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Health Benefits of Peppermint

If you are looking to dip your toe into the waters of herbal goodness, peppermint is an easy place to start. This herb has many uses and is readily available in your grocery store, from your favorite essential oil company, and ready to plant from your local nursery.

Health Benefits of Peppermint

Peppermint is antimicrobial, which means it’s great for fighting off a cold. It helps clear your sinuses because it has some powerful menthol action happening. It calms the stomach by reducing indigestion and gas. It acts as a gentle muscle relaxant, which allows it to ease tension headaches and menstrual cramps. Peppermint has a cooling action that is great for fever and hot flashes. It can boost your energy and ability to focus, and, it contains a chemical proven to help reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies.

You must agree, that’s quite the list!!!

Want to learn more about peppermint? Check out this article.


1) Peppermint can relax the esophageal sphincter. If you suffer from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease, a.k.a. acid reflux or chronic heartburn) you should not drink peppermint tea or take peppermint internally via oil or capsule.

2) More is rarely better when it comes to any remedy, herbal or over-the-counter. Don’t overdo it. A little peppermint eases gastrointestinal symptoms, but too much causes them.

3) If using an essential oil, remember that peppermint oil is super strong. If your skin is sensitive, mix it with a carrier oil like almond oil or coconut oil. Once you get peppermint oil on your hands, be very careful to avoid touching your eyes, face, or other sensitive body parts!

Note: the best way to remove a strong oil from your hands (peppermint, or the oil from chopping hot peppers) is to pour some cooking oil onto your hands and rub it around to help dissolve the hot oil, then wash your hands well with an oil-removing soap like Dawn dish soap. Repeat a couple of times.

How to Use Peppermint

TEA: The easiest and safest way to use peppermint is as a tea. Tea can be made with dried or fresh leaves from a peppermint plant. If you don’t have peppermint growing in your herb garden (and why don’t you?), you can easily find peppermint tea at your local grocery store.

A cup of peppermint tea is perfect if your stomach is feeling a little off, you are suffering from cold or allergy symptoms, after a big meal, as an afternoon drink, when you have a headache, or when you just want a warm noncaffeinated drink. Most people agree you can safely drink 2-3 cups of peppermint tea a day without any issues (unless you have issues with heartburn! See the WARNINGs above).

ESSENTIAL OIL: You can rub peppermint oil directly on your belly for upset stomach, put a small drop on your thumb and touch it to the far back roof of your mouth* to clear your sinuses (and freshen your breath) or rub a small amount on your temples and base of your skull to treat a headache. (Again, watch out for your eyes).

*Know your essential oil – only use therapeutic-grade essential oils approved for internal consumption.

Diffuser: Diffuse peppermint essential oils for the nice smell, to help you focus, or to treat a headache.

Body Spray: Mixing a few drops of peppermint essential oil with some water and a splash of vodka makes a great body spray to treat hot flashes. A couple of spritzes on the back of your neck can help cool you down.

COMPRESS: Make peppermint tea and allow it to cool. Soak a rag in the tea and then place it on the forehead or back of the neck to treat a headache.

JUST EAT IT: Use a little fresh peppermint in lettuce salads, in tabouli, or in homemade tzatziki.

What About Spearmint?

If you find peppermint to be too strong or you suffer from GERD, spearmint can be an acceptable replacement. It isn’t quite as potent, but it does have many of the same qualities, just toned down a bit. Spearmint has not been shown to affect the esophageal sphincter, so it should not cause or aggravate heartburn.

What is your favorite way to use peppermint? Let me know in the comments!

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1 Comment

Apr 21, 2023

Thank you for sharing the warnings and benefits of peppermint. I didn't know this. Great information.

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