MARKET REPORT MAY 2019

The following report contains updates on the current trends in production and availability of the most in-demand Essential Oils, Carrier Oils, and Raw Materials sourced from around the globe.

Peppermint and Spearmint Oil

In India, Peppermint and Spearmint are harvested between May and July. The Mentha piperita crop yield is projected to be lower than that of the previous year while the yields for Mentha arvensis and Mentha spicata are higher. The demand for these crops is constantly increasing and, since last year, the demand has increased by approximately 10-25%. The current market conditions are good. The Mentha piperita prices are expected to increase, whereas the Mentha arvensis and Mentha spicata prices can potentially decrease.

Clary Sage Oil

In France, Clary Sage is harvested from the end of June to the beginning of July. Thus far, the weather conditions have been favorable; hence, the next harvest is expected to have a promising yield. This expectation is further augmented by the significant development that has taken place on plantations, which may also help to encourage a larger harvest than the previous one. The current demand for Clary Sage has weakened, and this year, stock will be carried over. Prices are expected to decline.

Coffee Oil

In Brazil, Coffee beans are harvested between June and August. The coffee crop grows every two years; one year might produce a higher volume than the other, and 2018 was the full crop year. Coffee is a highly demanding and expensive crop with prices that vary according to commodity exchange. Due to the drought in 2018, the 2019 harvest is expected by some to be low; however, some farmers expect a good crop. For the purposes of oil extraction, it is not recommended to use Coffee from old harvests; rather it is suggested that Coco Coffee – that is coffee stored in its shell – be used, as it retains moisture as well as properties that are comparable to that of the fresh seed.

Brazil still carries 2018 stock. The sales increased by approximately 12% from the previous year. As a result, Coffee prices are lower this year, reaching 15% for grains of lower quality. Although 2019 is not a full crop year, the harvest is projected to be favorable. The latest estimate of the increase in demand is that Coffee consumption will grow by 2.8% in 2019. The Brazilian market has remained problematic, as offers are much less than those anticipated by the producers. There is good demand for much of the current crop, particularly for good quality Arabica – the prices of which are close to those offered for the Coffees meant for export.

Energize with Peppermint Oil {Recipes}

Peppermint Essential Oil is an eminent and versatile oil that can be used on almost any part of the body for almost any ailment. The positive effects of Peppermint Oil are powerful and have beneficial impacts on interconnected body systems. It is famed for its ability to reduce pain and to stimulate, invigorate, energize, and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. It can be used in numerous body care products ranging from skin and hair care to emotional care through aromatherapy.

USING PEPPERMINT OIL IN A DIFFUSER OR ROOM SPRAY (ENERGIZE)

When used in aromatherapy, Peppermint Essential Oil’s expectorant properties clear the nasal passageway to promote the relief of congestion and to encourage easy breathing. It is believed to stimulate circulation, reduce feelings of nervous tension, soothe feelings of irritability, boost energy, balance hormones, and enhance mental focus. The scent of this analgesic oil is believed to help relieve headaches, and its stomachic properties are known to help suppress the appetite and promote the feeling of being full. When diluted and inhaled, this digestive oil can reduce the feeling of nausea.

  1. PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL ROOM SPRAY BLEND FOR ALERTNESS
Ingredient Amount
Peppermint Essential Oil 85 drops
Ginger Essential Oil 40 drops
Grapefruit Essential Oil 35 drops
Sweet Basil Essential Oil 15 drops
Pure Water 120 ml / 4 oz.

Instructions

  1. Mix all essential oils together in a spray bottle.
  2. Add water.
  3. Shake again.
  4. Spritz whenever you need a boost of energy.
  5. For best results, spray the room mist above your head 10 times. After every 2 or 3 sprays, close your eyes to avoid irritation and deeply inhale the scent to relax and feel rejuvenated.

PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER BLEND FOR INCREASED FOCUS

Ingredient Amount
Peppermint Essential Oil 2 drops
Cinnamon Essential Oil 2 drops
Rosemary Essential Oil 1 drop

Instructions

  1. For optimal blending before adding to an electric diffuser, add all oils to a 2-mL glass bottle and roll bottle between hands.
  2. Based on manufacturer’s instructions, add the appropriate number of drops to your diffuser.

 

  1. PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER BLEND FOR COOLING DOWN
Ingredient Amount
Peppermint Essential Oil 4 drops
Spearmint Essential Oil 4 drops
Citronella Essential Oil 4 drops
Lemongrass Essential Oil 1 drop

Instructions

  1. For optimal blending before adding to an electric diffuser, add all oils to a 2-mL glass bottle and roll bottle between hands.
  2. Based on manufacturer’s instructions, add the appropriate number of drops to your diffuser.

USING PEPPERMINT OIL IN A MASSAGE (RELIEVE FATIGUE)

When used in a massage, Peppermint Essential Oil has been found to eliminate harmful bacteria from the skin, to relieve muscle spasms and flatulence, to disinfect and soothe inflamed skin, and to release muscle tension. When diluted with a carrier oil and rubbed into the feet, it can work as a natural fever reducer. It can effectively decrease feelings of fatigue caused by strenuous physical or mental work, stress, or a lack of restful sleep.

  1. PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL MASSAGE BLEND FOR FATIGUE RELIEF
Ingredient Amount
Peppermint Essential Oil 6 drops
Rosemary Essential Oil 5 drops
Grapefruit Essential Oil 4 drops
Carrier Oil 1 tbsp (15 ml)

Instructions

  1. Measure out the carrier oil in a container.
  2. Slowly add in the essential oils.
  3. Pour the massage oil into a dark bottle and shake well to combine.
  4. Massage the blend into the upper chest, shoulders, back of the neck, and down the back.

 

  1. PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL MASSAGE BLEND TO UPLIFT THE MOOD
Ingredient Amount
Peppermint Essential Oil 5 drops
Thyme Essential Oil 4 drops
Grapefruit Essential Oil 4 drops
Cypress Essential Oil 2 drops
Carrier Oil 1 tbsp (15 ml)

Instructions

  1. Measure out the carrier oil in a container.
  2. Slowly add in the essential oils.
  3. Pour the massage oil into a dark bottle and shake well to combine.
  4. Massage the blend into the upper chest, shoulders, back of the neck, and down the back.

 

  1. PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL MASSAGE BLEND FOR MUSCLE SORENESS
Ingredient Amount
Peppermint Essential Oil 4 drops
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil 4 drops
Thyme Essential Oil 3 drops
Ginger Essential Oil 3 drops
Lemon Essential Oil 1 drop
Carrier Oil 1 tbsp (15 ml)

Instructions

  1. Measure out the carrier oil in a container.
  2. Slowly add in the essential oils.
  3. Pour the massage oil into a dark bottle and shake well to combine.
  4. Massage the formula into the preferred muscles.

 

  1. PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL MASSAGE BLEND FOR PHYSICAL STRENGTH
Ingredient Amount
Peppermint Essential Oil 5 drops
Melissa Essential Oil 5 drops
Palmarosa Essential Oil 5 drops
Allspice Essential Oil 5 drops
Eucalyptus Essential Oil 4 drops
Lime Essential Oil 4 drops
Ginger Essential Oil 2 drops
Grapeseed Carrier Oil 2 tbsp (30 ml / 1 fl. oz.)

Instructions

  1. Measure out the carrier oil in a container.
  2. Slowly add in the essential oils.
  3. Pour the massage oil into a dark bottle and shake well to combine.
  4. Massage the formula into the preferred muscles.

USING PEPPERMINT OIL IN A BATH (BREATHE EASY & REJUVENATE)

In a diluted bath blend, Peppermint Essential Oil is known to clear nasal passages and to relieve congestion, back pain, mental fatigue, and coughs. It boosts circulation, releases the feeling of having tired feet, muscular pain, cramps, and spasms. It soothes inflamed and itchy skin, among other conditions.

  1. PEPPERMINT BATH BLEND TO BREATH MORE EASILY
Ingredient Amount
Peppermint Essential Oil 5 drops
Cajeput Essential Oil 5 drops
Eucalyptus Essential Oil 5 drops
Epsom Salt 1 cup
Carrier Oil (Grapeseed, Sweet Almond, Hazelnut, or Sesame suggested) 1 tsp (5 ml)

Instructions:

  1. Pour Epsom Salt into a clean mixing bowl.
  2. Add Essential Oil(s). Mix well.
  3. Spoon the final product into clean jars (such as canning or jam jars).
  4. When adding the salts to a bath, ensure complete dissolution in water to avoid slipping.
  5. Depending on the size of the bathtub, use between ¼ to ½ cup of this salt blend per bath.
  6. Relax in the bath and enjoy for 30 minutes.

