Welcoming Winter

Winter is a time of turning inward and reflection.  Sitting on the cusp of the New Year, it is a time to set your intentions, to plant seeds, to hibernate and sleep more, to dream.
Winter in the mountains is also play time.  I get to feel my inner otter and glide on snow, slide down hillsides, and frolic in the snow.  I love how bright and sparkling it can be.  I especially appreciate the quiet hush that a new blanket of snow brings to the landscape.
By the way, the little critter on the top of this post is an Ermine.  We had an awesome encounter with those black sparkling eyes and the black tip of a tail while hiking one day.  Such wild beauty.

In all honesty, winter for me is my crazy time.  Being both a manufacturer and a retailer, it gets wild.  I get moments of calmness, and I strive to create moments of deep nourishment.  Yoga, a cross-country ski, a walk in the woods, star gazing on a crystal clear night, cooking dinner with my girl, these are the things that sustain me. Tea also sustains me on those dark winter nights.  Tea is a great way to not only warm you, but it also offers deep nourishment for your organs and your skin.  It’s like brewing a cup of magic.

You are what you eat.  You may also know that the skin is the largest organ of the body, and what you put on your skin goes into your body. Drinking many of these ingredients that we use as herbal teas offer deep nourishment for your organs and your skin as well as basic hydration.  Here are a few of my skin care favorites that are also delicious as tea:

Green Tea

Now the “it” ingredient in the skincare world, green tea both externally and internally offers EGCG a powerful anti-inflammatory.  Also rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, green tea help to protect the skin from sun exposure and clogged pores.  Try it ground topically as an infused oil, ground as a mild exfoliator, or as a tea in a toner.  Green tea has caffeine.  If you are sensitive, avoid this ingredient for your tea.

Ginger

One of my favorite plants, ginger root is excellent freshly grated and added to hot water with lemon for a grounding, spicy tea.  Ginger stimulates circulation and is warming.  This aids in detoxification of the skin and the elimination organs of the body.  As part of a tea blend, Ginger is not only delicious but acts as a spicy fixative for your tea blend.

Dandelion

High in minerals, dandelion is incredibly supportive to the liver and kidneys, so therefore supportive to clear skin.  Dandelion root in your tea is both delicious and nutritious.  Add it roasted for a darker, coffee flavored addition to your tea blend.  Or skip the coffee altogether and drink dandelion root tea.

Nettle

Specific to dark, boggy places, nettles thrive in places that other plants don’t.  High in trace minerals, this earthy, verdant herb adds a touch of greenness to your blend and so much nutrition.  This plant is a powerful blood purifier and will aid in detoxification of your organs and pores.  Nettles infused overnight and consumed the next day will yield the most potent plant medicine.

Oat Straw

“Feeling your oats” is an expression that comes from this plant’s ability to strengthen and nourish your being.  High in calcium and silica, oats are a great choice for your tea to help strengthen thinning skin and hair.

Rosehips

One of my favorite plants, the hip of the rose is the poster child of feminine beauty and curvaceousness.  Also high in vitamin C and flavonoids, this addition to your tea is not only delicious but strengthening.

Chamomile

I feel relaxed just writing about chamomile.  As a tea, chamomile can be incredibly calming.  For the skin, it can also calm inflammation and skin issues like rashes and eczema.  Use chamomile in a tea blend or make a compress out of a wet tea bag and apply to the skin topically.

Spearmint

This exuberant plant can be a powerful ally for acne and clogged pores.  Steep spearmint in a blend or use full strength.  I also like to brew a cup too and use it as facial steam, leaning over my cup and deep breathing and letting my pores open to its magical goodness.

Elderberry

One of the biggest anti-viral remedies available, I toss in dried elderberries to most teas that I make at this time of year.  Also high in vitamin C, elderberries impart a delicious fruitiness to your tea and add great color.  Elderberries are balancing to the skin and help to strengthen and even skin tone.

Orange Peel

I think of the energetics of orange as a great big hug.  If you think about the skin of an orange, the rough outer protects a voluptuous and juicy inner.  Choose orange peel not only for added flavor but the ability to protect over exposed skin and allowing the juicy you to unfold.

