Do you love filling your home with great-smelling essential oils? You're not alone.
For centuries, people have harnessed the power of scent to relieve tension, ignite joy, and create a sense of calm around them.
If you're an avid aromatherapy fan, you know that different oils evoke different emotions. They also serve different treatment purposes. This fresh, invigorating oil is one of the most powerful in your collection and delivers a host of therapeutic benefits.
Today, we're taking a closer look at one oil in particular.
We're sharing 10 of the top benefits of diffusing peppermint oil!
What is Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint essential oil is an extract derived from the leaves of the peppermint plant.
This plant is an aromatic herb that belongs to the mint family. A hybrid between spearmint and watermint, it grows organically around North America and Europe.
You can find peppermint oil in a variety of different forms, including:
- Essential oil: Concentrated for aromatherapy or diluted and applied topically
- Extract: Diluted and used in food
- Capsules: Taken as a dietary supplement
Peppermint has a distinct odor and taste that you'll recognize as soon as you encounter it. If you've ever tasted a candy cane, you've experienced its minty fresh flavor!
While there are a few ways you can enjoy peppermint oil, today we're focusing on the many ways you can diffuse it. A premium diffuser is one of the most beneficial health and wellness accessories you can buy, and these 10 reasons show you how powerful it really is!
1. Instant Energy Boost
Do you start to feel sluggish around the middle of the day? Tend to have a hard time waking up in the morning?
If so, try diffusing a few drops of peppermint oil first thing in the morning. You can also plug your diffuser in any time that you start to feel that telltale slump coming on.
If you work from home, an essential oil diffuser is a natural addition to your home office. Throughout the day, check the water levels and add a few more drops of peppermint oil. This way, you can stay awake and maintain alertness, even through that lunchtime conference call!
2. Clear Nasal Passages
We might be in the thick of summer, but fall and winter are quick on its heels. This can only mean one thing: It's time for the sniffles to kick back in again!
If you're used to battling seasonal allergies, you're not alone. In fact, more than 50 million Americans battle some form of allergy each year. The same research reveals that allergies are the sixth most leading cause of chronic illness in the United States!
Of course, there are myriad over-the-counter and prescription products designed to help you breathe easier and find relief from the sniffling, coughing, and runny nose. You can even run your cool mist humidifier to help improve the relative humidity in your room and open up your sinuses.
Still, it's unwise to pump your body full of allergy medicine on a regular basis. It's also unrealistic to walk chained to a box of tissues all day and night!
Thankfully, you can take control of your sinuses by diffusing peppermint oil! This crisp, refreshing scent helps to reduce inflammation in your nasal passageways. It also helps reduce congestion, so you can breathe more deeply and comfortably.
3. Stimulate Circulation
Do you have poor circulation? Some of the symptoms that might point to the affirmative include:
- Tingling or numbness in your extremities
- Throbbing or sharp pain in your limbs
- Cold hands and feet
- Swollen feet, legs, or ankles
- Chronic fatigue
- Memory issues
- Joint and muscle cramps
Poor circulation is also a symptom of a more serious condition, known as peripheral vascular disease, or PVD. Research shows that PVD, which affects 8.5 million Americans, occurs when cholesterol begins to build up in critical arteries responsible for carrying oxygen and other nutrients to bodily tissues.
When this happens, it can restrict blood flow to the sufferer's limbs, which can sometimes exacerbate into a full blockage.
On its own, diffusing peppermint oil alone isn't an adequate treatment for poor circulation or PVD. Still, it can help stimulate blood flow and improve your circulation as you walk around your home.
4. Relieve Tension and Anxiety
Do you have a big test coming up? What about a major presentation at work? If so, you might be feeling all sorts of butterflies.
Before the big moment, it can help to close your eyes and take deep, centering breaths. While you're in this peaceful moment of Zen, go ahead and diffuse some peppermint oil nearby, too.
This scent can help relieve any pent-up tension that you're carrying around, along with anxiety and fear of the future. It does so by relaxing your muscles and allowing you to shed that burden you've been carrying.
While you're at it, go ahead and steep some peppermint tea to sip on, too! The warm beverage can help ease your stress even more and even freshens your breath as you prepare to face the day!
5. Enhance Memory and Alertness
Just as easily as peppermint oil can calm you down, it can also pep you up! If you've been feeling especially groggy lately, pour in a few drops and notice right away the difference it makes.
This effect stems from the fact that peppermint is a natural cognitive enhancer. Skeptical that an oil can be that effective? Consider a recent study of 144 volunteers by the International Journal of Neuroscience.
