!). Or, massage a few drops of oil into your temples to combat those holiday headaches.
7. Pain reliever
Sore from carrying all those heavy shopping bags? Menthol, the active ingredient in peppermint essential oil, is known to desensitize pain fibers and produce a soothing, cooling effect. Just massage a few drops into the affected area and wait for the discomfort to subside.
8. DIY gift ingredient
Peppermint essential oil can also be used to make a variety of thoughtful gifts for friends and family members. Impress your loved ones with this homemade peppermint brown sugar body scrub:
- Combine half a cup of brown sugar and half a cup of almond, coconut or olive oil in a small mixing bowl.
- Blend thoroughly and then stir in two or three drops of peppermint essential oil.
- Spoon the mixture into a mason jar and embellish with a holiday bow.
Minty-fresh products you'll love:
*Please note that a little peppermint essential oil can go a long way, and that you should only consume therapeutic-grade peppermint oil that is labeled for internal use.