Why use peppermint oil? If you’re like me, you’re tired of feeling tired and sick of feeling sick. And while prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs may be good at relieving pain, aiding digestion, or clearing sinuses, most come with side effects that are just as uncomfortable as the condition you’re trying to heal.

Common side effects of medications like these include everything from nausea to diarrhea. They can make you feel too sleepy to continue on with your day, or they may make you too hyper to sleep at all. Peppermint oil, combined with good life choices such as a mostly plant-based diet, daily exercise, and stress-management activities, can help you feel better in multiple ways. Better still, you won’t be left with the draining side effects caused by pharmaceutical drugs.

Research into this essential oil is young, but here’s what scientists know so far regarding the health benefits of peppermint oil.

Health Benefits of Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil appears to have many healing properties. You can take it as a dietary supplement in pill form or as a topical agent applied to your skin. You can also use it as a flavoring in your favorite dishes. The oil form of this aromatic herb is derived from the blossom and leaves of the plant. It’s completely natural and plant-based and comes without harmful toxins or added chemicals. Scientists are still studying the health benefits of peppermint oil, but research so far points to this plant as a natural remedy for the appearance of both skin and hair, as an aid to digestion, and as an option for halting migraine headaches.

Peppermint Oil for Skin

When applied topically, peppermint oil may help sooth itching. Many commercially produced lotions and bath products contain peppermint oil. Many think this is purely because of its pleasing aroma. But if you have mild skin issues, such as itching during pregnancy, this essential oil may help. It may also help reduce redness in inflamed areas and may make your skin appear less oily. This makes it beneficial to those who struggle with acne. When applied to the skin, some essential oils — peppermint included — release a pleasant, calming aroma that may even help to erase the stress of the day.

Peppermint Oil for Hair

Some research shows that peppermint oil may help spur the re-growth of hair, much like medications such as Rogaine. The menthol present in peppermint is a vasodilator. This means it improves blood flow. Because constricted blood flow is a common cause of hair loss, using products that contain peppermint oil may help restore your hair to its former glory.

Another health benefit of peppermint oil is that it may help relieve the symptoms of dry scalp and dandruff. As an added bonus, it brings an invigorating scent to your shower that naturally calms and soothes.

Peppermint Oil for IBS

Many people use peppermint oil to calm the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. Its cool, soothing effects help relieve spasms in the colon, much like antispasmodic medications. It’s the menthol that causes this reaction. Therefore, when taken in pill form or ingested as tea or other edibles, peppermint oil may relieve the worst symptoms of IBS, including:

  • Gastric pain
  • Bloating
  • Burning
  • Spasms
  • Clenching

This remedy is a natural alternative for relieving digestive pain and inflammation, and no prescription or copay is needed.

Peppermint Oil for Migraines

Migraine headaches are another medical condition that may improve through the use of peppermint oil. Add a few drops to your hot bath, or inhale the steam of peppermint oil in the shower. You may even apply this oil topically to your skin once you mix it with a safe carrier oil such as coconut. Peppermint oil also helps improve constricted blood flow and calm stress — two major contributors to very bad headaches. And as an added perk, the scent is uplifting and soothing. Try it the next time a migraine strikes.

If you’re looking for safer, more natural alternatives to pain management and more, consider the many health benefits of peppermint oil today.