In this study, the participants were split into three groups. The researchers exposed one group to ylang-ylang aroma, one to peppermint aroma, and one to no aroma (control group).
Peppermint was discovered to enhance memory, while ylang-ylang impaired it. It also quickened processing speed while ylang-ylang lengthened it. Researchers also found that peppermint increased alertness in the study participants.
6. Relieve Headaches
Are you among the 50% to 75% of American adults age 18 to 65 who have had at least one headache in the past year?
Whether yours are attributed to minor sinus pressure or full-blown migraines, these can be some of the most miserable health issues to work past.
Your doctor should be able to guide you down a treatment path to help get your headaches under control. As you implement these techniques, it helps to have a few at-home remedies that you know can provide quick relief.
Thankfully, peppermint oil is one of them. The menthol that peppermint contains is a powerful foe against the tension that grips your muscles any time you feel a headache start to form. It relaxes this stress, helping to keep the tension and strain at bay.
For additional relief, you can also dilute a few drops of peppermint oil in a carrier oil (such as coconut or olive oil) and rub the solution directly on your temples. This can create a cooling sensation that fills your senses and helps relax your body.
Note that some people are sensitive to peppermint oil when it's applied topically. Be sure to test a little portion of your skin before applying!
7. Instant Air Conditioner
Especially during the hottest part of the year, you'll do anything it takes to stay cool! While your HVAC system should do much of this work for you, your essential oil diffuser is also an important tool to keep around. The very scent and sensation of peppermint can make you feel cooler, even if the temperature in your room hasn't changed a degree.
How does this phenomenon work?
When diffused into the air, menthol affects the calcium channels in your body. In turn, this can trigger and activate the receptors in your body that are responsible for feeling cold. While it might not be enough of a difference to put on socks or pull out your favorite hoodie, it's worth a try when the sun is relentless.
With your extra peppermint oil, you can also create a refreshing topical spray to help you beat the heat!
Start by combining two tablespoons of water with two tablespoons of witch hazel in a small spray bottle. Then, add four drops of peppermint oil, followed by four drops of lavender oil. Screw on the spray bottle top and you're ready to spritz away the sweat!
8. Lift Your Mood
Sometimes, we all get a little down in the dumps. There are countless reasons why you might be feeling a little discontented, but the emotion doesn't have to last for long!
Peppermint is a wonderful, simple mood lifter, filled to the brim with bright and bold aromas that you can't help but adore.
The next time you're feeling cranky, try a few centering exercises such as:
- Writing in a gratitude journal
- Practicing simple yoga moves
- Performing deep breathing exercises
As you do any of these things, you can diffuse peppermint oil in the background to help lift and improve even the most cantankerous mood.
9. Better Sleep
Couldn't we all use a better night's sleep? Studies show that 70% of American adults have insufficient sleep at least one time per month and 11% experience it every single night.
Does that include you?
There are a few different reasons why your quality of sleep might be negatively impacted. These range from an uncomfortable bedroom environment to chronic health conditions, such as sleep apnea.
One of the most effective ways to set your body into rest mode? Breathe deeply and allow your muscles to relax. While we know this works in theory, it's also easier said than done. This is especially the case if you tend to lie in bed with a racing mind!
The next time counting sheep just isn't cutting it, try diffusing some peppermint oil instead.
The menthol in the oil helps promote clear, deep breathing. The more consistent and regulated you can make those breaths, the easier it will be to drift off into dreamland.
10. Powerful Workout
Do you love working out at home?
It may be convenient to break a sweat in your living room, but it's also difficult to stay on task and power through the hard moves!
Due to its invigorating aroma, peppermint is the ideal oil to diffuse when you need inspiration to stay the course, lift the weights, and do the rest of the routine on your screen. Researchers have discovered that this oil helps improve exercise performance in a variety of ways, including:
- Relaxing your bronchial smooth muscles for easier breathing
- Improving your ventilation and brain oxygen concentration
- Lowering your blood lactate levels
- Boosting your muscular energy metabolism
Plus, it acts as an immediate air freshener, which can help wick away any lingering odors that hang in your home long after an hour-long kickboxing session!
Another way to enjoy the benefits of peppermint oil while you're working out is to apply a few drops to your chest before you begin. As you move around, you'll catch the occasional whiff of the oil. This can give you the mental boost you need to redirect your focus and push through any resistance you're feeling.
Reap These Benefits of Diffusing Peppermint Oil
It might be one of the most common essential oils around, but that doesn't mean peppermint isn't one of the superstars of this sector.
The next time you're feeling anxious, sleepy, uninspired, or tense, add a few drops to your diffuser! You'll discover that these are only a few of the benefits of diffusing peppermint oil!
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