Annnnddd welcome back all – Wow 2019! The years fly past so quickly don’t they? I had a great Christmas and New Year break – lots of beach time, swimming and even more eating and drinking. But now, due to popular demand (you know who you are!), I am back to continue my journey into everything essential oils and chemical free living.
And this is where it got interesting… Everything went blank. That list of ideas in my little book seemed so foreign
to me now… I mean, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write about – a first for me. So I sat down and just did a little Google search on essential oils and one oil kept appearing more than any other… Peppermint.
I am not a fan at all of peppermint in food so I have not usually looked too much at it. However looking back I have included it in many of my posts to date – which I will obviously revisit below – so there must be some pretty good manly uses for it. I also know from doing my research in regards to essential oils and science that it is one of the few oils that has actual proven medical benefits. I mean, why wouldn’t I write about it then. So pour yourself a manly beverage and let’s explore the world of Peppermint Essential Oil uses for men!
Before we start
As usual, I want to give you all of the man-facts without bogging you down into reams and reams of information that, let’s be honest, many of you are not going to read. So to assist you here I have included links to the relative headings below so that for those of you who are interested (or have a trivia night coming up) can gain some knowledge and those who just want me to get on with the manly uses can jump straight there!
- What is peppermint?
- Scientific research into peppermint essential oil
- Benefits of peppermint essential oil
- 5 Manly uses of peppermint essential oil
- Risks of using peppermint essential oils
What is peppermint?
Peppermint (Mentha × piperita) is actually a hybrid species of a cross between watermint and spearmint and relatively new in modern terms having only really been identified and studied since the mid-1700’s. Spearmint, on the other hand traces back to mythological and biblical times and in ancient Rome was used in digestive disorders.
The most common use of peppermint in a non-essential oil capacity is in Peppermint Tea which is promoted to assist with digestive complaints, headaches, bad breath, colds and sniffles, low energy levels and concentration issues. Most of which I will probably repeat throughout this post as benefits of the essential oil as well. It is also used as a flavour in toothpaste and chewing gum.
Peppermint Essential oil is manufactured via the steam distillation of the leaves and flowering tops of the peppermint plant. It takes roughly 450grams (1 pound) of peppermint to create one 15-ml bottle of Peppermint essential oil.
Scientific research into peppermint essential oil
Unlike many other essential oils out there where research is limited and promoted benefits are loose to say the least, there appears to be a lot more tangible evidence on the benefits of peppermint essential oil. Most studies will still acknowledge however that a lack of scientific evidence on the effect of peppermint does hinder comprehensive results in many tests and experiments.
However – and I will try and keep these brief – I have highlighted a couple of these studies below:
The use of peppermint essential oil for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Subjects were given peppermint oil capsules for the treatment of active irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) over a two-week period. Those taking the oil capsules (compared to those taking the placebo) were found to report significantly superior improvement of IBS symptoms abdominal pain. The study concluded that peppermint essential oil is a safe and effective short-term treatment for IBS.
Source: Khanna R, MacDonald JK, Levesque BG, Peppermint oil for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Downloaded 03/01/19.
Effects of Peppermint Essential Oil on Physical Performance.
This study investigated the effects of peppermint essential oil on the increased ability of subjects to complete various physical challenges. Results found that after oral ingestion of the oil, significant increases were experienced when subjects completed grip force, standing vertical jump and standing long jump activities compared to previous attempts.
Source: Meamarbashi, A, Instant effects of peppermint essential oil on the physiological parameters and exercise performance – Downloaded 03/01/019
Benefits of peppermint essential oil
The benefits list of peppermint essential oils is a long one. Funnily enough however, it is one that, in my humble man-pinion appears to be more realistic that many others that I have read through – Is that a break in my skepticism you ask? Maybe just a little…
I will however admit that some of these benefits still cause me some concern in the fact that they are realised via the ingestion of the oils. I know that the research I have outlined above and in previous posts state that they are safe, but my jury is still out on this. So, as usual, if you are ingesting them, please be careful, do your research and do not allow your children to do so without consulting a medical professional.
Anyway, the benefits/uses of peppermint essential oils include:
- Assisting with IBS, Colic and Nausea – this is obviously one of the proven benefits of both the oil and
- Soothing sore muscle joints – This one I can attest to – see below.
- Clearing sinus’/blocked nose – The menthol qualities of peppermint provide a cooling and soothing effect that is also able to assist in temporary relief from blocked sinuses and runny noses. Add three drops to a diffuser or bowl of boiling water.
