When we think of mint, a cool fresh and peppery aroma comes to mind. Mint has been utilized and loved by humans for as long as their recorded history. It is said that the mint plant got its name from the ancient Greek mythological figure Minthe. Mint leaves have been found in tombs that date back to 1000BC. There is written record of mint being used in the thirteenth century Icelandic Pharmacopoeias, and a toothpaste was created in the 14th century that used mint to help whiten teeth. Mint originated in Northern Africa and the Mediterranean. The plant slowly made its way to Europe but it wasn’t until the 18th century that people started growing it for medicinal purposes. There are over 600 varieties of mint with three known types extracted for their essential oil, Peppermint, Spearmint and Cornmint.
The most common type of essential oil we see used comes from the peppermint plant. It is known for its cooling sensation and assistance with reducing pain. It aids the respiratory system by acting as a circulatory stimulant, which helps to open airways and increase blood flow. It has antiviral, anti-bacterial and antifungal properties, and is a powerful antispasmodic, antioxidant and astringent. It can be used to increase alertness and calm abdominal spasms. Essential oils should always be diluted when applying them on the skin because they are extremely concentrated. A good dilution ratio for chronic conditions would be a 1-2% and a 3% dilution is acceptable for acute conditions.
Dilution Rates for 1oz / 30ml Carrier Dilution Rates for 2oz / 60ml Carrier
1% = 5-6 Drops 1% = 10-12 Drops
2% = 10-12 Drops 2% = 20-24 Drops
3% = 15-18 Drops 3% = 30-36 Drops
Diluting peppermint is a must because it is powerful and can cause irritation to the mucous membranes. It is not recommend that you use peppermint oil on children under the age of 5 or women who are pregnant and or breast feeding as it can decrease milk supply. It can also cause contraindications for people with heart disorders or those with G6PD deficiency. It is a stimulant therefore it can increase heart rate and potentially raise blood pressure. If you buy products that contain peppermint, make sure these products were created by someone who knows how to properly dilute and blend oils safely. Peppermint has many benefits and it is one of my favorite oils to use for headaches and other sources of pain but I have a deep respect for the power it possesses.
Blend safely and be well ~