You’ve probably seen someone you used to know tweeting and Instagramming about the miracle of essential oils. And you may have just scrolled right on by without reading about why you simply MUST invest in an essential oil starter kit. I’ll admit, I’ve heard some pretty outrageous claims about the powers of essential oils, all the way down to the promise that you’ll never need to purchase a cleaning product or see a physician again.
I’m not sure about replacing my DIY tile cleaner with oils or deleting my doctor’s number from my phone book, but there is one essential oil that I can totally get on board with: peppermint. I was gifted a vial of the stuff and it wasn’t long before I was finding new and practical uses for it everywhere I looked. Scroll on for seven ways you can add peppermint oil to your routine.
Ways to Use Peppermint Oil
1. To treat my feet. I’m a distance runner, and that means my feet are sore and tired more often than they aren’t. I’ll spare you the intimate details, but let’s just say I’m not stranger to blisters. To thank them for the miles they let me run each day, I like to pamper my piggies once in a while. Before bed, I add a few drops of peppermint oil to my favorite body lotion and coat my heels and toes with the tingly concoction. I can feel the soothing action kick in immediately.
2. To make baths luxurious. Sometimes it’s more than just my feet that ache and needs an at-home spa treatment. I never used to be a fan of bubble baths until I started adding three or four drops of peppermint oil to the tub. That tingly sensation sets in and it feels like my whole body is wrapped in a cooling treatment.
3. To sweeten the air. I have to rely on my forced-air radiators to get through cold east coast winters. Cue dry eyes, dry mouth, dry skin… you get the idea. I finally had to invest in a humidifier, and I’ve taken to adding a few drops of peppermint oil each time I fill the water tank. What I end up with is a super-subtle, yet definitely there, scent of mint in the air (yum). The mentholated mist just makes the air feel lighter.
4. To crush congestion. When I was a kid, we always kept Vicks in the house for whenever someone was congested. A few months ago, I was having trouble falling asleep because of a head cold that kept me tossing and turning. I didn’t have any Vicks around, so I mixed a drop of peppermint oil into my face lotion and smoothed it over the bridge of my nose. It had such an immediate clearing effect that I ended up making a little jar of the homemade mixture, and now I rub it over my nose every night before I go to sleep.
5. To squash snack cravings. The women in my family like to say that peppermint tea is the best thing to drink before or after a meal, because it supposedly kills hunger pangs. I can’t be sure this isn’t just an old wives’ tale, but at the very least, it has a placebo effect on me. When I’m trying to save my appetite for a special dinner or just need to stop feeling snackish, I put a few drops into my water or cup of black tea.
6. To settle my stomach. One claim I can be sure isn’t an old wives’ tale is the one that says peppermint can soothe a sour stomach. I’ve heard that good ol’ peppermint tea works here too, but I found an even better way: a few drops of peppermint oil in my regular body lotion. I smooth it over my stomach and it starts working on contact. This is my secret weapon on the morning before a big race, when I’m always feeling extra butterflies in my belly.
7. To tame a headache. I’m super prone to tension headaches, which can be almost as difficult to clear as migraines. Once I was trying to fight one off and worked some face lotion with peppermint all over my T-zone and onto my temples. The cooling sensation lessened the pounding pain and lifted some of the sinus pressure. I’ve still yet to find something to make a bad headache completely vanish, but peppermint oil is now my first line of defense every time.
Have you ever tried peppermint or another essential oil to feel better? Tweet us your results @britandco!