- Increased Energy – Much like the research into physical improvement, peppermint oil is claimed to assist with increased mental and physical energy. Inhale via a diffuser or apply topically to muscles and joints or the temples as required.
- Fresher breath – Makes sense… Peppermint is a common ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwash and lollies. Add a few drops to boiling water (add some lemon too if you like) and swirl it around the old cake-hole, or drink peppermint tea.
5 Manly uses of peppermint essential oil
Finally – the good stuff. In fact the more I think about it, I actually use peppermint essential oils more than I realise. The previous section obviously highlights some of the most common (and less controversial) uses of peppermint essential oil but here are five other manly uses I have come up with – and yes, I will be stealing from previous blogs but just think of that as me saving you some time!!
Use 1 – Stiff muscle joints.
I have discussed this quite comprehensively in my post on sore feet however since then I have tweaked my concoction just a little to actually incorporate peppermint essential oils. In this post I used Panaway (which is a mixture of Peppermint, Wintergreen, Helichrysum and Clove) and coconut carrier oil to assist in relieving stiff muscles and joints. I have since added a few drops of peppermint as well for its cooling and soothing effects.
I have found that the addition of the peppermint oil really does make a difference especially when applied prior to playing – something I guess is backed up by the research above.
Use 2 – Insect repellent
Fact! Insects hate peppermint – ok, an unproven fact but hey, I have tried this one as well. On New years eve, I was down at the headland having a gentle beer with the neighbours and noticed I was getting eaten alive by mozzies. I didn’t have any insect repellent but I did have my ‘muscle cream’ from use 1 above in the car. I applied it and no more bites!
We also get quite a few blowflies around the area in summer from the bins (don’t ask) – We have been putting peppermint in the diffuser outside when we are having a BBQ and I have to say… fewer flies! – We sometimes add lemon to this as well.
Use 3 – Hangover
Again, I have discussed this at length in another post where I was given a mixture of lemon, lavender and peppermint for a post bucks (stag or bachelor) party hangover. If push came to shove however, I would also recommend peppermint on its own. Again, I have tried this after one too many ‘gentle’ beers on NYE with said neighbours. Peppermint and grapeseed carrier oil were added to a roller bottle and rubbed onto the ole tummy the next morning. I have to say, I did start to feel a little better.
Of course I can’t quantify this one, but again, there is factual proof in regards to IBS and nausea for this oil. It is also an active ingredient in the Digize essential oil blend which is created especially for use in calming the body after a large or spicy meal so I believe it is worth a shot anyway.
Use 4 – Acne
As with many other essential oils, peppermint is actually quite good for the skin, especially when inflamed. Peppermint oil is good at stopping pores from clogging and is a natural anti-inflammatory so it also has the ability to sooth and heal.
To treat or reduce the occurrence of acne, mix 1 drop of peppermint oil and 1 drop of eucalyptus oil (an excellent antiseptic that kills bacteria) with 6-8 drops of water and apply with a cotton bud or ball.
If the menthol effects of the peppermint become overbearing, try instead adding the oils to a small amount of chemical and odour free face moisturiser.
Use 5 – Manly diffuser Recipes
Yep, reusing from old posts but here they are…
4 drops Orange
4 drop Peppermint
3 drops Peppermint
2 drops Stressaway
Risks of using peppermint essential oils
I think it would be remiss of me to discuss the use of any types of essential oils on too much detail without highlighting the risks. One of the benefits of this oil is its menthol and cooling qualities, but of course this could also be one of its greatest concerns. If you are allergic to, or at the very least sensitive to, peppermint or any other type of mint or mint type plants, then I would probably suggest giving this one a wide berth.
I would also highly recommend keeping this one away from children and never use of babies. Also avoid this one of you are pregnant unless cleared by medical professional first. Other risks of peppermint essential oil include:
- Stinging to eyes and mucous membranes -.be careful when using on your face.
- Heartburn was recorded as a side effect when administered to subjects in the physical experiments outlined above.
- Burning to sensitive skin – if you are subject to rashes etc. try on a small area first.
So that is it, the world of peppermint essential oil. It has many uses and appears to be one of the most readily researched of the essential oil stable. I will continue to update this page as I discover more uses for it – especially the manly uses. But in the meantime, let me know below if there are any uses you are aware of that I might be able to add. And if all else fails, there is always peppermint tea!
Once again, thanks for your time and as always,
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