 

  1. PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL FOOT BATH BLEND TO REJUVENATE
Ingredient Amount
Peppermint Essential Oil 4 drops
Pine Essential Oil 4 drops
Eucalyptus Essential Oil 4 drops
Carrier Oil (Grapeseed, Sweet Almond, Hazelnut, or Sesame suggested) 1 tsp (5 ml)

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients in a container and mix thoroughly.
  2. Transfer blend to a large container filled with 8 cups (2 L) of hot water or spa foot bath filled.
  3. Soak feet for 20 minutes.
  4. Towel dry and apply moisturizer.

USING PEPPERMINT OIL IN COSMETICS (PURIFY AND REFRESH)

Used cosmetically or topically in general, Peppermint Essential Oil acts as an astringent that closes pores and tightens the skin. It’s cooling and warming sensations make it an effective anesthetic that leaves the skin numb to pain and calms redness and inflammation. It has traditionally been used as a cooling chest rub to relieve congestion and, when diluted with a carrier oil, it can promote the safe and healthy renewal of skin, thus offering relief from skin irritations such as sunburn. In shampoos, it can stimulate and soothe the scalp while also removing dandruff.

  1. PEPPERMINT AND VANILLA BODY SCRUB TO SOFTEN AND PURIFY
Ingredient Amount
Dead Sea Salt 8 Tbsp
White Clay (or substitute with more Sea Salt) 2 Tbsp
Almond Oil (or substitute with Olive Oil) 6 Tbsp
Chopped Mint Leaves 2 Tbsp
Vanilla Bean Seeds From 1 Bean
Peppermint Essential Oil 10 drops
Lemon Essential Oil (or substitute with 1 tsp of Lemon Juice) 5 drops
Lemon Zest 1 Tsp

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Spoon the mixture into an air-tight glass jar.
  3. This recipe makes approximately 150 ml (5 oz.) of body scrub.
  4. Soak feet for a short period of time in bathtub or basin of water to soften and prepare skin for exfoliation.
  5. With hand, scoop out some homemade scrub and put it on feet.
  6. In a circular motion, rub homemade scrub all over feet using a scrub brush, or work it in with hands for 15-30 seconds on each foot.
  7. Soak feet in water to rinse off the scrub.
  8. Lift feet out of water and dry with a towel.
  9. Apply lotion to seal in moisture.

 

  1. HOMEMADE PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL & LEMON FACE WASH
Ingredient Amount
Water 1 cup
Bar of Unscented Glycerin Soap (Chopped) 1/5 of a bar
Lemon Essential Oil 5 drops
Peppermint Essential Oil 5 drops

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, boil the water.
  2. Remove pan from heat and stir in glycerin soap pieces until completely dissolved.
  3. Set aside to cool completely.
  4. Once cooled, add essential oils and stir gently to mix thoroughly.
  5. Using a funnel, pour face wash into a pump bottle.
  6. Remaining face wash can be stored in a covered glass jar.

 

  1. PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL & HONEY FACIAL TONER
Ingredient Amount
Honey 1 Tbsp
Warm Water 1/3 cup (78 mL / 3 fl. oz.)
Apple Cider Vinegar ¼ cup (60 mL / 2 fl. oz.)
Water 1 cup (250 mL / 8 fl. oz.)
Peppermint Essential Oil 6-8 drops

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix warm water and honey until honey completely dissolves.
  2. Stir in Water, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Peppermint Essential Oil.
  3. Using a funnel, pour face wash into a small bottle.
  4. Remaining toner can be stored in a small glass jar.
  5. For best results, use after washing face with Peppermint & Lemon Facial Wash.
  6. Apply toner to the skin using a cotton ball. Do not wash off.

 

  1. PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL LIP BALM BLEND FOR FRESH COOLNESS
Ingredient Amount
Shea Butter 1 Tsp
Vitamin E Oil 1 Tsp
Sweet Almond Oil 2 Tsp
Beeswax Pellets 2 ½ to 3 heaping tsp (or 1 ½ to 2 tsp solid Beeswax)
Peppermint Essential Oil  10 drops

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, heat Shea Butter, oils, and Beeswax on the lowest stove-top heat setting. Heating the blend too quickly could result in a gritty lip balm.
  2. Remove blend from heat and add Peppermint Essential Oil.
  3. Pour blend into metal tins or tubes, leaving open.
  4. Allow balm to set inside containers for 24 hours, then cover.
  5. Apply to lips.

TIPS

  • If the mixture is too thin: Simply add Beeswax pellets (or tiny bits of solid Beeswax) one at a time.
  • If the mixture is too thick: A splash of Almond Oil will help reduce thickness.
  • If mixture becomes too thick after adding Peppermint Oil (this may happen, as Peppermint EO is colder): Simply heat mixture VERY slowly over low heat until it liquefies.
  • If saucepan doesn’t pour well, use a dropper to fill lip balm containers.

 

  1. HOMEMADE PEPPERMINT SHAMPOO BLEND TO STIMULATE THE SCALP
Ingredient Amount
Coconut Milk (Homemade or Canned) ¼ cup (60 mL / 2 fl. oz.)
Liquid Castile Soap ¼ cup (60 mL / 2 fl. oz.)
Peppermint Essential Oil 20 drops
Olive or Almond Oil (Optional – for dry hair) ½ tsp

Instructions

  1. In an empty shampoo bottle, jar, or pump soap dispenser, combine all ingredients.
  2. Shake well to mix thoroughly.
  3. Keep in the shower for up to a month.
  4. Shake before each use.
  5. Use approximately 1 teaspoon every time you shampoo.

IN ESSENCE…

    • When diffused, Peppermint Essential Oil can boost energy, clear the respiratory tract, stimulate circulation, alleviate feelings of nervous tension and stress, and soothe feelings of irritability.
    • In a massage, Peppermint Essential Oil relieves fatigue, muscle spasms, muscle tension, flatulence, and fever. It is known to disinfect and soothe inflamed skin.
    • In a bath, Peppermint Essential Oil boosts circulation, releases the feeling of tiredness, and soothes itchy skin.
  • In cosmetics, Peppermint Essential Oil brightens, clears, and tones the skin, hydrates a dry scalp and promotes hair health and growth.

Benefits and Use of Peppermint Oil

Mentha piperita, or Peppermint as it is commonly known, is a perennial herb native to the Mediterranean but has also been cultivated in the USA, Italy, Great Britain, and Japan. It can be identified by its serrated leaves and by its flowers that range in color from light pink to mauve, growing in a conical shape.

Peppermint essential oil has been called one of the most versatile oils in the world, sharing the title with Lavender. Abounding in dermal and oral uses as well as anti-microbial properties, there are countless issues for which it is beneficial, promoting the wellness of body, mind, and overall health. The scent of Peppermint can be described as being fresh, sharp and comparable to Menthol, and the components of this multi-purpose oil are used internationally in cosmetic, culinary, and health industries.

Extracted from the Peppermint herb, the uses of this cherished plant and its benefits have been traced back to Chinese and Japanese folk medicine practices and even Ancient Egyptian times where dried Peppermint leaves were found placed in tombs inside the pyramids. Due to the common incidence of using the name Peppermint interchangeably with the terms Mint and Spearmint, there has been confusion about its history of cultivation, but ancient textual references to it prove that it has been used for culinary purposes and in herbal medicine since 1500 BC. Peppermint is also mentioned in Greek mythology in the story of the nymph “Mentha” or “Minthe,” who is transformed into the sweet-smelling herb that releases a powerful, lingering aroma every time she is stepped on.

Peppermint is one of the hundreds of species belonging to the Mint family of plants or the Mint “genus.” Included in this genus are herbs such as Spearmint, Water Mint, and Forest Mint. Peppermint is thought to be a naturally occurring hybrid of Water Mint (M. aquatica) and Spearmint (M. spicata).

BENEFITS OF PEPPERMINT OIL

The main chemical constituents of Peppermint essential oil are Menthol, Menthone, and 1,8-Cineole, Menthyl acetate and Isovalerate, Pinene, Limonene and other constituents. The most active of these components are Menthol and Menthone. Menthol is known to be analgesic and is thus beneficial for reducing pain such as headaches, muscle aches, and inflammation. Menthone is known to be analgesic as well, but it is also believed to show antiseptic activity. Its invigorating properties lend the oil its energizing effects.

Used medicinally, Peppermint essential oil has been found to eliminate harmful bacteria, relieve muscle spasms and flatulence, disinfect and soothe inflamed skin, and to release muscle tension when used in a massage. When diluted with a carrier oil and rubbed into the feet, it can work as a natural effective fever reducer.

Used cosmetically or topically in general, Peppermint acts as an astringent that closes pores and tightens the skin. It’s cooling and warming sensations make it an effective anesthetic that leaves the skin numb to pain and calms redness and inflammation. It has traditionally been used as a cooling chest rub to relieve congestion, and when diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut, it can promote the safe and healthy renewal of skin, thus offering relief from skin irritations such as sunburn. In shampoos, it can stimulate the scalp while also removing dandruff.

