Printer Friendly

Using peppermint essential oil ~and~ building your natural home medicine cabinet.

Pure essential oils, like precious jewelry or fine wine, are gems of nature-the quintessential life force of aromatic plants, sometimes called the "soul" of the plant. People who truly appreciate the qualities of pure therapeutic-grade essential oils consider each drop a precious jewel to be savored, enjoyed and protected.

Peppermint is one of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs for soothing digestion. Jean Valnet, M.D., studied peppermint's effect on the liver and respiratory systems. Other scientists have also researched peppermint's role in affecting impaired taste and smell when inhaled by stimulating the trigeminal nerve. Dr.

William N. Dember of the University of Cincinnati studied peppermint's ability to improve concentration and mental accuracy by 28 percent just by inhaling. Alan Hirsch, M.D., studied peppermint's ability to directly affect the brain's satiety center, which triggers a sensation of fullness after meals.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Botanical family: Lamiaceae or Labiatae (mint)

Extraction method: Steam distilled from leaves, stems, and flower buds.

Action: Supports digestion, expels worms, decongestant, anti-infectious, antibacterial, antifungal, mucolytic, stimulant, hypertensive, cardiotonic, anticarcinogenic, stimulates gallbladder, pain-relieving, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory for the intestinal and urinary tract.

Indications: Asthma, bronchitis, Candida, diarrhea, digestive aid, reduces fever, halitosis, hemorrhoids, hot flashes, indigestion, menstrual irregularity, headaches, motion sickness, nausea, tumor growth, respiratory infections, shock, itchy skin, throat infections, and varicose veins.

Other uses: This oil may help arthritis, indigestion, depression, skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis), food poisoning, headaches, hives, hysteria, inflammation, morning sickness, nerve regeneration, rheumatism, elevate and open sensory system, toothaches, and tuberculosis.

Applications: Diffuse. Massage on the stomach or add to water or tea. Apply to bottom of feet or rub on the temples to treat headaches. To improve concentration, alertness, and memory, place several drops on the tongue. Add to food as a flavoring and preservative.

* Rub four to six drops in the palm and rub over stomach and around the navel to relieve nausea, indigestion, flatulence and diarrhea.

* Add a drop of peppermint oil to herbal tea to aid in digestion.

* Apply peppermint oil immediately to an injured area (bruised shin, hit on the foot or hand) to relieve pain and inflammation. If there is a cut, apply the peppermint oil around (not on) the open wound.

* Rub several drops of peppermint oil on the bottoms of the feet to reduce fever.

* Apply a drop of peppermint oil topically on unbroken skin to stop itching.

* For poison ivy or poison oak, apply peppermint oil on location neat (undiluted) or dilute with organic carrier oil.

* Inhale peppermint oil before and during a workout to boost your mood and reduce fatigue.

* To relieve a headache rub a drop of peppermint oil on the temples, forehead, over the sinuses (stay away from the eyes) and on the back of the neck.

* To stop hiccups, apply a drop of peppermint oil on each side of the fifth cervical vertebra (up three notches from the large vertebra at the base of the neck).

* Place two drops of peppermint oil on the tongue and rub another drop under the nose to improve alertness and concentration.

* Diffuse peppermint oil in the room while studying to improve concentration and accuracy. Inhale peppermint oil while taking a test to improve recall.

* Rub four drops of peppermint oil on chest and stomach to relieve travel sickness.

* Place a drop of peppermint oil on the tongue and inhale into the nose and sinuses to relieve congestion from a cold.

* Add peppermint oil to food as a flavoring and a preservative.

* To deter rats, mice, ants or cockroaches, place two drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball and place along the path or point of entry for these pests.

* Mix one 15 ml bottle of peppermint oil into a five-gallon can of paint to dispel the fumes.

* Place a couple of drops of peppermint oil in a cup of hot water and enjoy in place of coffee.

* To kill aphids add four or five drops of peppermint oil to four ounces of water and spray the plants (shake the bottle frequently).

* Drink a drop of peppermint oil mixed in a glass of cold water to cool off on a hot day.

* Add four or five drops of peppermint oil to four ounces of water in a spray bottle and spray on the body for a cooling experience. Do not spray in the face unless the eyes are closed.

* Rub peppermint oil on joints to relieve arthritis or tendonitis pain.

* Place a drop of peppermint oil on the tongue to stop bad breath.

* Inhale the fragrance of peppermint oil to curb the appetite and lessen the impulse to overeat.

* Remove ticks by applying a drop of peppermint oil on a cotton swab and swabbing the tick. Wait for it to detach its head from the skin and remove from your pet (or yourself).

* Mix peppermint oil in a footbath to relieve sore feet. Keep water agitated while soaking feet.

Fragrant influence: It is purifying and stimulating to the conscious mind.

Safety data:

If currently under a doctor's care or pregnant, consult physician prior to use. Avoid contact with eyes, mucus membranes, or sensitive skin areas. Do not apply neat (undiluted) to a fresh wound or burn. Do not apply to infants younger than 18 months of age without specific instructions.