A Natural Thickener and Emulsifier for Skin and Hair Care: Guar Gum

WHAT IS GUAR GUM?

Guar Gum, known by various names including Goma Guar, Gauran Goma Guar, and Gomme Guar, is a natural fiber derived from the Indian Cyamopsis tetragonolobus botanical, better known as the Guar Plant. Its name is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “food for cows.”

Guar Gum is obtained by grinding the seed tissue of the Guar plant’s beans, which are also called Cluster Beans and Siam Beans. The resultant natural gum is a polysaccharide that is commonly added to cosmetic formulations to emulsify and stabilize them, to act as a suspending agent, and to enhance the thickness of their consistencies, which also helps adjust their textures. Guar Gum Raw Material is a soft, fine, off-white, water-soluble powder.

HOW DOES GUAR GUM WORK?

With emulsifying properties, Guar Gum combines equally well with both solids and liquids, helping to contribute thickness and fluffiness to a formula, thereby changing them into pastes. For this reason, it is commonly found in toothpaste, as it helps to facilitate the extraction of the product from the tube with minimal pressure. The benefits of Guar Gum, when compared to other thickening agents, is that it can be added to aqueous solutions without the need for prior heating. Also, due to its thickening effectiveness, only tiny amounts of Guar Gum are needed to enhance a product’s consistency. Guar Gum’s surfactant quality helps to enhance lather, making it ideal for use in soaps. In shaving products, it helps decrease friction for easier use of razors, and its exceptional conditioning ability helps to soften both skin and hair. Guar Gum is also reputed to extend the shelf life of various skincare products.

GUAR GUM SOLUBILITY

To add Guar Gum to cosmetics formulations, it must first be hydrated with water of any temperature (cool, room temperature, warm, hot). Begin by churning water with a high-shear mixer and pouring the gum in slowly until it is fully incorporated into the vortex. After it is fully hydrated and viscous, it can then be added to the recipe in its water phase. Alternatively, it may be added to the recipe after all the phases have been combined. The final product should ideally have a pH level between 5.0 and 9.0.

GUAR GUM USES

PRODUCT TYPE & FUNCTION
When added to this kind of formulation…

Creams, Lotions,

Shampoos, Conditioners,

Lipsticks, Deodorants,

Face Masks, Shaving Products,

Ointments,

Bar Soaps, Liquid Soaps

EFFECTS
Guar Gum functions as a(n):

  • Emulsifier
  • Stabilizer
  • Thickener
  • Moisturizer
  • Softener
  • Conditioner
  • Whitening agent

 

It helps to:

  • Increase product viscosity
  • Lubricate and improve product glide on the skin
  • Prevent water loss
  • Prevent the loss of any other liquid from a gel formulation (known as “syneresis”)
  • Suspend solid particles
  • Extend the product shelf life
  • Condition hair and skin for improved suppleness
  • Improve hair manageability by reducing tangling in both wet and dry strands
  • Restore the skin’s natural moisture
  • Soften the skin to reduce irritation, cracking, and peeling
  • Lift and remove dirt
  • Soothe skin
  • Hydrate the hair and scalp to protect against dryness
  • Prevent frizz, create a protective layer against environmental pollutants, reduce static electricity
  • Prevent a buildup of polymers in hair

The recommended maximum dosage is .5%-2%

Guar Gum Raw Material is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this gum for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women, as well as those with sensitive skin, GI obstructions, an allergy to soy, or who are undergoing surgery, are especially advised not to use Guar Gum Raw Material without the medical advice of a physician. This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Prior to using Guar Gum Raw Material, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by thoroughly dissolving 1 tsp Guar Gum in 1 tsp of water and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Guar Gum must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Guar Gum include low blood sugar, skin irritation, bloating, flatulence, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

A Gentle Surfactant and Emulsifier: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate {SCI}

WHAT IS SODIUM COCOYL ISETHIONATE?