When used in aromatherapy, Peppermint essential oil’s expectorant properties clear the nasal passageway to promote the relief of congestion and to encourage easy breathing. It is believed to stimulate circulation, reduce feelings of nervous tension, soothe feelings of irritability, boost energy, balance hormones, and enhance mental focus. The scent of this analgesic oil is believed to help relieve headaches, and its stomachic properties are known to help suppress the appetite and promote the feeling of being full. When diluted and inhaled or when rubbed in small amounts behind the ear, this digestive oil can reduce the feeling of nausea.

Due to its anti-microbial properties, Peppermint oil can also be used as a cleaning solvent to sanitize and deodorize the environment, leaving behind the trail of a fresh, cheerful scent. Not only will it disinfect surfaces, but it will also eliminate bugs in the home and function as an effective insect repellant.

Peppermint essential oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties.

COSMETIC:
Antiseptic, astringent, cordial, nervine, sudorific.

ODOROUS:
Analgesic, cephalic, cordial, decongestant, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, stimulant.

MEDICINAL:
Analgesic, anesthetic, anti-galactagogue, anti-phlogistic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, cordial, decongestant, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hepatic, nervine, stimulant, stomachic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor, vermifuge.

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY PEPPERMINT OIL

Due to its need for water, Peppermint flourishes in cool or temperate regions that are wet such as near streams or in areas with plenty of rainfall, though adequate drainage is also required. In order to produce the ideal balance of oil compounds during the growing phase, the best growing conditions would consist of warm or hot days followed by cool nights. When grown in warm climates, Peppermint can grow in partial shade or full sun. When harvested in the sun, it will be higher in oil content; however, if the growing conditions are too warm, especially at night, less desirable compounds such as highly toxic Menthofuran will form.

When 10% of the Peppermint crop is in the flowering stage, it produces the optimum oil and Menthol yield and quality. When all traces of dew disappear on a dry, sunny day, harvesting can begin. The whole Peppermint plant is cut down with the aid of conventional hay mowers. If the stems become fractured or if the leaves break, there will be lower oil yields and this will prevent the regrowth of the plants. For this reason, it is important to cut the plant neatly. A more economical oil extraction is achieved through lower moisture content, so once the Peppermint is cut, it is left in the field to wilt. Afterward, it is sliced with a forage harvester into a mobile distillation pot, tub, or trailer in which it is transported to the facility for distillation.

Despite the ideal wilting conditions, Peppermint will still lose essential oil from lying in rows of dry leaves or in heaps for any amount of time. If the Peppermint is not checked, the quality and quantity of the oil could be compromised by fermentation – that is, the chemical breakdown of the Peppermint by microorganisms. In order to prevent this, some producers distill the fresh Peppermint as soon as it is cut.

HOW IS PEPPERMINT OIL EXTRACTED?

The essential oils of Peppermint are found in cells on the underside of the leaves and are collected through the process of steam distilling the fresh or partially dried plant leaves.

As with all other essential oils, Peppermint will retain stability and have a prolonged shelf life if stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight with the bottle cap tightly closed.

USES OF PEPPERMINT OIL

In a diffuser, Peppermint oil can help to enhance relaxation, concentration, memory, energy, and wakefulness.

When used topically in homemade moisturizers, the cooling and calming effects of Peppermint essential oil can relieve sore muscles. Historically, it has been used to reduce itchiness and the discomfort of inflammation, headaches, and joint pains. It can also be used to relieve the sting of sunburns.

In a diluted massage blend or bath, Peppermint essential oil is known to relieve back pain, mental fatigue, and coughs. It boosts circulation, releases the feeling of having tired feet, relieves muscular pain, cramps, and spasms, and soothes inflamed, itchy skin among other conditions.

Well-known for its anti-microbial and anti-fungal qualities, a few drops of the oil can be added to homemade spray cleaners and spritzed on areas that are particularly in need of anti-bacterial care, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Peppermint makes an effective and natural deterrent to house pests and insects.

A GUIDE TO PEPPERMINT OIL VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

 

PEPPERMINT VARIETY & BOTANICAL NAME COUNTRY OF ORIGIN BENEFITS OF OIL
Peppermint Japanese 
(also called Cornmint)Mentha arvensis
Found in:

  • India
Believed to:

  • have the dual action of warming and cooling
  • relieve itching, inflammation, sunburn and muscle aches
  • soften skin
  • aid treatment of greasy hair/skin
Peppermint Supreme
(also called Peppermint English, Candy Mint, Mitcham Peppermint, and Black MitchamMentha piperita
Found in:

  • England (specifically, an area in Surrey called Mitcham)
  • India
Believed to:

  • relieve headaches
  • relieve mild coughing
  • focus the mind
  • improve memory

 

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR PEPPERMINT OIL

As per NAHA guidelines, we do not recommend the ingestion of essential oils. In low dilutions, this oil is non-toxic and thus does not irritate the skin; however, its Menthol content can potentially cause irritation to the skin and mucous membranes. It should never be used around the eyes, inner ears, and any sensitive areas. Due to its stimulant properties, using Peppermint oil daily could interfere with sleep patterns.

The following symptoms can also be the result of overdose: skin rashes, urinary problems, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, slow or rapid breathing, convulsions, depression, and in severe cases, unconsciousness.

As is the case with all essential oils, it is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using Peppermint essential oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Peppermint essential oil without the medical advice of a physician, and the oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of seven.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Peppermint belongs to the Mint family with Spearmint, Water Mint, and Forest Mint and is a naturally occurring hybrid of Water Mint and Spearmint.
    • Peppermint essential oil is multi-purpose, earning the reputation of being one of the most versatile oils in the world along with Lavender oil.
    • The most active components of Peppermint essential oil are Menthol and Menthone, which are known to reduce pain and to invigorate, energize, and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, respectively.
    • There are numerous applications for which Peppermint essential oil can be used, including cosmetics, aromatherapy, relaxing baths, and as a cleaning agent around the house.
  • Due to its stimulant properties, using Peppermint essential oil daily could interfere with sleep patterns, and an overdose of the oil can lead to potentially severe side effects.

Long Hot Summer Days, Cool Down With Peppermint Rose Water Mist

Lately, the thermometer seems to be creeping up and up. Iced tea is being gulped down like water and summer tunes are in constant rotation. With things heating up, we often find ourselves looking for ways to refresh inside and out. Ideally, we’d like to spend most of our time lounging by the pool with some Hibiscus Iced Tea, but we reserve that for weekends. When we’re working hard during these long, hot summer days, we like to tone and refresh our skin with this Peppermint Rose Water Mist.

Witch hazel and rose petals are featured in this recipe, and both contain astringent properties which tone and tighten tissue. This is a great feeling for faces that have been exposed to a little too much heat! Roses are traditionally recognized for their ability to open up the heart and help us to feel love and tenderness. We’ve also included lavender essential oil, which is very relaxing, and peppermint to help you to feel refreshed and a bit cooler under the summer sun.

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This recipe is quite simple. You should be able to find all the ingredients at your local health food store.

Materials
2oz spray bottle
Liquid measuring cup or funnel

Ingredients
Equal parts water, witch hazel and rose water (enough to almost fill a 2oz bottle)
12 drops lavender essential oil
8 drops peppermint essential oil

Directions
1. Pour the liquids into your spray bottle. You can use a liquid measuring cup or funnel to make this a bit easier and less messy.
2. Carefully add the essential oils.
3. Screw on the cap and shake vigorously.

 

We suggest adding a label with a list of ingredients and the date. That way, you’ll remember what you used. Then you can enjoy a few sprays of this refreshing mist to the face after a long day in the garden, a day at the beach or anytime you need to feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Make sure to keep your eyes closed when spraying, and be sure to wash your eyes out with fresh water if they accidentally get sprayed.

Now you have a bottle full of plant power for all the sunny days to come!

Peppermint Oil: Four Surprising Utilities

For several centuries, the oil obtained from the peppermint plant has been a vital element of several medications and there are sufficient reasons for this too. Peppermint oil is not only intense but also highly aromatic. In addition to being an established analgesic, carminative, and expectorant, peppermint oil possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties and, it is widely used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) problems like indigestion as well as stomach spasms. However, this oil is used in mild doses for these purposes. There is evidence indicating that peppermint oil can also be used for treating irritable bowel syndrome {IBS}.

Generally, peppermint oil has been extensively used in the form of an internal medication. However, it also offers a number of cosmetic benefits; for instance, it is especially effectual in augmenting the health of our mouth, skin, hair, and nails.

Mouth care

Peppermint oil possesses antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. Therefore, it effectively kills several harmful microbes that may be present in our mouth and eventually lead to tooth decay. It has been found that menthol, an active element present in peppermint oil, is effective in treating foul breath.