Instead of going into lots of research data on peppermint, as I have done previously in other articles, I would like to bring up some other information that may become pertinent to the COUNTRYSIDE readers in the future.

Building your family's natural home medicine cabinet

In a post-collapse survival situation (or even just life under Obama-Care) you are going to feel much more secure having your own private, natural medicine cabinet. You can begin to prepare now by making sure you have time-tested treatments that will allow you to delay or even avoid a trip to the doctor.

Included in the ailments you can treat on your own are: sore throats, infections, toothaches, back aches, stomach pains, fever, cough and headaches and more. (Ed. note: If you have chest pain, see your doctor immediately.)

I'm going to do my best at keeping the list of possible essential oils to a minimum. I have many other favorites that I would never be without, but it would be impossible to list all of them.

One must realize that not every essential oil may work the same on every body for the exact same symptom. Because each one of us has a unique constitution, in my opinion, it is impossible for any one of us to tell another with certainty which oils will "work" for various sets of symptoms or diseases.

Oils do not work like prescriptions (actually prescriptions don't always work like they're supposed to either). The oils can't be used successfully with a Band-Aid approach. If you just want the symptoms to go away and you do nothing else, then a prescription is appropriate. If, on the other hand, you want to resolve those symptoms--have them go away and never come back, you will need to incorporate several different protocols such as evaluating your diet, home, work and play environments, appropriate supplements and yes, essential oils to restore balance to the mind, body and spirit. The holistic approach to health is just that--holistic--incorporating the whole being, not just the part that seems to be causing discomfort at the time. Allopathy, many times, considers only your symptoms and matches them up with a prescription drug to alleviate them.

If you want to use a holistic approach, you have to change your mindset. The oils may or may not be quick fixes. Sometimes they work quickly and bring immediate relief, but not always. And when they don't seem to work the way we want them to, there may be a good reason why.

By the same token, every essential oil is not appropriate for every individual for the same health concern. Your personal chemistry, diet, lifestyle, environment, emotional patterns, prescription meds you may be on, etc. are going to play the determining role in what works for you. Just don't be disappointed if a particular regimen that worked for another doesn't work for you. It doesn't mean the products are bad, it means that your body needs something else--maybe more, maybe less, or maybe a different essential oil completely.

While each and every item may work in different ways for different people, the beautiful part is that the essential oils work! They're worth learning about, studying and incorporating into your daily life.

Here are some essential oils that can go a long way toward treating the most common health problems. Although this is not a super-comprehensive list, it is a good one to start with. Dealing with other specific issues can always come later in the learning curve.

Sore throats

Sore throats generally can be a common symptom of several diseases and are especially common in children. Most sore throats are minor and will cure themselves in a few days. What is needed is a way to relieve the symptoms and prevent the infection from becoming worse. Gargling rinses of salt water and baking soda with a drop of a therapeutic-grade, anti-viral and/or antibacterial essential oil may provide relief and even help kill even the streptococcus bacteria that multiply in the throat. The best way to attack a sore throat is to begin gargling as soon as you feel the first signs (usually a tickle or burning) and continue until the symptoms disappear.

Oils to try might be peppermint, lemon, cinnamon, thyme and oregano.


Essential oils provide us with several treatments for inflammation that allow us to avoid the side effects associated with man-made inflammatory drugs. Inflammation can range from simple soreness after muscular exertion to chronic diseases such as arthritis.

My first choice would be copaiba, which is the strongest known anti-inflammatory essential oil, more so than peppermint. But prior to the days of copaiba being available, peppermint was always the only oil that anybody would grab to help relieve inflammation.


Headaches are a common problem caused by numerous conditions and it can be extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. A recurring headache could signal the existence of something more serious, but tension, dehydration, stuffy or infected sinuses, constipation, or other minor problems cause most headaches.

I always found that peppermint worked very well for those sinus-type headaches, and lavender did the job on the tension/stress-type headaches. Peppermint and lavender have been known to even help with migraine headaches. Although, there is a particular blend of oils especially formulated for migraines that would be my choice if confronted with that issue.

Chronic sinus infections

This condition can be caused by several different conditions also; from fungi to allergies, to simply eating foods that don't agree with your body but don't leave you with allergy symptoms.

Oil of oregano and Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil) are natural products that can help fight fungal infections. Peppermint always gave me tremendous relief from my sinus infections and still to this day, I don't really know what caused my sinus issues, I just know I no longer am plagued by it. However, I know that in using one or two drops of peppermint, lemon oil, and another blend of oils in a teaspoon of honey or agave, I finally rid my body of all sinus issues after about a year (no kidding, that's how long it took). I would start using my "formula" just as quickly as I felt the symptoms and continue until all symptoms were gone. No sinus infections ever set into my body again.


Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus radiata are also very beneficial for opening stuffy sinuses. One drop in the palm of the hands, rubbed together and cupped over the nose, making sure not to touch the eyes, and inhaling helps to open sinuses.

