Peppermint Oil Uses
Peppermint oil contains menthol, which gives it its signature smell and cooling sensation when applied to the skin. It is used on the skin to help patients cool down. Also, it is used to relieve tension headaches. Further, the smell can help make you feel alert and refreshed. If you find peppermint oil benefits is to be too strong, you can try spearmint oil.
Peppermint oil has been used in the treatment of a variety of conditions which are discussed below. It can be given as aromatherapy, topically, and tablets as well. The safety and effectiveness of each of these methods varies greatly, so it is important to understand how useful peppermint oil is in each of these methods to practice safe use.
Peppermint Oil Benefits
There are a few different uses for peppermint oil. Currently, there are is not enough evidence to recommend this instead of medicine. Patients have reported that peppermint oil has helped with the following issues:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Morning sickness
- Sinus infections
- Muscle pain
Currently, upset stomach is the most common use for peppermint oil. But patients have found benefit with cold and headache symptoms when using peppermint oil topically. Peppermint oil has also shown to be likely effective for IBS as well when taken by mouth. By inhalation, peppermint oil can be used as an aromatic that can help treat cough and cold, reduce stress and improve cognitive function. However, of the benefits listed, the only benefit that has shown some promising clinical evidence is oral use of peppermint oil for IBS.
Peppermint Oil Benefits for Skin
Peppermint oil does hold benefit for the skin. It improves blood flow to the skin and helps it look youthful. The menthol in peppermint also helps to brighten your skin to make it look fresh. But, the essential oils can irritate the skin. So, it is important to put peppermint oil into a lotion to avoid a bad reaction. You can use peppermint oil as a toner to remove oil from the skin. Or, you can be use it as a mask to allow the benefit of the peppermint time to absorb into the skin.
Benefits of Peppermint Oil for Hair
Peppermint oil contains antimicrobial properties which are thought to help cool the scalp and naturally help to eliminate dandruff and kill lice. Use of peppermint oil has even been claimed to improve hair growth. However, these claims have not been clinically proven to be accurate. It is important to use caution when utilizing peppermint oil directly in the hair because it is very concentrated. If you choose to use it, dilution is appropriate with some type of oil such as coconut oil to avoid direct use of the peppermint oil on the scalp. Direct use on the scalp without dilution can cause skin reactions such as irritation, itchiness or loss of hair. It is not recommended to use peppermint oil on the scalp as there is not concrete evidence that supports the benefits of its use for hair. If you decide to use it, it is important to be cautious, dilute the product, and monitor yourself for any side effects. Further research is needed to determine the appropriateness of peppermint oil and its benefits for hair.
Peppermint Oil for Acne
Many claim that peppermint oil naturally cleanses the skin and has a cooling effect which can help to soothe acne irritation and inflammation. Unfortunately, there is not enough research to confirm this potential benefit. It is important to consult with a skin care specialist, such as a dermatologist, in order to determine the appropriate treatment for your acne. If your acne is extremely bothersome, it is not recommended to use concentrated peppermint oil directly on the skin as it can cause even more irritation.
Peppermint Oil Side Effects
Below are some side effects to watch for when taking peppermint oil. These side effects can include:
- Allergic Reactions (i.e. skin irritation, redness, inflammation, throat tightness, etc.)
These reported side effects are usually from patients eating peppermint oil. However, peppermint oil is generally well-tolerated when taken by mouth and the side effects listed above are not very common. Peppermint oil inhalation side effects are typically mild and are not very commonly seen unless you have been using peppermint oil chronically for a long period of time. Topically, peppermint oil can sometimes cause skin irritation, burning, and contact dermatitis. Although this is not commonly reported, it is important to be aware of potential side effects, so you know when to discontinue use.
Currently, peppermint oil is believed to be safe in pregnant women. But, before taking this supplement, you should ask your doctor. For those patients who are not pregnant, if you are planning on taking peppermint orally, you should ask your doctor. Because, peppermint oil can react with your other medicine.
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