You may use peppermint oil to prepare an effective mouthwash. Add three to four drops of the oil to a little amount of clean purified water and gargle with this solution for anything between 30 seconds and one minute. For best results, you may add one teaspoon of baking soda to the solution as this will enhance its tooth whitening attributes.

Skincare

Individuals who want their skin to appear more youthful and healthy will find peppermint oil very beneficial. This oil is a proven astringent and possesses the ability to put off blockage of the skin pores. In fact, peppermint oil has been proven to be a very effectual natural therapy for acne. It contains elevated levels of menthol, which aids in keeping the skin cool and make the dull patches brighter. Applying peppermint oil to the face helps to cleanse the waste and dirt build-up.

A solution prepared by adding peppermint oil to water is ideal for external use on the skin all over the body. You may also add other ingredients beneficial for the health of the skin like aloe vera gel and apple cider vinegar to augment the potency of the solution.

Haircare

Many commercial shampoos and conditioners enclose peppermint oil as an active ingredient and there are important reasons for this. This oil possesses significant invigorating and regenerative actions, which may aid in alleviating scalp irritation, encourage new hair growth as well as revitalize the existing hair. In addition, application of peppermint oil to the scalp results in a cooling sensation, making the entire head feel stimulated and refreshed.

You can prepare an effective natural shampoo at home by blending peppermint oil (10 drops), olive oil (three tablespoons), baking soda (10 tablespoons), and aloe vera gel (6 ounces) with purified water (7 ounces). You can store this home-made shampoo in a bottle for use when necessary. It is much more nourishing compared to commercial shampoos and does not contain any chemicals that may deplete the natural oils from the hair.

Nail care

Many people across the world are affected by fungal nail infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot. While such problems hardly ever raise medical concerns, they definitely are cosmetic problems and may be responsible for obstinate itching and other bothersome symptoms. Since peppermint oil possesses anti-fungal attributes, it can effectively deal with fungal nail infections. Just apply peppermint oil to the infected nails once or twice every day till the problem disappears.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint (Mentha × Piperita, Lamiaceae) essential oil is steam distilled from the partially dried herb or newly-harvested flower sprigs; the yellow to olive green oil has a pungent, minty-green odor with a sweet, balsamic undertone and a sweet, clean dry out note.1-3 Menthol, which produces a cooling effect on the skin, is the main constituent, as well as menthone, a ketone affecting wound healing and mucosal secretions.

Considered one of the most important essential oils, peppermint oil affects both mind and body with its refreshing, cooling, stimulating, and uplifting characteristics. While peppermint oil has been used for a variety of conditions, it is most often used as an expectorant, as well as for pain relief (a migraine, sciatica) and digestive issues (nausea, irritable bowel syndrome). However, it has also been used to treat skin conditions such as acne, scabies, and dermatitis. Therapeutic actions include analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, decongestant, hepatic, nervine, sudorific, and vermifuge.

One open-label study that evaluated the efficacy of inhaled peppermint essential oil in patients who experienced nausea after cardiac surgery found that a one-time use of the inhaler resulted in 55.8% of the patients having no nausea and 23.5% having only mild nausea.4 Five patients needed to use the inhaler a second time, and four of them were nausea free after the second use. One randomized, controlled trial measured the effects of Colpermin®(Tillotts Pharma AG; Rheinfelden, Switzerland), containing 187 mg pH-dependent peppermint oil, or Lactol®(BioPlus Life Sciences; Bangalore, India) capsules, containing 150 million spores of Bacillus coagulans, on functional gastrointestinal disorder symptoms in adolescent patients. Results showed that Copermin reduced the patients’ duration and severity of pain more than Lactol or placebo. Essential oils are often used in concert together to enhance their effects. A small, randomized, double-blind, controlled pilot trial tested the effects of inhalation of peppermint, basil (Ocimum basilicum, Lamiaceae), and helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum, Asteraceae) essential oils on symptoms of exhaustion and burnout. Results demonstrated that inhaled several times a day, this combination of essential oils may help with the symptoms caused by exhaustion and burnout.

An article on the herb peppermint was published in HerbalGram in 2006.7

References

1Rhind JP. Fragrance and Wellbeing – Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche. London, UK: Singing Dragon; 2014.

2Lis-Balchin M. Aromatherapy Science – A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: Pharmaceutical Press; 2006.

3Goes TC, Ursulino FRC, Almeida-Souza TH, Alves PB, Teixeira-Silva F. Effect of lemongrass aroma on experimental anxiety in humans. J Altern Complement Med. 2015;21(12):766-773.

4Briggs P, Hawrylack H, Mooney R. Inhaled peppermint oil for postop nausea in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Nursing. 2016;46(7):61-67.

5Asgarshirazi M, Shariat M, Dalili H. Comparison of the effects of pH-dependent peppermint oil and synbiotic Lactol (Bacillus coagulans + fructooligosaccharides) on childhood functional abdominal pain: a randomized placebo-controlled study. Iran Red Crescent Med J. April 2015;17(4):e23844. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.17(4)2015.23844.

6Varney E, Buckle J. Effect of inhaled essential oils on mental exhaustion and moderate burnout: A small pilot study. J Altern Complement Med. 2013;19(1):69-71.

7Engels G, Podroza M, Sierant A. Peppermint. HerbalGram. 2006;72:1,4-5.

The Aromatics of Peppermint Oil

Menta Piperita

 Peppermint (botanical name Menta Piperita) is basically a hybrid plant – a cross between the spearmint and watermint. Although the herb is native to Europe, presently it is grown across the globe. This perennial herb possesses numerous therapeutic properties that were identified and used by the Indians, Egyptians, and Chinese since the ancient times. In order to avail the detoxifying attributes of the peppermint, the ancient Romans used to make wreaths with this herb and wear them as crowns during festivities. Owing to its sharp and spicy fragrance, peppermint is well accepted by most people.

The peppermint plant usually grows up to a height of 30 cm to 90 cm. The plant has smooth stems that are squares in cross section. The rhizomes or subterraneous roots of the plant are fleshy and travel far and wide, while the bare roots are fibrous. The plant bears deep green leaves with reddish veins that are 4 cm to 9 cm in length and 1.5 cm to 4 cm in width. The peppermint plant bears purplish blooms that have four-lobed corolla in whorls around the stem. The plant usually blossoms between mid and late summer.

The essential oil extracted from peppermint not only has a soothing effect, but it also rejuvenates the skin and is tremendously resourceful for domestic use. The oil possesses a clearing aroma that is effective in fighting fatigue and, at the same time, very stimulating. Use of this essential oil enhances the capability to concentrate as well as brings clarity of thoughts and decisions. Peppermint essential oil is said to be inspiring and revitalizing.

 

It may be mentioned here that irrespective of the herb, all essential oils are prepared solely using the herbs or the plants. This denotes that the essential oils do not enclose any outside element, such as moisturizer, which could dilute their attributes or potency. As a result, whenever bottles containing essential oils are opened, they exude an exceptionally strong smell.

 

Peppermint essential oil is beneficial for people enduring headaches, asthma, cramps, fainting, colic, flatulence, nausea, and fevers. It is known to be highly effective in relieving pains associated with these conditions. This oil also has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of insomnia, distress, tension, anxiousness, lethargy and/ or vertigo (light-headedness).

 

The essential oil extracted from peppermint can be used in various ways. Some of the different uses of peppermint essential oil are briefly mentioned below.

Provided you have a water spritzer (a container for two different liquids or drinks), fill it up with water and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to it. If the bottles are small, you need to add just 15 to 20 drops of the oil, while you may add 20-30 drops of oil in medium-sized bottles. Shake the mixture of oil and water thoroughly and gently spray it on your bedding, curtains and also carpets as an alternative to a room deodorizer.

Get a small pot filled with water for boiling over a stove top. Add three to five drops of peppermint essential oil to the water and inhale the aromatic vapor. While doing so, ensure that you take deep and slow breaths enabling the mixture to infuse your lungs.

In aromatherapy, peppermint can be effectively used as a massage oil to alleviate a number of conditions. However, as in the case of any essential oil, remember to dilute the peppermint essential oil blending it with any suitable carrier oil before use. In fact, the moisturizers present in carrier oils help to make the skin smooth and softer – supple to touch. As the concentration of peppermint essential oil is extremely high, only a few drops (one to three) of it need to be added to a little amount of carrier oil.

These days, there are several stores that sell ceramic oil burners meant for aromatherapy. Generally, these ceramic oil burners have the appearance of archetypal, glass milk bottles, but are smaller having a small, detachable, saucer-shaped lid, underneath which one can position a tea-candle. When you have lit the candle, replace the lid and pour in a small quantity of peppermint essential oil in the lid. As the candle will heat the oil in the lid, the sharp and spicy aroma of peppermint will infuse the air. This will help to refresh your senses.

Peppermint-Oil

 

You may also put in two to three drops of peppermint essential oil on a handkerchief and fold it before placing it under a pillow. While the delicate aroma of the oil will not be too intense for your nose, it will help in ensuring sound sleep.