Commonly known as Baby Foam due to its exceptional mildness, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate Raw Material is a surfactant that is comprised of a type of sulphonic acid called Isethionic Acid as well as the fatty acid – or sodium salt ester – obtained from Coconut Oil. It is a traditional substitute for sodium salts that are derived from animals, namely sheep and cattle.

SODIUM COCOYL ISETHIONATE BENEFITS

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate exhibits high foaming ability, producing a stable, rich and velvety lather that does not dehydrate the skin, making it ideal for adding to water-free products as well as skin care, hair care, and bath products. This high-performance surfactant, which is equally effective in both hard and soft water, is a popular choice for addition to liquid shampoos and bar shampoos, liquid soaps and bar soaps, bath butters and bath bombs, and to shower gels, to name a few foaming products.

This lightly-scented and conditioning cleansing agent is gentle enough for use on the delicate skin of babies, making it an ideal surfactant for makeup as well as personal care products and natural toiletries. Its emulsifying property, which allows water and oil to mix, makes it a popular ingredient in soaps and shampoos, as it encourages dirt to attach itself to them, which in turn makes it easier for it to be washed away. Its deluxe foaming capacity and conditioning effects leave the hair and skin feeling hydrated, soft, and silky-smooth.

USES OF SODIUM COCOYL ISETHIONATE

To incorporate Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate into a formulation, it is recommended that the chips be crushed prior to melting, as this helps to increase their melting rate. Next, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate must be heated slowly on low heat in order to allow for easy mixing with other surfactants. It is recommended that the surfactant phase is mixed using a high shear stick blender. This approach helps to prevent the excess foaming that could potentially occur if the stick blender is used to mix all ingredients together at once. Finally, the surfactant mixture can be added to the rest of the formulation.

 

PRODUCT TYPE & FUNCTION EFFECTS
When added to this kind of formulation…

Liquid Soap

Shampoo

Shower Gel

Baby Products

 

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate functions as a(n):

  • Cleanser
  • Foaming Agent
  • Emollient
  • Moisturizer
  • Conditioner
  • Softener

 

It helps to:

  • Lift and remove dirt
  • Hydrate the hair and skin to protect against dryness
  • Create rich, foaming lather
  • Prevent frizz
  • Increase product viscosity
  • Moisturize, condition, and soften
  • Reduce tangling

 

The recommended maximum dosage is 10-15%

When added to these kinds of formulations…

Bar Soap

Bath Bombs

Foaming Bath Butter/Bath Whip/Cream Soap

Bubble Bars

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate functions as a(n):

  • Moisturizer
  • Emollient
  • Cleanser
  • Softener
  • Conditioner
  • Foaming Agent

 

It helps to:

  • Emulsify formulations and increase their viscosity, which contributes a creamier texture
  • Lift and remove dirt
  • Soothe skin
  • Hydrate, condition, and soften the skin to reduce irritation, cracking, and peeling

 

The recommended maximum dosage is 3%-20%

IS SODIUM COCOYL ISETHIONATE SAFE?

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate Raw Material is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this product for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women, as well as those with sensitive skin, are especially advised not to use Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate Raw Material without the medical advice of a physician. This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Prior to using Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate Raw Material, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by melting 1 Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate chip in 1 ml of a preferred Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate include eye irritation and lung irritation. It is highly recommended that protective gloves, masks, and goggles be worn any time this product is handled.

In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

IMPORTANT:  For external use only unless otherwise indicated. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and it should not be used by anyone who is pregnant or under the care of a medical practitioner.

 

A Skin-Friendly Multi-Purpose Material: Cetyl Alcohol

WHAT IS CETYL ALCOHOL?

