All About Peppermint Essential Oil: Uses & FAQ

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Peppermint essential oil has a fresh, minty aroma that is both soothing and stimulating with a variety of everyday uses. It does a phenomenal job aiding in supporting digestion and breathing, cooling and soothing sore muscles, boosting energy, enhancing focus, flavoring delicious deserts, and also helps to reduce stress and nervous tension.

How is peppermint essential oil made?

Peppermint essential oil is created through steam distilling the leaves and stems of the peppermint plant.

Its rich with constituents, like menthone, 1,8-cineole, isomenthone, and pulegone, that have incredible health benefits (if you're like me and thrive on information, you won't want to miss the chance to click on those links or Google those constituent names… really interesting science!!).

Peppermint EO is historically used for supporting the digestive and respiratory systems, and has been studied by Alan Hirsch, MD, for its ability to directly affect the brain's ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus, which triggers the sensation of feeling full after eating.

Safety precautions for peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil is considered a “hot oil.” This means that you absolutely need to dilute peppermint before applying it to your skin.

Peppermint essential oil should NOT be used on children under 6. Spearmint essential oil is a good substitute for peppermint if you need a DIY blend using peppermint for your child. Spearmint offers similar results but is much gentler (though should also be diluted).

I recommend diluting 1 drop per ml of carrier oil of your choice.

A carrier oil can be any cold-pressed, seed-based oil (ideally organic and unrefined). This includes most cooking oil, like coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil. Personally, we LOVE using sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, and the V6 Carrier oil (made by Young Living). This is the best way to dilute your essential oils for topical use.

DO NOT mix peppermint essential oil with water! Oil and water don't mix, and the water will make any discomfort more intense if peppermint is not applied diluted or diluted enough.

DO NOT use peppermint essential oil on any sensitive areas of your body, in your ears, or in your eyes.

If you do get peppermint essential oil in your eyes, or undiluted on your skin… rinse that area with your favorite carrier oil. DO NOT FLUSH WITH WATER.

Our favorite uses and benefits for peppermint essential oil

Literally, the uses available for peppermint essential oil are virtually unlimited.

  • You can apply it to your body – just be sure to dilute it first with your favorite carrier oil
  • You can diffuse it in an essential oil diffuser
  • Wear it in diffusing jewelry
  • Dilute it and add it to some of your favorite culinary creations
  • You may add it to your shampoo to help support hair growth
  • You may add it to your favorite face moisturizer or sugar scrub

I personally LOVE wearing diffuser necklaces and occasionally wear diffusing bracelets. You can find my favorite beautiful diffusing jewelry mentioned in our guide to diffusing jewelry.

We've curated a list for you that outlines our favorite uses for peppermint essential oil… and hope you enjoy them as much as we have!!

How to use peppermint essential oil to increase your energy and focus

  • Diffuse some in the morning or during the afternoon slump for a quick pick-me-up
  • Dilute with a carrier oil and rub on your temples and the back of your neck to help enhance focus, increase energy, and refresh your day.
  • Diffuse, sniff out of the bottle, or dilute a drop and swipe some under your nose to help you focus and help motivate you.

When I'm driving and am not able to dilute peppermint (and don't have a diffuser to use), I add a drop of peppermint essential oil to the collar of my shirt or sweatshirt.

Our favorite DIY diffuser blends for focus and energy that feature peppermint essential oil

  • 2 drops each: peppermint, lemon, and rosemary
  • 2 drops peppermint, 4 drops lemon
  • 1 drop peppermint, 2 drops lavender, 2 drops lemon
  • 2 drops each: peppermint and orange
  • 2 drops each: peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus
  • 1 drop each peppermint and eucalyptus with 2 drops of orange

You can use these same blends in a 5ml roller bottle. To make a 10ml roller bottle, double the drops suggested. If you're making a 15ml roller bottle, triple the drop suggestions. Then fill your roller bottle the rest of the way with your favorite cold-pressed seed carrier oil.

Need empty bottles? You can order them from any bottle supply shop that offers essential oil bottles or even off Amazon. Personally, we save our old essential oil bottles, remove the labels, and reuse the bottles with a roller fitment. On occasion, we indulge in a YL branded roller bottle (they're so pretty). To reuse your bottles, ensure they are clean by soaking the empty bottle disassembled in boiling water for at least 15 minutes. Then let dry. Need a fun roller bottle?

How to use peppermint essential oil to relieve stress

  • Use either way as described above to help reduce stress and support your nervous system.
  • Ease stress headaches by inhaling peppermint essential oil – or dilute and apply it to the back of your neck(this study about easing headaches is quite intriguing too)

Support your digestion using peppermint essential oil

  • Dilute and rub over your abdominal area to help ease gas.
  • Dilute and rub over your abdominal area to help soothe digestive upset.
  • Diffusing peppermint essential oil or applying diluted to your abdomen, helps your body regulate your digestive tract to function normally.
  • Diffuse to crush those emotional food cravings.
  • Use as directed above to help stop the hiccups.
  • Diffuse or dilute and apply peppermint essential oil to your abdomen to help reduce nausea
  • Diffuse or dilute and apply peppermint essential oil to support regularity in your bathroom needs, especially during those stressful moments that trigger IBS.