As mentioned earlier, peppermint essential oil possesses numerous therapeutic properties and is, hence, used to treat a number of conditions. Its health benefits are many and some of them are briefly discussed below.

  • Since peppermint oil possesses potent antiseptic properties, it is very helpful in dental care. This oil not only helps to get rid of foul breath but also aids the gums and teeth to fight germs. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that peppermint essential oil forms the active ingredient in toothpaste. In addition, like clove oil, peppermint essential oil is highly effective in healing toothaches.
  • The essential oil extracted from peppermint is also effective in alleviating digestive problems while promoting digestion. On many occasions, people add a few drops of peppermint essential oil in a glassful of water and drink it following a meal with a view to facilitating digestion. The digestive properties of peppermint essential oil make it an excellent tonic for those enduring poor appetite. This oil also possesses carminative properties and, hence, is effective in expelling gas formed in the stomach and intestines, thereby, providing relief from flatulence and bloating. In addition, this essential oil is also useful when one is suffering from an upset stomach or motion sickness. Initial research has established that a blend of peppermint essential oil and caraway oil can also be used to effectively treat heartburns.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also a good home remedy to cure a headache and nausea. Topical application of watered down peppermint oil on the forehead is helpful in providing relief from headaches.
  • As in the case of the majority of the essential oils, peppermint essential oil also has the aptitude to alleviate tension, depression as well as mental exhaustion. These actions of peppermint essential oil are attributed to its ability to revitalize and refresh. This oil is also helpful in providing relief from nervous anxiety and restiveness. It is also known to be an effective remedy for insomnia.
  • Peppermint essential oil is rich in menthol content and, hence, is helpful in clearing the congestion in the respiratory tract. It also possesses potent expectorant properties which help it to draw out mucus and phlegm from the lungs, providing instant, albeit provisional, relief in several respiratory problems, such as cold and cough, sinusitis, nasal congestion, bronchitis and even asthma. Owing to these actions of peppermint essential oil, it is widely used in several formulations for cold rubs. Massaging or rubbing the cold rubs enclosing peppermint essential oil on the chest helps to get rid of nasal congestion as well as blockage of the respiratory tract almost instantly.
  • The essential oil extracted from the peppermint plant also possesses analgesic properties and, hence, it can be used topically to get relief from pains and aches. Peppermint essential oil encloses calcium antagonism which is believed to facilitate in providing relief from pain. This oil also has a cooling nature, which is effective in bringing down high temperatures during fever.
  • It is important to note that peppermint essential oil is highly effectual for colonoscopy, gastroscopy, and also during double-contrast barium enema (the inducement of a barium salt suspension into the rectum and colon before taking an X-ray). In such cases, peppermint essential oil is applied intraluminally (a lumen inside the space of a tubular structure, such as an artery or intestine). Presently, scientists are studying the additional benefits of the oil’s anti-spasmodic properties.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also known to augment blood circulation throughout the body.
  • It has been found that the essential oil extracted from the peppermint plant possesses the property to relax the muscles. Also, relaxing the stomach muscles helps in alleviating irritable bowel syndrome. Initial findings of several types of research have proved this action of the oil, but the scientists are yet to determine the precise manner in which it works.
  • As mentioned before, peppermint essential oil contains high amounts of menthol which is beneficial for the health of the skin. Owing to the presence of menthol, using this oil topically on the skin brings forth a cooling effect. In addition, this oil nurtures dry skin and removes the problems associated with oily skin.
  • Peppermint essential oil also helps to fortify the immune system, thereby, enhancing the body’s capability to fight against diseases. In addition, this essential oil also helps to safeguard the body against several ailments.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also extremely beneficial for our hair. It brings forth a calming effect when applied to the head and facilitates getting rid of dandruff and lice. In addition, peppermint nourishes the hair follicles and makes the hair appear glistening.
  • Although researchers are still trying to ascertain the anti-cancerous properties of peppermint essential oil, it is generally believed that this oil is helpful in treating cancer. However, peppermint essential oil is said to be effective in curing tuberculosis.
  • Many herbalists recommend the use of peppermint essential oil for people suffering from urinary tract infections (UTI). Nevertheless, it needs to be mentioned that the scientists are yet to ascertain the use of peppermint essential oil for this purpose.

General properties

  • antibacterial
  • antiseptic
  • antispasmodic
  • carminative
  • stimulant
  • stomachic
  • tonic

Blends well with

General uses

  • abdominal pains
  • acne
  • anorexia nervosa
  • bites
  • bruises
  • colic
  • coughing
  • mouth thrush
  • mouth ulcers
  • nausea
  • painful menstruation
  • stings
  • stress
  • swollen gums
  • toothache

Precaution

Although the essential oil extracted from peppermint possesses several therapeutic properties, it is said that this oil negates the efficacy of a number of homeopathic medications. Similar is the case for the essential oil derived from eucalyptus.

Peppermint in Aromatherapy

Menta Piperita

 Peppermint (botanical name Menta Piperita) is basically a hybrid plant – a cross between the spearmint and watermint. Although the herb is native to Europe, presently it is grown across the globe. This perennial herb possesses numerous therapeutic properties that were identified and used by the Indians, Egyptians and Chinese since the ancient times. In order to avail the detoxifying attributes of the peppermint, the ancient Romans used to make wreaths with this herb and wear them as crowns during festivities. Owing to its sharp and spicy fragrance, peppermint is well accepted by most people.

The peppermint plant usually grows up to a height of 30 cm to 90 cm. The plant has smooth stems that are squares in cross section. The rhizomes or subterraneous roots of the plant are fleshy and travel far and wide, while the bare roots are fibrous. The plant bears deep green leaves with reddish veins that are 4 cm to 9 cm in length and 1.5 cm to 4 cm in width. The peppermint plant bears purplish blooms that have four-lobed corolla in whorls around the stem. The plant usually blossoms between mid and late summer.

The essential oil extracted from peppermint not only has a soothing effect, but it also rejuvenates the skin and is tremendously resourceful for domestic use. The oil possesses a clearing aroma that is effective in fighting fatigue and, at the same time, very stimulating. Use of this essential oil enhances the capability to concentrate as well as brings clarity of thoughts and decisions. Peppermint essential oil is said to be inspiring and revitalizing.

It may be mentioned here that irrespective of the herb, all essential oils are prepared solely using the herbs or the plants. This denotes that the essential oils do not enclose any outside element, such as moisturizer, which could dilute their attributes or potency. As a result, whenever bottles containing essential oils are opened, they exude an exceptionally strong smell.

Peppermint essential oil is beneficial for people enduring headaches, asthma, cramps, fainting, colic, flatulence, nausea, and fevers. It is known to be highly effective in relieving pains associated with these conditions. This oil also has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of insomnia, distress, tension, anxiousness, lethargy and/ or vertigo (light-headedness).

The essential oil extracted from peppermint can be used in various ways. Some of the different uses of peppermint essential oil are briefly mentioned below.

Provided you have a water spritzer (a container for two different liquids or drinks), fill it up with water and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to it. If the bottles are small, you need to add just 15 to 20 drops of the oil, while you may add 20-30 drops of oil in medium-sized bottles. Shake the mixture of oil and water thoroughly and gently spray it on your bedding, curtains and also carpets as an alternative to a room deodorizer.

Get a small pot filled with water for boiling over a stove top. Add three to five drops of peppermint essential oil to the water and inhale the aromatic vapor. While doing so, ensure that you take deep and slow breaths enabling the mixture to infuse your lungs.

In aromatherapy, peppermint can be effectively used as a massage oil to alleviate a number of conditions. However, as in the case of any essential oil, remember to dilute the peppermint essential oil blending it with any suitable carrier oil before use. In fact, the moisturizers present in carrier oils help to make the skin smooth and softer – supple to touch. As the concentration of peppermint essential oil is extremely high, only a few drops (one to three) of it need to be added to a little amount of carrier oil.

These days, there are several stores that sell ceramic oil burners meant for aromatherapy. Generally, these ceramic oil burners have the appearance of archetypal, glass milk bottles, but are smaller having a small, detachable, saucer-shaped lid, underneath which one can position a tea-candle. When you have lit the candle, replace the lid and pour in a small quantity of peppermint essential oil in the lid. As the candle will heat the oil in the lid, the sharp and spicy aroma of peppermint will infuse the air. This will help to refresh your senses.

You may also put in two to three drops of peppermint essential oil on a handkerchief and fold it before placing it under a pillow. While the delicate aroma of the oil will not be too intense for your nose, it will help in ensuring sound sleep.

As mentioned earlier, peppermint essential oil possesses numerous therapeutic properties and is, hence, used to treat a number of conditions. Its health benefits are many and some of them are briefly discussed below.

  • Since peppermint oil possesses potent antiseptic properties, it is very helpful in dental care. This oil not only helps to get rid of foul breath but also aids the gums and teeth to fight germs. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that peppermint essential oil forms the active ingredient in toothpaste. In addition, like clove oil, peppermint essential oil is highly effective in healing toothaches.
  • The essential oil extracted from peppermint is also effective in alleviating digestive problems while promoting digestion. On many occasions, people add a few drops of peppermint essential oil in a glassful of water and drink it following a meal with a view to facilitating digestion. The digestive properties of peppermint essential oil make it an excellent tonic for those enduring poor appetite. This oil also possesses carminative properties and, hence, is effective in expelling gas formed in the stomach and intestines, thereby, providing relief from flatulence and bloating. In addition, this essential oil is also useful when one is suffering from an upset stomach or motion sickness. Initial research has established that a blend of peppermint essential oil and caraway oil can also be used to effectively treat heartburns.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also a good home remedy to cure a headache and nausea. Topical application of watered down peppermint oil on the forehead is helpful in providing relief from headaches.
  • As in the case of the majority of the essential oils, peppermint essential oil also has the aptitude to alleviate tension, depression as well as mental exhaustion. These actions of peppermint essential oil are attributed to its ability to revitalize and refresh. This oil is also helpful in providing relief from nervous anxiety and restiveness. It is also known to be an effective remedy for insomnia.
  • Peppermint essential oil is rich in menthol content and, hence, is helpful in clearing the congestion in the respiratory tract. It also possesses potent expectorant properties which help it to draw out mucus and phlegm from the lungs, providing instant, albeit provisional, relief in several respiratory problems, such as cold and cough, sinusitis, nasal congestion, bronchitis and even asthma. Owing to these actions of peppermint essential oil, it is widely used in several formulations for cold rubs. Massaging or rubbing the cold rubs enclosing peppermint essential oil on the chest helps to get rid of nasal congestion as well as blockage of the respiratory tract almost instantly.
  • The essential oil extracted from the peppermint plant also possesses analgesic properties and, hence, it can be used topically to get relief from pains and aches. Peppermint essential oil encloses calcium antagonism which is believed to facilitate in providing relief from pain. This oil also has a cooling nature, which is effective in bringing down high temperatures during fever.
  • It is important to note that peppermint essential oil is highly effectual for colonoscopy, gastroscopy, and also during double-contrast barium enema (the inducement of a barium salt suspension into the rectum and colon before taking an X-ray). In such cases, peppermint essential oil is applied intraluminally (a lumen inside the space of a tubular structure, such as an artery or intestine). Presently, scientists are studying the additional benefits of the oil’s anti-spasmodic properties.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also known to augment blood circulation throughout the body.
  • It has been found that the essential oil extracted from peppermint plant possesses the property to relax the muscles. Also, relaxing the stomach muscles helps in alleviating irritable bowel syndrome. Initial findings of several types of research have proved this action of the oil, but the scientists are yet to determine the precise manner in which it works.
  • As mentioned before, peppermint essential oil contains high amounts of menthol which is beneficial for the health of the skin. Owing to the presence of menthol, using this oil topically on the skin brings forth a cooling effect. In addition, this oil nurtures dry skin and removes the problems associated with oily skin.
  • Peppermint essential oil also helps to fortify the immune system, thereby, enhancing the body’s capability to fight against diseases. In addition, this essential oil also helps to safeguard the body against several ailments.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also extremely beneficial for our hair. It brings forth a calming effect when applied on the head and facilitates getting rid of dandruff and lice. In addition, peppermint nourishes the hair follicles and makes the hair appear glistening.
  • Although researchers are still trying to ascertain the anti-cancerous properties of peppermint essential oil, it is generally believed that this oil is helpful in treating cancer. However, peppermint essential oil is said to be effective in curing tuberculosis.
  • Many herbalists recommend the use of peppermint essential oil for people suffering from urinary tract infections (UTI). Nevertheless, it needs to be mentioned that the scientists are yet to ascertain the use of peppermint essential oil for this purpose.

General properties

  • antibacterial
  • antiseptic
  • antispasmodic
  • carminative
  • stimulant
  • stomachic
  • tonic

Blends well with

  • eucalyptus
  • juniper
  • lemon
  • rosemary
  • rosewood

General uses

  • abdominal pains
  • acne
  • anorexia nervosa
  • bites
  • bruises
  • colic
  • coughing
  • mouth thrush
  • mouth ulcers
  • nausea
  • painful menstruation
  • stings
  • stress
  • swollen gums
  • toothache

Precaution

Although the essential oil extracted from peppermint possesses several therapeutic properties, it is said that this oil negates the efficacy of a number of homeopathic medications. Similar is the case for the essential oil derived from eucalyptus.

Best Essential Oils and Their Benefits

Essential oils, also called volatile oils, are scented oils extracted from plants. Historically, they’ve been used in medicine, cosmetics, perfumes, food, and, more recently, aromatherapy. Essential oils are “essential” because they contain the “essence” of the plant, meaning the taste or odor.

Not only are essential oils popular, they have legitimate therapeutic use and the science to back it up. Although the exact benefit depends on the oil in question, some have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. Others can affect cognitive function, mood, and memory. Some can even help alleviate stiff, sore muscles and joints.

Some essential oils can be applied to the skin, others are best taken orally. However–and this is important–do not ingest or topically apply any essential oils unless you are absolutely certain that they can be used this way. Not all essential oils are safe to take internally and some can irritate the skin. Essential oils are a concentrated source of many phytochemicals and some essential oils must be diluted with an unscented “carrier oil” to be used safely on the skin.

Health Benefits of Common Oils

One of the primary benefits of essential oils is that, when used properly, they offer many benefits and have few, if any, side effects. Many essential oils are effective against harmful organisms. Some can positively affect your mood and mental state. Some essential oils can even help you reduce a headache or feelings of nausea. Aromatherapy uses essential oils to improve quality of life and reduce unpleasant side effects of aggressive therapies and health conditions. Just be careful not to spill them; some surfaces, like painted wood, may react with essential oils.

Lavender Oil

Derived from fresh lavender flowers, lavender oil is one of the most well known essential oils. It appears to slow the activity of the central nervous system, improve sleep quality, promote better concentration, and help encourage hair regrowth in those suffering from alopecia areata, a type of hair loss.

Lavender may also help fight anxiety. In one study, encapsulated lavender oil was found to be effective for generalized anxiety disorder, without sedative effects or potential for abuse.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil, derived from the leaves of Eucalyptus odorata, a smaller variety of eucalyptus tree, is a powerful biocide. It’s antimicrobial, insecticidal (kills insects), herbicidal, acaricidal (kills ticks and mites), and nematicidal (kills nematodes). It’s especially effective against the bacterial strains Staphylococcus aureusHaemophilus influenzaStaphylococcus agalactiae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Eucalyptus oil is great for respiratory health. Inhaling eucalyptus steam can help alleviate a cough and congestion. The aroma of the oil acts as an expectorant, helping to loosen phlegm in the nasal passages and lungs.

In one study, researchers found that the combination of eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil boosts cognitive performance. The same study also found the scent of these two essential oils reduce headaches and promote mental and muscular relaxation.

Peppermint Oil

 

Peppermint oil can help alleviate nausea, a headache, upset stomach, gas, indigestion, and anxiety. It works on the digestive system by speeding up the rate of elimination. Peppermint oil calms the involuntary smooth muscle of the stomach, producing an antispasmodic effect, and improves the flow of bile. It can help soothe discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and studies have shown that encapsulated peppermint oil can reduce IBS symptoms in as many as 80% of people who take it. Peppermint oil is effective because it contains menthol that interferes with the movement of electrolytes across cell membranes, stopping involuntary contractions.

Beyond digestive help, peppermint oil may offer relief for HSV-1 (Herpes simplex) outbreaks by permeating the skin and acting as a virucide directly on the virus. More research is needed, but preliminary results suggest topical application may fight outbreaks.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is another essential oil with strong antimicrobial properties. Also known as melaleuca oil, tea tree oil comes from “tea” or “paperbark” trees. In Australia, it has a long history of use as an antiseptic. Bundjalung aborigines native to Australia inhaled the aroma of crushed leaves to relieve a cough and used poultices to help heal wounds.

Today, we know that tea tree oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiprotozoal. It fights harmful organisms by damaging cell membranes. Tea tree oil also inhibits the growth and sporulation of yeast and fungus. The oil can be applied topically to cuts to discourage infection.

Like peppermint oil, tea tree oil seems to have an effect on HSV-1. One study revealed that, while topical tea tree oil doesn’t prevent recurrent herpes outbreaks, it may reduce viral load by up to 98.2%.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is derived from the seeds of the wild jojoba shrub, a small, woody desert plant native to Arizona, California, and northwestern Mexico. Historically, Native Americans used jojoba oil to help wounds heal. Jojoba oil contains unique fatty acids and fatty alcohol esters that are similar, but superior, to those found in sperm whales.