It is common for Cetyl Alcohol to be wrongly understood as the type of alcohol that has drying effects on the skin, such as rubbing alcohol; however, on the contrary, Cetyl Alcohol is skin-friendly with hydrating, conditioning, and softening properties that benefit both skin and hair. It is an alcohol that is derived from a fat, such as a vegetable oil like Coconut Oil or Palm Oil; hence it is also called Palmityl Alcohol. Not to be mistaken for Ethyl Alcohol – the main ingredient in alcoholic beverages – Cetyl Alcohol receives its name from the Latin word cetus, meaning “whale oil,” as this was the substance from which Cetyl Alcohol was first obtained. Cetyl Alcohol Raw Material is available in the form of unscented flakes or pellets that, at room temperature, are waxy in texture and white in color.

HOW DOES CETYL ALCOHOL WORK?

When Cetyl Alcohol is added to natural cosmetic preparations, it functions as an agent that helps homogenize components that naturally separate (emulsifier), as a soothing lubricant (emollient), as a thickener, as an opacifier, and as a carrier for other ingredients in a formula. These stabilizing properties ensure that the oils and water remain combined, thus promoting an ideal, smooth texture that ultimately gives the final product an easy glide on the skin or hair.

Cetyl_Alcohol_CaptionImage

BENEFITS OF CETYL ALCOHOL

It contributes to their thickness and volume while enhancing their textures and spreadability. Furthermore, by helping the skin retain moisture, it promotes softness and smoothness.

APPLICATIONS FOR CETYL ALCOHOL

Cetyl Alcohol must be added to formulations in their heated oil phases. The higher the concentration of Cetyl Alcohol, the thicker the end product will be.

 

PRODUCT TYPE & FUNCTION EFFECTS
When added to this kind of formulation…

Shampoo/Conditioner

Cetyl Alcohol works as a…

  • Moisturizer
  • Opacifier
  • Softener

It helps to…

  • Hydrate hair to protect against dryness
  • Prevent frizz
  • Boost the formulation’s foaming capacity
  • Enhance the conditioning agent’s adherence to hair
  • Make products opaque in appearance
  • Reduce tangling
  • Increase viscosity

The recommended maximum dosage is… 6%

When added to this kind of formulation…

Makeup

Cetyl Alcohol works as a…

  • Opacifier
  • Softener
  • Emollient

It helps to…

  • Soften skin
  • Balance and sustain the skin’s moisture levels without leaving a greasy residue
  • Keep makeup on the skin, rather than allowing it to fall off

The recommended maximum dosage is… 0.5-10%

When added to this kind of formulation…

Moisturizer 

Face Wash 

Face Mask/Peel

Body Wash/Gel

Cetyl Alcohol works as a…

  • Opacifier
  • Thickener
  • Co-emulsifier Emollient
  • Softener
  • Moisturizer

It helps to…

  • Co-emulsify in order to thicken formulations, which contributes a creamier texture
  • Enhance the foaming capacity of non-aqueous liquids, such as lotions
  • Increase viscosity
  • Soothe skin
  • Create an oily layer on the skin’s surface, which helps it retain water
  • Stabilize foaming properties in surfactants
  • Hydrate and soften the skin to reduce irritation, cracking, and peeling
  • Thicken the consistency of gels

The recommended maximum dosage is…

Body Lotion: 3%

Face Cream: 6%

Face Wash: 6%

Face Mask: 6%

Body Wash: 6%

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR CETYL ALCOHOL

Cetyl Alcohol Raw Material is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women, as well as those with sensitive skin, are especially advised not to use Cetyl Alcohol Raw Material without the medical advice of a physician. This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Prior to using Cetyl Alcohol Raw Material, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by melting 1 Cetyl Alcohol pellet in 1 ml of a preferred Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Cetyl Alcohol must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Cetyl Alcohol include irritation, stinging, burning, redness, or inflammation. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

An Eco-Friendly Surfactant for Cosmetics and Skin Care: Coco Glucoside

WHAT IS COCO GLUCOSIDE?

When Glucose – sugar and starch from wheat or corn – reacts chemically with the fatty alcohols derived from Coconut Oil, the result is Coco Glucoside: a natural, gentle, and environmentally-friendly cleansing agent and surfactant (a title that is the shortened version of the term “Surface Active Agent”). Coco Glucoside may also result from the combination of Glucose and Palm Oil derivatives.

