The humble peppermint plant (Peppermint piperita) has quite a list of attributes, and is an essential oil we’ll highlight this month. The herb peppermint is a perennial originally from the Mediterranean region. The P. Piperita species is a natural mix or hybrid of watermint and spearmint. The essential oil is distilled from the plant just before flowering, and many culinary and pharmaceutical uses. It is also used for its soothing qualities on the digestive system.
Properties: an analgesic, making it useful in sore and swollen tissue combinations, it is anesthetic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cephalic (clears the head), cordial, decongestant, expectorant, febrifuge (fever reducing), hepatic, nervine (relaxes the nerves), stimulant, stomachic (aids digestion), and helps nausea.
Benefits: In double blind studies, both peppermint and lavender essential oils proved to be more effective at treating migraine headaches than prescription drugs. The combination of the two is especially effective, and the anti-nausea properties of peppermint are of double value in this regard. It may be used to ease the stomach during travel and ward off headaches by simply smelling the essential oil, and a drop or two of diluted peppermint oil rubbed onto the soles of the feet or at the back of the head for a headache already in motion.
Blends Well With: Basil, benzoin, black pepper, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, lemon, marjoram, niaouli, pine, ravensara, rosemary, tea tree. It also has the attribute of making other essential oils it is mixed with more potent.