Unlike other essential oils, jojoba oil is not a volatile oil, but still offers plenty of benefits, primarily to the skin. With respect to wound healing, researchers found that jojoba oil accelerates the closure of wounds at a cellular level. To improve skin appearance and reduce acne, incorporate jojoba oil into your skincare routine. Evidence indicates that clay-jojoba oil facial masks might be an effective remedy for mild acne.

Blue Chamomile Oil

Blue chamomile oil is extracted from German chamomile. The vibrant color of blue chamomile oil is a result of the steam extraction process—the azulene content in the oil darkens to an inky blue, brilliant azure, or deep green. This color fades and turns dark yellow during storage, but, don’t worry, the oil’s benefits don’t fade.

Chamomile has been used therapeutically for thousands of years by Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians to remedy everything from skin conditions and injuries to fever and insomnia. As a traditional medicine, blue chamomile oil may help with eczema, wounds, bruises, burns, canker sores, mastitis, and other conditions.

Chamomile is also appreciated for its anti-inflammatory effects. One study found that chamomile inhibits and prevents a chemical process in the body that incites inflammation. Further, chamomile seems to inhibit the effects of the stomach-ulcer-provoking bacteria Helicobacter pylori.

Chamomile tea can help with insomnia, and inhaling the aroma of chamomile oil produces a mild sedative effect on the brain, which makes you feel sleepy. Like lavender, chamomile oil offers a mild anti-anxiety effect for those who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder.

Rose Oil

Rose oil is a floral-scented essential oil derived from the petals of several species of rose. In contrast, rose absolute is not an essential oil because the essence of the rose is extracted using a more intense chemical extraction processes. Like other essential oils, rose oil promotes a calm mood and fights harmful organisms. It contains tocopherol (a vitamin E compound), carotene, and high levels of phenolic compounds. Rose oil can make your skin more permeable so it’s often added to skin care products to improve efficacy.

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil contains carvacrol, a powerful organic compound with a long list of beneficial properties, including fighting harmful organisms. Carvacrol also supports liver health.

Jasmine Oil

Jasmine oil is derived from jasmine flowers. While many of the essential oils mentioned are sleep aids and relaxants, jasmine oil has a stimulating effect. When applied topically, jasmine oil increases alertness, breathing rate, and vigor. These effects may promote an uplifted mood and better sense of well-being.

Copaiba Oil

Copaiba oil is extracted from the Amazonian plants in the Copaifera genus. Copaiba oil contains copalic acid, which seems to halt the growth of common, but harmful, dental bacteria such as Streptococcus pyogenusStreptococcus salivarius, and Streptococcus mutagens. Copaiba oil also has strong anti-inflammatory effects. Unlike most essential oils, copaiba oil can be taken orally.

Bergamot Oil

Bergamot oil is known for its calming effects, but it may also encourage a healthy body weight and help with vascular and heart health. Researchers aren’t yet sure how, but bergamot oil encourages normal cholesterol levels and blood sugar.

Neroli Oil

Neroli oil is derived from the blossom of Citrus aurantium, also known as the bitter orange tree, which is native to tropical and subtropical Asia. The oil goes by many names but is frequently called “orange bitters” and “Seville orange.” It’s known as Neroli because of a 17th-century Italian princess, Anne Marie Orsini of Nerola, took a liking to the scent. Neroli oil is commonly added to diet pills due to its ability to act as an appetite suppressant. One of the major benefits of Neroli oil is that it helps relieve symptoms associated with menopause and stress. It also boosts the actions of the endocrine system, fights harmful organisms, and soothes irritation.

Lemon Balm Oil

Also called valerian, lemon balm is another essential oil that helps with symptoms of menopause, especially disordered sleep patterns. Lemon balm also seems to sharpen memory and boost problem-solving abilities. Some promising research indicates that it may improve recall for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Pomegranate Oil

Pomegranate oil comes from the many seeds of the pomegranate. It’s exceptionally rich in linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid. Some research suggests pomegranate oil may even delay the development of colon cancer and skin cancer. The oil also enhances the immune system.

Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil is extracted from Boswellia tree sap and has a long history of therapeutic use. Most interestingly, frankincense promotes normal cell growth.

How to Use Essential Oils

Most essential oils are safe to use, but you have to pay attention to their intended use and stick to those applications. Some oils can only be used aromatically and should not be applied to the skin or taken orally. You may have noticed that many of the oils are effective against harmful organisms. Those effects aren’t always limited to harmful organisms—they might affect gut and skin microbiota, too. Others can kill cells indiscriminately, including normal tissue cells.

There are, of course, gentle essential oils that are great for the skin. Neroli oil, for example, promotes circulation and soothes irritation. Rose oil moisturizes the skin and is used as a gentle toner. To take advantage of some of the skin benefits of essential oils, AquaSpirit® contains Neroli, rose, jasmine, and lavender oil. It encourages healthy-looking, radiant skin and promotes well-being.

Creative Organic Green ~ Detox For Your Home

Winter is the time of year that we start eating heavier and detoxing. It’s time for winter cleaning of body, mind, and home! While there is a lot of focus on what we eat, often not enough attention is paid to how we clean our homes… Making sure that all of your household cleaning products are naturally-derived is extremely important – especially if you have children. The products we use every day may give off toxins that we then breathe in or absorb through our skin. They may also pollute the air in our environment. Studies have shown that environmental toxicity is a contributor to many conditions such as autoimmune disease, heart disease and even cancer(1). The chemicals found in many common household cleaners are carcinogens which mean that they can cause cancer. Bleach and ammonia are highly toxic and, when mixed together, they are a lethal combination(2).  Other chemicals which are hormone and endocrine disruptors are glycol ethers and phthalates (3) so it’s important to be able to identify every ingredient on a label that you are using in your home. If you can’t identify it, don’t use it. With just a few simple ingredients, including some wonderfully fragrant essential oils, you can disinfect and clean, as well as rid your home of bacteria, mold, viruses, unpleasant odors, and dust mites.

As a caution, when you buy essential oils you should beware of anything that says “fragrance added.” If it does not say “100% (pure) essential oils” then the ingredient is synthetic. Most of the fragrance used in household cleaning products and deodorizers are synthetic. There is nothing natural about them and they are harmful to your health. Essential oils are great for the home since they are non-toxic and they possess many therapeutic properties that will benefit you for a clean healthy home. They are antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal – and of course, they smell great.

These are some recipes I created to get you through all your spring cleaning. I use sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) in all three recipes so you don’t have to go out and buy too many essential oils; however, I am also giving you a list of essential oils you can substitute.The citrus oils are all antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal so you can replace orange oil with lemon (Citrus limon), grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) or lime (Citrus aurantifolia) essential oil.

It’s also fun to experiment and mix scents that you like. It might even make you enjoy cleaning!

General All-purpose Cleaner

Lemon (Citrus limon)

Lemon is one of the most popular citrus fruits in the world. It is extracted from the rind of the fruit. It is antiseptic, a disinfectant, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, making it a great all-purpose household cleaner. It was even used during World War I as a disinfectant in hospitals. Lemon essential oil is calming but it is also refreshing to the mind, as it helps lift negative emotions. It is believed that inhaling lemon essential oil helps to increase concentration and alertness; therefore, it can be a great room freshener in offices.

 

Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

Orange Sweet is a citrus essential oil that is extracted from the rind of the orange. It is antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. It is also very uplifting for your mood, making it a good scent to have in any home. Sweet orange essential oil is an excellent degreaser and cleaner due to an ingredient called, d-Limonene. A study conducted by The University of Arkansas and Colorado State University found that Valencia orange (Citrus sinensis var. valencia) essential oil inhibited E. Coli and Salmonella during the refrigeration process of beef(3). It also inhibited Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which is a deadly staph infection(4).

 

Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

Peppermint essential oil is extracted from the leaves of a herb. It is a hybrid of spearmint (Mentha spicata) and water mint (Mentha aquatica). It is antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial and antiseptic. Bugs tend not to like it, so it is a good choice to add to an all-purpose aromatherapy blend around the house.

 

White Distilled Vinegar

White Distilled Vinegar is one of the best cleaning ingredients for the home since it is a natural disinfectant. It can help to kill mold, bacteria, and viruses. In addition, it is very inexpensive.

 

Directions for Use:

You will need a sixteen-ounce size spray bottle.

 

Essential Oils:

20 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)

30 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

15 drops Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

White Distilled Vinegar*

Distilled Water*

*Fill the remaining bottle with a 50/50 combination of white vinegar and distilled water.  I prefer distilled water but if you don’t have distilled water, use filtered water. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use because the essential oils and water will separate. If you want to change the scent, from time to time you can substitute with lime, grapefruit, eucalyptus (Eucaplyptusspp.), clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).

