There are not many Herb related questions I shy away from but when somebody asks about my favourite Herb or Oil, I realise I will never to be able to choose just one. So the question always remains unanswered.
However, some days I find myself particularly drawn to one more than the others. It depends a lot on what is going on …. Take this weekend for example, I found myself embracing the healing properties of Peppermint on more than a few occasions. At a family gathering, I reached for the essential oil to help somebody treat a toothache and later a headache. When inhaled, peppermint oil also clears the mind and so later that weekend it was a great help when I needed to complete a task that needed focus and commitment. The cooling properties made it the perfect choice for a relaxing foot bath after a hard days DIY work. Drinking peppermint tea can benefit the digestive system and again was a nice ally after some bank holiday overindulgence.
I have been welcoming its insect repellent qualities since the Summer started and my doors to the garden are permanently open. I place some drops on a hanging decoration in the doorway and watch as the flies and wasps approach and then change their minds.
Peppermint has a lovely botanical name – Mentha piperita. Its aroma is fresh and extremely uplifting and cleansing. One of the prominent chemicals in the essential oil is menthol, which brings a wonderful cooling and refreshing energy to this herb. I use it in many forms in my Herbal practice :
- Dried herb – dried leaves
- Essential oils –from distillation of the leaves
- Herbal tincture – alcohol extraction of the leaves
- Aromatic water – from distillation process
- as well as picking some leaves for a nice fresh herbal tea or adding to summer salads
Peppermint also has some wonderful subtle qualities. The energy is so clean and clear. It can be beneficial in cleaning up the air or space or energy field. I like to compare it to opening up all the windows on a clear fresh day. It allows new energy and inspiration to flow freely. Who doesn’t need that every now and again?
Safety Considerations: The really really important bit …
- Peppermint oil may be sensitising to skin. Always dilute with a carrier oil or other medium and use only small amounts
- Do not apply near the eyes as its strong aroma may irritate
- Essential oil is not recommended for use on young babies or children
- Never ingest Peppermint Essential oil unless under the supervision of a Clinical Aromatherapist
- Store away from Homeopathic remedies
- Be cautious about inhalation too late in the evening as it may be too stimulating
- Contact your local Herbalist / Aromatherapist for correct dosage and mode of administration
Of course, Peppermint has many more beneficial uses. Ensure you do your research if you feel guided to use it. Be Aware, Be Safe, Be Well.
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