Support your breathing with peppermint essential oil

Peppermint is a wonderful tool to help you support your upper respiratory system

  • Diffuse alone, or with other oils to help you breathe more clearly
  • Dilute with your favorite carrier oil and rub over your chest to help clear your sinuses and breathe easier
  • Dilute and apply to your chest or neck to help invigorate your breathing when waking up or while working out

Exercise more efficiently with peppermint essential oil

  • Add a few drops to some carrier oil to soothe and cool sore muscles – when applying prior to working out, you may reduce muscle soreness post fitness routine.
  • Diffuse or apply diluted to your temples or the back of your neck to support your breathing
  • Add a few drops in an atomizer to create a cooling peppermint mist, perfect for summertime and workouts

Deter pests with peppermint essential oil

  • Deter ants, spiders, and mice by adding a drop of peppermint essential oil to a cotton ball (or spritz an area with a few drops shaken in a spray bottle filled with water).
  • DIY Your own Outdoor Spray: 8oz glass bottle, 6oz witch hazel, 1 cap of Thieves Cleaner, 10 drops Purification essential oil blend, 10 drops each of peppermint and citronella essential oils, and 5 drops each of rosemary and kunzea essential oils

My personal experience using peppermint essential oil for pests:

We had a major spider problem on our front porch that made using our front door impossible. Our porch was covered and went the full length of our home. I made a spray with a pinch of salt, an ounce of vodka, 60 drops of peppermint essential oil, filled the rest with distilled water, and used that to spray every surface (top and bottom) of our covered porch. The next morning all the spiders were gone!

A few years later we moved to a house that I swear was built on an anthill. Ants were everywhere every time it rained. They literally were everywhere. I sprayed our kitchen and living room with the same mix of peppermint essential oil… sometimes clove essential oil. It worked like a charm. Each time the ants came in, that would deter them real quick. Finally, we learned that food-grade diatomaceous earth helps get rid of them permanently, so after getting them out of our home with peppermint essential oil, we surrounded our home with a dusting of diatomaceous earth and have yet to have a problem 3 years later.

Add peppermint essential oil to your skin or hair care routine

  • Use peppermint essential oil in your shampoo or conditioner to help support hair growth
  • Add peppermint essential oil to your favorite sugar scrub recipe for a cool tingling sensation (perfect for waking up in the morning)
  • Use peppermint essential oil to create your own DIY cooling spray (perfect for hot flashes or summer weather)
  • Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a cup of Epsom salts, and sprinkle into a hot bath to invigorate your senses, energize, recover from an exhausting day, and destress
  • Add a few drops of peppermint and lavender essential oils to aloe vera and rub on a sunburn to help cool and soothe your stressed skin

Peppermint essential oil is a fantastic choice to add to your hair care routine. It makes your scalp tingle, helps you feel fresh, and gives your morning a jump in energy.

I've honestly not felt the need for coffee in the mornings when I started using a shampoo with peppermint in it (this is the lavender-mint shampoo I use), and a mint face scrub.

After having my kids, I noticed my hair was thinning. I started adding peppermint, rosemary, and lavender to my shampoo (when not using my lavender mint shampoo), and letting it sit in my hair while doing the rest of my shower routine. Then rinsing. Within a week, I noticed my hair was thickening again, and growing faster. I loved the tingling sensations too. So much fun!

Add peppermint essential oil to your cleaning routine

Peppermint essential oil has been found to have many properties in it that complement cleaning products. Plus it's sometimes nice to add some mint aroma to your routine.

We sometimes add a few drops to our favorite nontoxic cleaner when diluting it. You can also add a few drops (or peppermint leaves) to a vinegar spray.

Use Peppermint Vitality essential oil in your cooking, baking, and drinks

  • Add 2 drops to the oil before mixing it into your brownie batter for a fresh change on brownies
  • Add a couple of drops when mixing frosting for cakes or cupcakes for a fun burst of flavor
  • Replace the peppermint extract in your recipes with a drop of Peppermint Vitality essential oil.

My family LOVES when I add a few drops of Peppermint essential oil to my homemade brownies. The last time I skipped the peppermint, my husband and our oldest son decided that I no longer loved them. Peppermint is also lovely to add to homemade fudge (or really anything homemade chocolate), and mocktails.