Intestinal gas

Flatulence can be caused by many things: over-eating, eating the wrong foods, or combining foods inappropriately, lack of natural enzymes, and the causes go on and on.

Several drops of peppermint either taken internally in a gelatin capsule or (if it can be tolerated) in a glass of water may help. Applying peppermint topically to the stomach area may also help.

Fennel essential oil has also been known to be beneficial. It has been said that even chewing on fennel seeds can help relieve flatulence. As a precautionary note for nursing mothers, fennel increases the flow of milk (and by the way, this works for animals also). Therefore, if a nursing morn has adequate milk then fennel may not be appropriate. But, and this is a huge warning: peppermint has been known to dry up mother's milk. Nutmeg essential oil may be a wiser choice for nursing moms to try.

Indigestion and heartburn

These conditions are most commonly caused by lifestyle, diet and nutrient deficiencies. Avoiding alcohol, spicy foods and over-the-counter pain medications may alleviate most symptoms.

Lemon juice is one of the best remedies for heartburn. Mix the juice of 1/2 squeezed lemon in 8 oz. water and sip slowly upon awakening each morning. By ingesting lemon juice and/or essential oil, the stomach stops excreting digestive acids, thereby alleviating heartburn or other stomach ailments. Do not take peppermint for heartburn.

Spearmint and ginger may also be helpful for digestive issues. I keep a bottle of ginger essential oil on hand in case I'm unable to get to the store to get a ginger root. Ginger root can be chopped up and made into a tea to be sipped to relieve digestive issues.


Bronchitis is characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tube lining accompanied by a heavy mucus discharge. It can be caused by an infection or exposure to dust, chemicals, air pollution, or cigarette smoke. When bronchitis occurs regularly over a long period (i.e., three months out of the year for several years) it is known as chronic bronchitis. It can eventually lead to emphysema.

Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus radiata, thyme, oregano, and tea tree are a few of the essential oils that may help relieve bronchitis issues.


Poor oral hygiene has not only been linked to bad breath, but also cardiovascular disease. Some of the same bacteria that populate the mouth have now been implicated in arteriosclerosis.

Essential oils make excellent oral antiseptics, analgesics and anti-inflammatories. Clove essential oil has been used in mainstream dentistry for decades to numb the gums and help prevent infections. Similarly menthol (found in peppermint oil), methyl salycilate (found in wintergreen oil), thymol (found in thyme essential oil) and eucalyptol (found in eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils) have been approved as OTC drug products for combating gingivitis and periodontal disease. So keeping a bottle of essential oil on hand would seem to be much safer than OTC drugs with the various constituents synthetically added to the drug.

I always have on hand a bottle of clove, tea tree, wintergreen, Eucalyptus radiata, thyme, and oregano to take care of any tooth and gum issues that may arise.

A precautionary note regarding clove essential oil: If a person is under the care of a doctor with a blood thinner medication, then clove should probably not be used, as it in itself is a blood thinner.


Diarrhea can be a serious health threat if not controlled. Remember to drink plenty of fluids when you have diarrhea to prevent dehydration. You could end up in the hospital--right where you didn't want to be in the first place.

The essential oils that may be helpful to slow down the diarrhea long enough to get help, if needed, or perhaps even stop it completely might be: peppermint, nutmeg, ginger, oregano, clove, and lemon.

Make your list

If you make a listing of the essential oils mentioned above, you will find that many are named over and over again. This can be a good starting place for building your natural home medicine kit. Make a wish list and start purchasing what you can each month.

Many trips to the doctor can be avoided by either practicing prevention or by using a few simple home remedies. Start putting together a home medical kit and continue learning about holistic medicine and prevention. Though there are times when a doctor is needed, there are many other times when we can treat our families and ourselves. Once the health care system is overburdened with millions of additional patients, home treatment will become increasingly important.

If therapeutic-grade essential oils are stored properly they will never go bad. Dried herbs have lost up to 95% of their essential oils and soon become nothing more than fibrous materials. OTC drugs have expiration dates on them and can be risky if used after the expiration date. And most all of us know that synthetic structures in the body will always create unwanted or less than effective outcomes. They do not react in the same way that their natural counterparts do.

Essential oils, if kept in a cool, dark place, will out last you. Essential oils were found in the tomb of King Tut back in 1922, which meant the oils were over 3,500 years old and still perfectly good.


I am not a doctor or medical professional so I cannot by law diagnose or prescribe essential oils. Any of the products or techniques mentioned is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information provided is in no way intended to replace proper medical help.

I can be reached by phone: 719-689-5651, or by email: GentleWinds@hotmail. com. Visit my web site: www.e-oils-4-u. My mailing address is PO Box 8, Guffey, CO 80820. (Please include your phone number in your letter so I can call you.)


COPYRIGHT 2011 Countryside Publications Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Homestead health
Author:Troth, Millie
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2011
Previous Article:Grandly off grid: a livestock barn that goes beyond the bare essentials.
Next Article:Household trespassers: keeping rats, mice, skunks & other interlopers outside.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters