Bright, energizing Peppermint is a universally loved oil suitable for aromatic, topical, and internal use. It has an amazing history! It was so treasured by the Egyptians that it was used as a form of currency and has been found in ancient tombs and pyramids so that it would be available in the afterlife. Jesus referenced the value of peppermint in Luke 11:39, “But woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgement and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”
A Brief History:
The very word “peppermint” has its roots in antiquity. According to Greek mythology, Minthe was a river nymph in the river Hades. The god Hades attempted to seduce Minthe but was caught by his wife Persephone. In her jealous rage, Persephone turned Minthe into a lowly herb that would be walked on. Hades was unable to undo the curse but endowed Minthe with a lovely smell so that she would be fragrant even in her lowly condition. The Romans did in fact use peppermint as a ground cover between paving stones and it has been used in that way ever since.
Peppermint has been extensively studied and researched through the ages. It appeared in medical texts in Iceland in the year 1240. It was documented for dental use and as a pest control during the Middle Ages and eventually showed up in the London Pharmacopoeia in the 1700’s at which point it began to be grown extensively for medicinal purposes. The steam distillation of peppermint began in America in 1846 and to this day the United States produces more than 75% of the world’s supply of peppermint oil!
More modern clinical studies include:
Antitussive (anti-coughing) effects of Peppermint: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7827436?dopt=Abstract
Peppermint and headaches: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7954745
Peppermint and irritable bowel syndrome: http://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a2313
Soooo, how do you use this amazing oil?
- Cook with it! It’s wonderful in hot chocolate, in frosting for brownies, in mocha coffees, and is very refreshing in a glass of water.
- Diffuse or inhale in your palms for a quick pick-me up.
- Diffuse with Lemon and Lavender for seasonal irritations.
- Sip Peppermint water to relieve mild stomach upset or motion sickness. You can also dilute a couple of drops in carrier oil and rub it on your abdomen for intestinal/stomach distress.
- Peppermint can increase retention and focus – try a drop on your tongue, in your water, etc. if you need to increase concentration.
- Peppermint is a “driver” which means that it will increase the effectiveness of other oils when layered on top of them.
- Add to cotton balls and put in the path of pests to deter them naturally.
- Apply a diluted drop to the temples to relieve discomfort there. I like to mix 10 drops each of Peppermint, Lavender, and Frankincense in a roller topped off with carrier oil and apply to the temples and base of my skull. Instant relief!!
- Here are some more great ideas from the Young Living blog. This blog is a wonderful resource. https://www.youngliving.com/blog/all-about-peppermint/