Essential oils that blend best with peppermint:

Peppermint blends well with most oils. These are the main oils we've loved to blend with peppermint:

  • Basil
  • Bergamot
  • Citronella
  • Clove
  • Copaiba
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Grapefruit
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon Myrtle
  • Lime
  • Marjoram
  • Myrrh
  • Orange
  • Rosemary
  • Tea Tree
  • Thyme
  • Vetiver

Energizing oils to compliment peppermint and help you put an energetic spring back in your step:

  • Rosemary, Clary sage, Bergamot, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Spearmint, Tea tree, Cypress, Pine, Lemon, Basil, Grapefruit, Ginger

Frequently Asked Questions about Peppermint Essential Oil

We receive a lot of questions from our members, customers, and leaders about essential oils, how to use them, and when to use them. We love helping, and noticed many questions are repeated… and remember asking the same questions when we started using oils, so we thought we'd add some of the most asked questions so you have a great resource available to you.

Is it safe to use peppermint essential oil to make tea?

peppermint essential oil and peppermint tea are a bit different. Tea is made by steeping tea leaves into hot water. I do not recommend doing the same with peppermint essential oil because essential oils and water DO NOT MIX. Your oils will float at the top of your mug of water.

If you want to add peppermint essential oil to your tea, please dilute it first in something like an edible carrier oil or honey. If you're looking for a quality peppermint tea, I highly recommend this one from Oola.

What is the main use of peppermint essential oil?

This really depends on who you talk to. For me, we often use peppermint essential oil infused with avocado oil to use in brownies and pancakes (my sons LOVE chocolate chip pancakes with some peppermint oil in them). We also diffuse lavender, lemon, and peppermint all the time.

Many people I talk with mostly diffuse it when they work or study, or in their car to help them stay more alert while driving.

Is peppermint oil and peppermint essential oil the same?

This depends on your perspective. Technically peppermint oil is a cooking or massage oil infused with peppermint. Though many essential oil users refer to peppermint essential oil as peppermint oil. So yes… and no… depending on who you're talking to and the context.

Can you use peppermint essential oil in a nebulizer?

You may use peppermint essential oil in a diffusing nebulizer… but I don't recommend using any essential oil in a breathing nebulizer used for medical purposes without being under the guidance of a medical professional.

Can peppermint essential oil give you fresh breath?

Yes! It is wonderful to add to your oil-pulling routine, toothpaste, or mouthwash to help enhance that beloved minty freshness to your breath.

Is peppermint essential oil safe for dogs or cats?

I would keep peppermint away from cats unless you're under the direction of a vet who is knowledgeable in essential oils.

There are some moments when peppermint can be used on dogs. Please never use peppermint undiluted.

If you’re using essential oils around your family pets, be sure to allow them to access out of the room and into a room where you’re not diffusing. This way they’re able to escape when they feel they’ve had enough.

Please also consider picking up a reference guide specific to using essential oils with animals. There are also reference guides specific to Young Living’s oils too.

Is peppermint essential oil safe for pregnancy, breastfeeding mothers, or babies?

I do not recommend pregnant women use peppermint essential oil unless under the direct care of a health professional with in-depth knowledge of essential oils and essential oil safety.

Peppermint MAY reduce your milk supply, so if you're breastfeeding please wait until your supply is steady before using peppermint. You may want to avoid peppermint while breastfeeding. I personally didn't have any issues with breastfeeding and using peppermint, but many women have.

Peppermint is way too strong of oil to use on babies or younger children. I only recommend lavender and frankincense on babies. For children over 2, we use spearmint instead of peppermint.

Where do you buy quality peppermint essential oil?

I STRONGLY suggest you know the company that makes your oils, how the plants are cared for, what they do for distilling, how and how many times each batch is tested (and when), and their bottling processes. Many companies throw out fancy language for marketing purposes, but actually have no clue how their oils are made because the oils come from a broker (which are almost always diluted in solvents). Transparency is key.

Warning: DO NOT purchase your oils through Amazon or similar websites!

Any website that allows anyone to sell on, such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart… etc… are terrible places to purchase essential oils. While you may get a “good deal,” knowing who you're purchasing from is difficult. There are many counterfeit essential oils being sold that are causing health ailments, major skin reactions, and a lot of misery. These are NOT high quality essential oils. They are fakes being sold purely for profit.

I also do NOT recommend purchasing from grocery stores, Walmart, Target, department stores, or drug stores. Many of the brands found at those stores have been proven to not actually contain any essential oil (which is perfectly legal to do).

I highly encourage you to check out our How To Find Quality Essential Oils post for in-depth information about why quality matters, and what to look for.

Where we purchase our essential oils, and why

We purchase our oils through Young Living because they set a higher standard for essential oils than what the rest of the industry expects. Their Seed to Seal guarantee is unmatched, and shows their dedication to a farm-to-table type of approach. This company has proven to me time and time again to be the closest thing out there to buying from your local farmer. They are totally transparent in their processes, and even open their farms so you can see for yourself (or involve yourself in the process).

What are your favorite uses for peppermint essential oil?

We would absolutely love to hear about your favorite uses for peppermint essential oil. Let us know in the comments below!SaveSave

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