Peppermint smells and tastes cool and refreshing. Peppermint candies freshen breath and aid in digestion after meals. Peppermint oil, extracted from the herb, has many uses from pest control to poison ivy relief. It is not well known as a treatment for skin problems but is effective if used properly.
Here are some uses for this oil as treatment for the skin:
- Mix a drop of this oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or almond oil, and then rub the mixture onto itchy, irritated skin to relieve dermatitis. It also will relieve the redness and itching of acne.
- Add several drops to your bath for relief of widespread itching and irritation.
- To cool sunburned skin, add a drop of peppermint oil to a carrier oil and apply it to your skin. You also can add the oil and carrier mix to a spray bottle of water and mist it onto itchy, painful areas.
- You can massage the oil, undiluted, on bruises and closed injuries to reduce pain and inflammation. Do not apply the oil to open wounds. It can be rubbed on the skin around a wound.
- Apply the oil, diluted or undiluted, to areas of poison ivy or poison oak to relieve itching and promote healing.
- Use a cotton ball to dab peppermint oil onto itchy bug bites, ringworm, and scabies.
- Rub the oil on joints to ease the pain of arthritis or tendonitis.
Always do a small patch test to check for allergies to any essential oil you want to use. These oils come directly from the plants and are not changed in any way. If you have any plant or flower allergies, do the test. Also, do not use essential oils on infants or small children. They can be especially sensitive.
Talk to your doctor before using any essential oil if you have epilepsy, cardiac fibrillation, cancer, or liver damage.