COCO-GLUCOSIDE BENEFITS

Sourced from Coconut Oil, this soothing raw material is reputed to exhibit similar qualities, such as its non-greasy hydrating properties, which cleanse the skin while its conditioning property prevents it from drying out. When added to hair products, this conditioning ability helps to smooth out the strands, making them more manageable.

With ultra-gentle cleansing properties, Coco Glucoside is well-suited to all skin types and makes an ideal addition to mild formulations for natural products that are especially intended for sensitive skin. These may include toiletries, skin care, hair care, and personal hygiene products, even those meant for the delicate skin of babies as well as for acne-prone complexions.

Known for exhibiting extraordinary foaming properties, Coco Glucoside produces a highly-pleasing and stable foam, making it an ideal addition to foaming bath products, such as bubble baths and shampoos. Being compatible with all other surfactants, it can be mixed as a co-surfactant without risking the stability, performance, or the foaming and cleansing capacity of the final product. It easily allows for a natural preparation to be thickened while maintaining the gentleness and efficacy of the resultant formulation.

When added to soaps, Coco Glucoside’s emulsifying property prompts oil and water to combine, thereby making it easier for oily residue found on the skin or hair to attach to soap and water, leaving the body cleansed of any grease without stripping away its natural oils.

COCO-GLUCOSIDE USES

Coco Glucoside must be added to formulations in their surfactant or water phases. The recommended maximum usage amount is 45%.

 

PRODUCT TYPE & FUNCTION EFFECTS
When added to these kinds of formulations…

Face Wash

Cleansing Milk

Acne Treatments

Baby Products

 

Coco Glucoside functions as a(n):

  • Moisturizer
  • Conditioner
  • Thickener
  • Co-emulsifier
  • Emollient
  • Softener
  • Cleanser
  • Foaming agent

 

It helps to:

  • Emulsify formulations and increase their viscosity, which contributes a creamier texture
  • Lift and remove dirt
  • Soothe and condition the skin
  • Help the skin retain water
  • Hydrate and soften the skin to reduce irritation, cracking, and peeling
  • Contribute foaming properties

 

The recommended maximum dosages are:

Face Wash/Cleansing Milk/Acne Treatments: 10%-25%

Shower Gel: 15%-30%

Bubble Bath: 15%-30%

Baby Products: 15%-25%

 

When added to these kinds of formulations…

Shampoo

Body Scrub

Liquid Soap

Coco Glucoside functions as a(n):

  • Moisturizer
  • Conditioner
  • Thickener
  • Co-emulsifier
  • Emollient
  • Softener
  • Cleanser
  • Foaming agent

 

It helps to:

  • Emulsify formulations
  • Increase product viscosity and contribute a creamier texture
  • Hydrate the hair and scalp to protect against dryness
  • Smoothe hair and prevent frizz
  • Increase viscosity of a product
  • Reduce tangling
  • Contribute foaming properties

 

The recommended maximum dosage is 15%-45%

COCO-GLUCOSIDE SAFETY

Coco Glucoside Raw Material is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this product for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women, as well as those with sensitive skin and an allergy to corn, are especially advised not to use Coco Glucoside Raw Material without the medical advice of a physician. This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Prior to using Coco Glucoside Raw Material, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by melting 4 drops Coco Glucoside Raw Material in 1 ml of a preferred Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Coco Glucoside must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Coco Glucoside include dizziness, headaches, hypotension, and drowsiness. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

Beyond Candy Canes: 21 Uses for Peppermint Oil

Soothing, cool, and refreshing, peppermint oil smells great and offers many health benefits. Peppermint can ease congestion, support oral health, repel pests, soothe headaches, and even relieve stress. Peppermint oil is a must in your essential oil collection — especially if you like to create chemical-free, do-it-yourself home and healthcare products.

Found in candy canes and peppermint candies at Christmas, or year-round in chewing gum, toothpaste, and soap, its culinary uses are well-known. But, don’t overlook the power of peppermint to naturally lift your mood and boost your energy levels. That’s one area where its capabilities might surprise you.

