What does peppermint oil do for your health? Are there any negative side effects?
Hilda Baumgartner, Hilo, HI
I see you have a lot of questions about what does peppermint oil do. I’ll give you a quick overview here. Peppermint essential oil can treat a wide variety of health problems, from motion sickness to muscle aches. Let’s begin with how it relieves nausea.
For example, if you blend a few drops of peppermint oil with olive or coconut oil, then rub that into your abdomen, it can help you avoid the unpleasantness symptoms of motion sickness. Or if you feel bloated, put a drop of peppermint oil in a little water and drink that to help you recover.
Next, peppermint oil is excellent for relieving pain. If you blend peppermint with lavender, cayenne powder, ginger, beeswax, and coconut oil, you can make an excellent muscle rub recipe. But even just massaging a little peppermint oil directly onto a sore spot will bring you relief.
On any body aches, peppermint has an analgesic effect. It improves circulation and promotes relaxation, so it’s also very good at getting rid of headaches. And if you are congested, you can mix peppermint with eucalyptus to make your own vapor rub.
Finally, if you’re suffering from sunburn, peppermint will ease the sting. And the same goes if you’re suffering from acne or toe fungus. Peppermint fights fungal infections as well as bacteria.
To wrap up, you asked about side effects. If you’ve not used peppermint oil before, start small. Dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut instead of applying it full-strength to your skin. Watch for skin irritation or other aggravated symptoms. And be aware that it may even cause heartburn in some people if taken internally.