And welcome back all. I am back to continue my journey into everything essential oils and chemical free living. And this is where it got interesting… I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write about. So I 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, so there must be some pretty good manly uses for it. So let’s explore the world of Peppermint Essential Oil for men!
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 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?
Peppermint (Mentha × piperita) is actually a hybrid species of a cross between watermint and spearmint. It is 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. It assists 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 a flavor 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
For many essential oils out there, research is limited and promoted benefits are loose to say the least. However, it 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) reported 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 peppermint teas. Peppermint can assist with IBS, colic and nausea. The oil can be ingested via a capsule or in liquid, inhaled via a diffuser or rubbed into the skin (behind the ears) via a roller bottle or hand.
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.
Much like the research into physical improvement, peppermint oil can assist with increased mental and physical energy. Inhale via a diffuser or apply topically to muscles and joints or the temples as required.
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 realize. 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. Ssomething 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! Sometimes, we add lemon to this as well.
Use 3 – Hangover
Again, I have discussed this at length in another post where I drank 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. I rubbed onto the ole tummy the next morning a mix of Peppermint and grapeseed carrier oil. 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 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 odor free face moisturizer.
Use 5 – Manly diffuser Recipes
Yep, reusing from old posts but here they are…
Chocolate Biscuit diffuser blend
4 drops Orange
4 drop Peppermint
Candy Cane diffuser blend
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 if 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 is 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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My name is Paul and I live on the east coast of Australia with my wife and six year old son. I also have 19 and 23 year old daughters. I am an ex government and bank worker who took a bit of a sea change and opened my own business by the beach with my amazing wife. If you can do it, try it. You will never look back. You want to know more about me, read my About Me page