Organic Peppermint

Peppermint Oil: What Is It?

Peppermint oil is extracted from Mentha x Piperita, also called Mentha balsamea, which is a hybrid plant between spearmint and watermint. Gardeners cultivate peppermint around the world, and you can sometimes find it growing in the wild. Commercially, peppermint essential oil is usually extracted through distillation of both the leaves and stems.

The main components of peppermint oil are menthol (41 percent) and menthone (23 percent), which give it the familiar flavor and cooling sensation we know. However, peppermint oil also contains menthyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, limonene, beta-pinene, and beta-caryophyllene — these additional compounds account for even more health-promoting properties.

Benefits of Peppermint Oil

With its enchanting taste and scent, peppermint oil has been used for hundreds of years to remedy a wide variety of ailments. You can use this therapeutic herb internally to combat indigestion and harmful bacteria or externally to soothe your respiratory tract and lungs or relieve aches and pains.

Relieves Stress

Essential oils have been used for centuries to boost mental and physical well-being. Peppermint oil is an excellent natural way to relieve stress, unhappy mood, and mental exhaustion while helping to restore focus and balance. This plant is also effective at soothing anxiety and restlessness.

Soothes Headaches

The active ingredient in peppermint oil, menthol, relaxes muscles and eases discomfort to provide relief from head pain. Because of its ability to inhibit muscle contractions while stimulating blood flow, diluted peppermint oil can soothe headaches and migraines when applied directly to the temples.

Boosts Energy

The analgesic properties of peppermint oil help boost energy levels, focus, and concentration. It is tremendously beneficial to those with chronic fatigue syndrome and ADHD by helping to stimulate mental activity, clear the mind, and boost cognition. Interestingly, studies show that inhaling peppermint oil before a workout enhances exercise performance and endurance.

Promotes Respiratory & Lung Health

Using peppermint oil can significantly and quickly promote normal upper respiratory health. The expectorant action of peppermint oil helps to clear occasional lung and chest congestion. For this reason, you’ll often find it in therapeutic lung cleansing balms you can rub on your chest. When you have chest congestion, rubbing diluted peppermint oil on your chest can help you feel great and breathe easier.

Reduces Nausea & Supports Digestive Health

The menthol in peppermint oil can relax the smooth muscles of your GI tract, which promotes healthy digestion. Many remedies for the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), including occasional constipation and bloating, contain peppermint oil. Many studies have found that peppermint may be the best choice to improve the quality of life for people with IBS.

Try using peppermint oil in combination with caraway oil to manage symptoms of nausea or indigestion, including heartburn and gas.

Fights Microbes & Harmful Organisms

Peppermint oil resists bacteria and fungus, including Candida albicans. A study at Brazil’s State University of Campinas found that essential oils from three different peppermint varieties resisted Candida. Several studies have further documented the action of peppermint oil against fungus, which is owed to the camphor, menthol, and carvacrol.

Promotes Oral Health

Thanks to its action against various types of harmful organisms, peppermint is among the most potent essential oils for battling the bacteria that affect oral health. In addition to freshening your breath, you can use peppermint oil topically to soothe a toothache.

Top Peppermint Oil Uses

Peppermint oil may be used in a variety of ways, both internally and externally. Its antibacterial properties make it an excellent cleanser for both your body and home. You can also use it to relieve ailments ranging from bad breath to intestinal distress and even head lice. Here are the top ways to use peppermint oil.

Aromatherapy

Peppermint oil’s unusual ability to simultaneously boost your energy while relaxing your senses makes it a favorite ingredient for aromatherapy. Many masseuses use to enhance relaxation during massage therapy. You can use the oil by rubbing a bit on your temples or neck or inhaling the scent.

How to Use: Inhale the vapors directly from the jar, or put a dab on your wrist for a quick pick-me-up. Add a few drops to a diffuser to soothe your senses.

Breath Freshener

Adding peppermint oil to your daily brushing or rinsing routine will make your mouth feel fresh and clean while banishing the taste of what you just ate. Try it after a spicy meal or before an important meeting.

