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Peppermint oil has been use for thousands of years as a natural remedy for many different ailments. There was even evidence of peppermint found in Egyptian tombs, dating back to 1,000 BC!
Peppermint oil comes from the peppermint plant. I know, “Duh, Patty!” Â You can purchase it pre-made or make your own. I have grown peppermint for the past couple of years and love the smell. If you choose to make your own, here’s how to do it:
1. Harvest your peppermint leaves in the early morning, before the heat of the day. Why? Because that is when you will get the most oil extracted from the leaves. Pick the best looking leaves you can find. Avoid any that look scorched or on the small side. You want those big luxurious green leaves!
2. Wash and dry the lucky leaves you have chosen and place them in a ziplock baggy.
3. Take a small hammer and gently tap the leaves to release the oil. Don’t beat it like you want to beat your ex! The idea is not to crush the leaves into a bloody pulp. Gentle taps, people! I have found that a rolling pin works just as well.
4. Once you have a small amount of oil extracted, pour it into a glass bottle. Ideally, just a few drops per bottle. I prefer roller bottles like this personally. Makes it so much easier to apply. Or you can use a spray bottle. Whichever option you pick, be sure to use colored glass. It will help protect your blend from the harsh sun and keep it at its top potency longer. Be sure to use glass. Essential oils and plastic are NOT a good combination.
5. Add your carrier oil to the bottle, filling it. I personally prefer Natural Grapeseed Oil. It’s not extracted using solvents like so many on the market these days. No preservatives, not hydrogenated. Nothing except the grapeseed!
6. Put the lid on (if you’re using a roller bottle, put your finger over the open bottle top) and shake gently. Store in a cool, dark place for about 24 hours. You will want to strain your blend through some cheesecloth to remove any particles that may have snuck in. Pour back into your bottle and close with either your lid or roller ball.Â You will want to keep your oils and blends in a cool, dark place. I keep mine in the fridge and yes, I have quite a collection going. Â And yes, my husband grumbles about it. LOL
If you plan to make more than one kind of essential oil or blend, be sure to label your bottle. Nothing like having three of four bottles of oil lying around and you have no idea which is which. Also, you will want to check the expiration date of your carrier oil. The shelf life of your blend will depend on the shelf life of your carrier oil. You may even want to jot that date down on your bottle of oil. Most blends can be expected to last 2 to 5 years. 🙂
Voila! You have made peppermint oil! I have found Aromatherapy: A Lifetime Guide to Healing With Essential Oils by Valerie Gennari CooksleyÂ to be a very valuable reference book to have.
Sound like too much work? You can order it here. Â 🙂
Peppermint oil is a analgesic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and a whole lot more.
And now here are some of the ways you can use peppermint oil:
Health and Beauty
* Nausea – Â The fragrance of peppermint can be inhaled to soothe nausea.
* Indigestion, bloating, constipation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Apply peppermint oil blended with a carrier oil in a circular motion on your stomach or abdomen.
* Fever – Apply peppermint oil blend to abdomen and chest.
* Toothache – Swish a few drops of peppermint oil and water in your mouth for 5 minutes. Do not swallow.
* Headache or migraine – Apply peppermint oil blended with a carrier oil to your sinuses or temples.
* Tension or stress headache – Apply peppermint oil blended with a carrier oil to the back of your neck near the base of the skull.
* Muscle pain/spasms – Apply peppermint oil blend to the affected area and massage.
* Joint pain and tendonitis – Add a few drops of peppermint, lavender and rosemary to a carrier oil and apply to the area and massage.
* Bug bites – Add peppermint oil and lavender to a carrier oil and apply to the area.
*Â Tired, achy feet – Add a few drops of peppermint oil to an epsom salt foot bath.
* Digestion issues – Add just a few drops to a glass of water in the morning.
* Motion sickness – Apply peppermint oil blend (peppermint oil diluted with a carrier oil, like grapeseed) to the inside of your wrists.
* Bumps, rashes, dermatitis, ringworm or bruises – Apply peppermint oil blend to the spot to reduce any swelling and to alleviate the pain.
* Acne – Apply peppermint oil blend to the affected area.
* Cramps – Apply peppermint oil blend to the area in a circular motion.
* “Foggy” brain or lack of ability to stay focused – Inhale the fragrance of peppermint oil to increase level of alertness and function of brain.
* Hot flashes – Spritz your body with a bottle of cold water with a few drops of peppermint oil mixed in.
Around the House
* Ants and spiders – Add a few drops of oil to a cotton ball and wipe down your doorways and window frames, creating a barrier.
* Ticks – Apply a few drops to a Q-tip or cotton swab and apply around the head of the tick to cause it to release.
* Mice – Add a few drops of peppermint oil to cotton balls and place in strategic areas of your home.
* Fleas – Add a few drops of peppermint oil to a spray bottle with a couple of epsom salts. Mix until the salts have dissolved. Apply to your favorite pooch or pussy cat.
* Natural disinfectant – Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with tea tree oil and water.
* Stinky trash can – Add a few drops to a cotton ball and toss in the bottom of the trash can.
Hope this helps you! Let me know what you think or help add to my list by commenting.
**Note: Like with all essential oils, test a small patch of skin first to make sure you are not allergic, do not use on young children (under the age of 6), do not use if pregnant or suspect you may be, and do not use if you have certain medical conditions. Nothing here is meant to diagnose, treat, or prevent diseases, please ask your doctor for that kind of advice. These are simply tips to give ideas.