Peppermint essential oil used as an aromatherapy oil is prized for its uplifting and invigorating properties. Peppermint has been cultivated for medicinal purposes as long ago as the ancient Egyptian civilization, and it is no less potent and effective today. Aromatherapy, as the name suggests, has quite a bit to do with the enveloping and energizing fragrance of pure peppermint essential oil, but it is so much more than just breathing in this versatile and potent essential oil.
Aromatherapy is the combination of aromatic herbs or plants with a bath, spa treatment, or the art of massage. Peppermint oil’s potent fragrance is certainly aromatic, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the wide range of benefits that pure peppermint essential oil offers when used as an aromatherapy oil.
When properly diluted and applied externally peppermint essential oil has a cooling and tingling effect that can soothe overworked and tired skin. Peppermint can also penetrate the skin and relieve life’s minor aches and pains. This means that while the restorative vapors of a peppermint enhanced bath clear your head and stimulate your senses, the warm bath will pull the day’s tension out of your weary muscles.
In its undiluted state, some aroma therapists recommend applying a small bit directly to your temples for fast acting headache relief, though to avoid possible skin irritation a sheer carrier oil such as sesame oil will protect you skin from irritation and maintain the powerful efficacy of natural peppermint essential oil.
Correctly diluted in a fatty carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil, the resulting salve can be applied anywhere on the body safely (except your eyes) without fear of causing a skin reaction. For topical use, a concentration of 60 drops or about one teaspoon per 4 oz. of carrier oil is a safe yet effective concentration though this formula can be tweaked to increase strength and potency.
Instead of directly applying the essential oil with a carrier, a few drops can also be added to a hot bath to provide a refreshing aroma experience and soothe away sore muscles. Many users combine their peppermint oil with lavender or eucalyptus for a complete soothing experience.
Together with other relaxing aromatherapy oils, the rich and energizing vapors from the bath will elevate mood and melt away stress while the pain relief and circulation enhancing properties of the aromatherapy oils do their job.
Aromatic massage oils can dramatically improve the massage experience—whether alone or experiencing a professional massage. Peppermint’s cooling effect and circulation-enhancing properties add the effectiveness of a quality massage and improve the experience overall. Part of what makes a manual massage so effective is the circulation of lactic acid out of tired muscles and the introduction of new blood into overworked areas, and peppermint oil speeds up this process by quickly penetrating skin and increasing circulation.