How to Use: Add a drop of peppermint oil to your toothpaste when brushing your teeth, or to coconut oil when oil pulling. To relieve bad breath quickly, dilute a drop or two in water and use as a rinse, swishing in your mouth for 30 seconds.

Add It to Your Diet

Reap all the health benefits of peppermint oil while adding a natural minty flavor to your dishes and desserts. You can substitute peppermint oil for extract in your recipes — but be careful! Because it’s more concentrated and doesn’t evaporate with heat, a little goes a long way. Peppermint reduces nausea and can provide soothing relief for your tummy when used in foods.

How to Use: Enjoy a peppermint mocha by adding a tiny drop of food-grade peppermint oil to your coffee with some cocoa, or add it to your favorite smoothie or chocolate dessert for an extra kick of minty flavor.

Relieve Headaches

Feelings of stress and tension often trigger headaches, including migraines, and peppermint oil is a natural and cost-effective solution. It also helps balance your sinus pressure, which can trigger headaches. Those who suffer from frequent headaches or migraines may find relief and achieve better circulation by massaging diluted peppermint into their temples and forehead.

How to Use: Dilute two drops of peppermint oil with coconut oil and massage it into your forehead, neck, and shoulders to relieve tension and discomfort. To relax even further, relieve stiff, sore muscles, and clear sinus congestion, add three drops of peppermint oil and three drops of lavender oil to a warm water bath. While soaking, take deep breaths and allow feelings of calm to take over.

Boost Exercise Performance

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antioxidant effects, inhaling and consuming peppermint oil can help increase drive and respiratory function, enhance exercise performance and ease exhaustion in athletes. Consuming it is also an excellent natural way to boost your energy before working out.

How to Use: Give your workout an extra boost by adding a drop of food-grade peppermint oil into your diet. Dilute .05 ml of peppermint oil in 500 ml of water for an energy kick. For a more complex pre-workout drink, steep a peppermint tea bag with two green tea bags in at least 500 ml of hot water. Add half a lemon, pour into a 1-liter bottle, and top it off with chilled water.

Skincare

Combining peppermint oil with massage oils, shampoos, body washes, and lotions can help soothe redness and swelling. It’s great for acne and skin irritation and provides welcome relief to sunburned or itchy skin.

How to Use: For a soothing, cooling sensation, mix a drop of peppermint oil into body lotion or massage oil. For help with blemishes, combine a drop of peppermint oil with grapeseed or jojoba oil and massage directly onto acne.

Nail Health

Apply peppermint oil topically for strong, healthy nails. It can also be used to remedy fungal imbalances on the finger and toenails (called onychomycosis). A recent study found that 83 percent of the people who applied a menthol-containing ointment to their nails experienced positive changes to their fungal infections— 28 percent had total clearance (the fungal infection was eliminated), while 56 percent had partial clearance.

How to Use: Mix 2 drops of peppermint oil with 2 ounces of castor oil, dip each nail in the solution, then let your fingers absorb for a couple of minutes before rinsing.

Hair Care

Peppermint oil is an excellent scalp stimulator that will add zest to your morning routine. Its tingly sensation wakes up your hair follicles and your mind. Peppermint can reduce dandruff, prevent hair loss and encourage hair growth and blood circulation to the scalp, even outperforming the FDA-approved hair growth products.

How to Use: Add 2 or 3 drops of peppermint oil to your shampoo and conditioner, or mix with coconut, jojoba, or shea butter for a scalp massage oil. Leave the scalp treatment on for 15 minutes before rinsing.

Soothe Colic

The active ingredients in peppermint oil ease the intestinal distress associated with colic. Colic is uncontrollable crying which usually afflicts babies under the age of three months. Studies show that peppermint oil may help relieve colic and reduce crying time. Use it sparingly to give your baby a better night’s sleep.

How to Use: First, consult your pediatrician. If they approve, mix a tiny drop of peppermint oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and apply to the baby’s chest and stomach area.