You can use this blend as a general cleaner for your kitchen, especially for the countertops, refrigerator, cabinets and even wood surfaces.

Window Cleaner

I like using an eight-ounce size bottle since it’s smaller and easier to handle and it will fit in any cabinet. If you want to make a sixteen-ounce bottle, just double up the recipe.

 

Essential Oils:

3 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)

3 drops Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

White Distilled Vinegar*

Distilled Water*

*Fill the remaining bottle with a 50/50 combination of white vinegar and distilled water. I prefer distilled water but if you don’t have distilled water, you can use filtered water. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use because the essential oils and water will separate. If you want to change the scent from time to time, you can substitute lemon with lime, grapefruit or orange.

Bath and Sink Scrub

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)

Clove essential oil is extracted from the buds of the clove plant. It is antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, antiseptic and antiviral, making it a great choice for cleaning tubs and sinks.

 

Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner

 

Pure Liquid Castile Soap

Make sure that your soap is pure Castile. I use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap because for over 150 years it has been a family-run business and the quality of the product is never comprised for profit. The soap is pure and organic, with no dyes, whiteners or synthetic fragrances. The bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic so you are doing something good for the environment. They are available in different scents such as orange, sweet almond (Prunis Dulcis), eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and lemon, and the soap blends perfectly with essential oils. You should have this product in your home as it has so many uses and can replace many products. I also use it as a hand and body wash, and shampoo – and you can even wash floors and clothes with it.

 

Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate)

Baking soda is right up there with vinegar as a cleaning superstar! It is non-toxic, absorbs odor, and it is great for sinks and tubs due to its abrasive texture. It has many uses in the home – from brushing your teeth to shining silver. I never use toxic oven cleaners. Instead, I mix baking soda and water to get rid of spills in my oven. You can rub it on with a soft cloth or leave some on the spills overnight and then wash it the next day.

Use a twelve-ounce glass jar with an airtight clamp lid or a screw top.

 

Essential Oils:

5 drops Clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum)

5 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

½ cup Pure Liquid Castile Soap*

½ cup Baking Soda*

*I mix equal parts of baking soda and castile soap to make a paste. If you want to make a bigger batch just double-up the recipe. Add the baking soda and castile soap to the jar, then add the essential oils. Once you have all of the ingredients in the jar, mix it together with a spoon or spatula. You can apply a small amount to a cloth or sponge to clean.

As the seasons change, or you just want to try a different aroma, you can use ten drops of any of the following essential oils, or just mix two essential oils together. They all have antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.

 

• Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

• Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus globulus)

• Rosemary ct. cineole (Rosmarinus officinalis)

• Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

• Lemon (Citrus limon)

• Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

 

Wood Cleaner

Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner

Olive Oil (Olea europaea)

Olive oil moisturizes dry wood and gives it a shine.

White Distilled Vinegar

See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner

You will need a two-ounce flip top bottle.

 

Essential Oil:

15 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

½ ounce of White Distilled Vinegar

Olive Oil (Olea europaea)*

*Fill the remaining bottle with olive oil. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use. Put about a tablespoon on a soft cloth and wipe down the wood. Apply more as needed.

Essential Oils for Treating Cold Sores

Cold sores, which are also called fever blisters, can be itchy, painful, and embarrassing. They are typically caused by the herpes simplex virus.

Cold sores can be treated with antiviral medications, which may shorten how long the symptoms last. There are various home remedies, as well, which are used to ease their discomfort.

Furthermore, a lot of studies have been done that show compounds in certain essential oils may help treat cold sores.

Essential oils might have some advantages over medication. For instance, essential oils usually cause fewer side effects than antiviral drugs.

Although they may be helpful in treating the symptoms of the herpes simplex virus, essential oils can be harmful if taken orally. When used to treat cold sores, the oils are applied topically to the skin only after they are mixed with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or coconut oil.

In this article, we take a look at 10 essential oils that research suggests may be able to help treat cold sores.

Essential oils for cold sores

The following essential oils may be useful for treating cold sores:

Lavender

Applying certain essential oils may help to reduce cold sore irritation.

Lavender oil has been used for years to treat a variety of issues, including skin irritation and bruises.

Although it may not have any effect on the virus, lavender oil may be helpful in reducing pain associated with cold sores. In one study, lavender oil appeared to have the potential to decrease pain and inflammation.

The first time someone uses lavender oil, they should dilute it with a carrier oil. If there is no reaction, they might be able to use a stronger mix.

Lavender oil can also be used undiluted, as it does not usually irritate the skin. One or two drops of lavender oil can be applied directly to the sore.

Peppermint oil

In one study, peppermint oil was shown to inhibit the activity of both the herpes virus type 1 and type 2. The study concluded that peppermint oil might be useful in treating recurrent herpes infections.

A few drops of peppermint oil diluted with a milder oil, such as almond oil, can be applied to the sore.

Chrysanthemum oil

Although chrysanthemum oil may not specifically treat the herpes simplex virus, research has suggested that the oil has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, which may reduce symptoms.

Allergies to chrysanthemum oil are not uncommon. It is best to test a small area of the skin before using the essential oil on a cold sore. Never apply directly to the skin, and always dilute in a carrier oil.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil may be useful in treating cold sores due to its anti-inflammatory ability.

A paper in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology indicated that eucalyptus oil could decrease inflammation. By reducing inflammation, eucalyptus may speed up the healing process of a cold sore.

Users should be sure to dilute eucalyptus oil in a carrier oil before applying it to the skin to avoid irritation. Eucalyptus is a known allergen, so people should not use it if they have a reaction.

Clove oil

The effect of clove has been studied on the herpes simplex virus as well as other viruses, including hepatitis C.

Clove may have an antimicrobial and antiviral effect on the herpes simplex virus. It also may decrease pain associated with a cold sore.

Clove is irritating if applied directly to the skin. It should be diluted with a milder oil, such as coconut oil. Users should use caution when applying the mixture to the sore.

Chamomile oil

Chamomile oil interrupts absorption of the herpes virus into the cells differently than antiviral drugs, according to some research.

This oil may also be useful in treating drug-resistant strains of herpes. Again, chamomile oil must be diluted in a carrier oil before being applied to the skin.

Tea tree oil

According to a review published in the International Journal of Dermatology, tea tree oil has shown the ability to stop or kill the herpes simplex virus.

The oil is strong, so it is best to use it with caution. Users should dilute it with a carrier oil to decrease the chances of a skin irritation.

Hyssop oil

Research on hyssop oil showed that the essential oil caused a decrease in viral activity.

A few drops of hyssop oil can be diluted and applied to the cold sore.

Lemon balm oil

Lemon balm oil, which is also called Melissa extract, may have an antiviral effect on the herpes simplex virus.

One study indicated that the oil prevents the herpes virus from penetrating the cells.

Users should apply the diluted oil to the cold sore with a cotton swab three or four times a day for best results.

Thyme oil

Thyme oil has been examined to determine its ability to treat herpes simplex virus type 1. The results of one study indicated that the essential oil shows antiviral action against the virus.

Thyme oil should always be diluted with a carrier oil before it is applied to the cold sore.

Risks and considerations

lemon balm essential oil in glass bottle with fresh leaves
To reduce the risk of an allergic reaction, essential oils such as lemon balm should be diluted with a carrier oil before being applied to the skin.

When using essential oils to treat cold sores, it is important to understand the risks. Some essential oils can be irritating to the skin and may damage the skin if they are used too much.

An allergic reaction is also possible when using essential oils. Hives, redness, or itching at the site of application are signs of an allergic reaction.

If signs of an allergic reaction develop, people should stop using the oil immediately.

Diluting an essential oil with a carrier oil may be useful and necessary. Dilution means the carrier oils provide better absorption as well as less irritation to the skin.

Common carrier oils used to dilute essential oils include:

The ratio of essential oil to carrier oil may vary. Typically, a ratio of 2–5 drops of essential oil diluted in 1 ounce of a carrier oil is used.

Additional home remedies for cold sores

aloe vera dripping its gel in to glass bottle
Applying aloe vera may help to calm cold sore symptoms.

In addition to essential oils, there are also other natural home remedies that can ease the symptoms of cold sores.

Home remedies that may help ease cold sore symptoms when applied include:

  • aloe vera
  • hot or cold compress
  • zinc
  • vitamin E
  • witch hazel

Home remedies do not kill the herpes virus or prevent future flare-ups of cold sores. Instead, home remedies may ease cold sore symptoms, such as pain, redness, and itching.

Summary

Cold sores can be painful and annoying. The essential oils listed here may help decrease symptoms and treat the sores.

It is wise to keep in mind that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who regulate medications, do not control the use of essential oils.

It may be helpful to consult with a certified aromatherapist to find the best brands and uses of various essential oils for cold sores.

If cold sores occur frequently, it is also best to consult a doctor to work out if additional treatments are needed.