Natural Home Cleaner

Try using peppermint oil as an ingredient in your natural all-purpose cleaner. Its antibacterial properties make it an excellent natural disinfectant. Its minty scent leaves a pleasant, non-toxic odor.

How to Use: Mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 15 drops of peppermint oil and 15 drops of lemon oil in a 16-ounce spray bottle. Fill with water, shake and spritz where needed on any surface where it’s needed, including toilets, counters, and floors.

Insect & Pest Repellent

Menthol is a natural insecticide and makes an effective barrier against ants, spiders, ticks, and even mice. Peppermint oil is also a natural, chemical-free way to kill and prevent head lice, which some studies suggest may be more efficient than store-bought treatments.

How to Use:

For Insects: To keep insects out of your home, put 3-4 drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball or add 10 drops to a small bottle of water. Wipe doorways, baseboards, and window sills thoroughly, as well as other potential points of entry.

For Lice: To kill head lice, mix 20 drops of peppermint oil with 4 ounces of rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. With your head over the sink, saturate your hair and leave it on for at least 12 hours, then comb out and shampoo, rinse and repeat.

For Ticks: If a tick has settled in your skin, stop its burrowing by dabbing it with a cotton swab soaked in a drop of peppermint oil diluted with coconut oil. Remove its head once it stops moving.

Air Freshener

Peppermint essential oil makes a great non-toxic air freshener for your home or car, getting rid of musty odors and creating an invigorating, refreshed environment. Instant rejuvenation is achieved when applied to spaces both large and small.

How to Use: Add 8 drops of peppermint essential oil, 10 drops of wild orange or rosemary essential oil, 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and a cup of water in an 8-ounce spray bottle. Shake and spray as needed. Or, add 2 drops of peppermint oil to a washcloth and place it on the floor while taking a hot shower to spread the scent throughout your bathroom.

Peppermint Oil Safety & Side Effects

Ensure any food-grade peppermint oil you use is 100 percent pure and organic, steam-distilled, and includes its botanical name, Mentha piperita, on the ingredient list.[18]

Avoid essential oils premixed with alcohol as they can be irritating to the skin. Avoid synthetic fragrances — they don’t offer any health benefits.

Always dilute oils with a carrier oil to help protect your skin; avoid contact with your eyes, and never consume essential oils that are undiluted.

Large doses of peppermint may interfere with the absorption of iron, as well as other vitamins, minerals, and medications. If you have gallbladder disease, gallstones, chronic heartburn, or severe liver damage, avoid it altogether.

When applied to the skin, peppermint oil may cause allergic reactions such as a rash, contact dermatitis, and eye irritation. Before you use it, perform a skin patch test — apply a few drops of diluted oil to your forearm, cover with a bandage, and wait 48 hours for any potential reaction.

Pregnant Women

If you are pregnant, exercise caution with essential oils since they can cross the placental barrier and there is little clinical research in this area. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends pregnant women not use peppermint oil, but it is most likely safe for a pregnant woman to use peppermint tea. Before using any herbs or essential oils during pregnancy or when nursing, check with a health professional first.

Children

Use of peppermint oil on children under the age of six should be approached with caution. Menthol, the active ingredient in peppermint oil should be completely avoided in children under two and used with caution in children of any age.

Peppermint can cause adverse reactions in some children, including closing up the respiratory airways and causing difficulty breathing. Since the effects of essential oils are more concentrated on children, it is prudent to exercise extra care.

Points to Remember

Peppermint oil is extracted from a hybrid plant between spearmint and watermint. This essential oil does much more than mask bad odors with its pleasant scent. Its resistance to harmful organisms and soothing action make it an excellent skin and hair remedy, effective pest repellent, and natural all-purpose cleaner for the home. Its pleasant scent simultaneously soothes and energizes, making it ideal for aromatherapy.

Only use peppermint oil as directed. When purchasing essential oils, always read the labels carefully to ensure they’re safe for skin contact or internal consumption. Always dilute with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil. Start by applying it topically to small areas and try a skin patch test. As with any remedy, speak to a healthcare professional about whether it is right for you.