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43 Amazing Ways to Use Peppermint as Medicine, Food and a Household Cleaner

43 Amazing Ways to Use Peppermint as Medicine, Food and a Household Cleaner


This article is shared with permission from our friends at

Peppermint oil has a long history of medicinal uses, practiced by many various cultures around the world. Probably the most well-known and widely used is that of peppermint oil as a digestive aid. The powerful organic compounds in this essential oil have a soothing effect on the muscles of the digestive tract, calming muscle spasms, and preventing such maladies as nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, bloating, and flatulence.

Another traditional use of peppermint essential oil is to focus the mind, improve memory, and promote wakefulness without causing the signature nervousness and anxiety associated with other stimulants like caffeine.

Historically, essential oil of peppermint has been used to reduce pain caused by muscle tension and inflammation such as headaches, joint pain, muscle soreness, and swollen lymph glands. Peppermint oil is also well-known for its antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti-parasitic qualities and has been widely used throughout history to treat bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections, both internally and externally.

Modern science now recognizes these qualities to be due to the high concentration of menthol (around 40% of the total composition) found in the essential oil. Peppermint oil has also long been revered for its ability to ease the symptoms of cold, flu, and other respiratory illnesses – also due to the oil’s high concentration of menthol.

Peppermint Oil for Natural Health

 Cold & Flu Remedies

Modern over-the-counter medicine manufacturers know all about peppermint oil and its ability to soothe cold and flu symptoms. You’ve seen their products and more likely than not, you’ve used them at least once or twice for that blissful (if temporary) relief from clogged airways, swollen sinuses, sore throat, or that irritating cough that just won’t go away. Before cold and flu season strikes again, prepare yourself these all-natural cold and flu remedies using peppermint oil.

1. Soothe Sore Throat

Peppermint oil may be used to soothe a sore throat. The chemical properties of menthol temporarily cool and calm pain while at the same time thinning mucus. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil can also help to reduce swelling and provide further relief. Try brewing peppermint tea then flavor with honey and lemon to help combat infection and speed recovery.

2. Cough Control

To help control coughing, clear airways, and boost your immune system, try mixing two drops each of peppermint, lavender, and lemon essential oils in a diffuser. Alternately, you can mix these oils and apply them to a small cloth or another object to create your own portable, hand-held inhaler.

3. Menthol Chest Rub

There are many menthol chest rubs available over-the-counter, however, these may contain toxic chemicals that can do more damage than good to your body in the long run. Instead, try making your own menthol chest rub using peppermint oil. Jill Winger of The Prairie Homestead shared this great recipe for a DIY chest rub which is both easy to make and inexpensive:

You will need:

  • A double boiler
  • 1/4 oz beeswax
  • 2 oz olive oil or coconut oil
  • 10 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 10 drops Wintergreen OR White Fir essential oil

In your double boiler, melt the beeswax and olive oil/coconut oil. Remove from heat. Once the mixture is slightly cooled but still liquid, gently stir in your essential oils.

Store this mixture in a small resealable glass container (like this one available from in your medicine cabinet (preferably away from light which can damage the oils.) Apply to chest and bottoms of feet to treat symptoms of respiratory illness.

4. Fever-Reducer

While a mild to mid-grade fever is a normal and helpful immune response when fighting off infection, temperatures in excess of 104°F can be harmful to the human body. Use peppermint oil (in conjunction with profession medical attention) to help reduce a dangerously high fever.

Apply 2 – 3 drops of peppermint essential oil on the forehead and temples, back of the neck, the back, and/or bottoms of feet where the oil will absorb quickly and help to bring body temperature back into the safe range. For those with sensitive skin, you may want to first dilute peppermint oil in a sweet almond or olive oil before applying.

5. Clear Sinuses

Try this steam inhalation technique to clear sinus congestion. Boil a pot of distilled water. Remove from the stove and – while the water is still steaming – add a few drops each of peppermint and tea tree essential oils. Immediately close your eyes, lower your face over the water, and drape a damp towel over the back of your head. (Be sure to also cover the edges of the pot to trap the steam.) Inhale deeply and regularly for several minutes to reduce inflammation and open up your airways. Remember to keep your eyes closed the entire time!

6. Pain Relief

As we have already mentioned, peppermint oil possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. While medical science has yet to unequivocally prove this health benefit, people have used peppermint oil for pain relief throughout history. Try some of the following methods using this amazing essential oil to soothe and soak away aches and pains.

7. Soak Away Aches

Make your own peppermint oil-infused bath salts for a cooling, pain-fighting soak. Simply mix 16 ounces of Epsom salt and approximately 15 drops of peppermint oil into warm (not hot) bath water. Soak until the water begins to cool. Also, always remember to drink plenty of water before and after a warm bath in order to prevent dehydration.

8. Joint Pain

Use peppermint oil to ease joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. First, dilute approximately 15 drops of peppermint essential oil per 1 ounce of a carrier oil like sweet almond or coconut oil. Then massage into painful joints for quick relief.

9. Sore Muscles

To temporarily relieve pain from overworked or strained muscles, use the same mixture detailed above – 15 drops of peppermint oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil – and massage directly into sore muscles.

10. Tension Headaches

The cooling anti-inflammatory power of peppermint oil also has a long history of use to banish tension headaches. Simply massage peppermint oil – diluted or straight – into temples, behind your jawbone, and across your forehead for rapid relief.

11. Skin Irritations

Peppermint oil can be used to cool and soothe skin affected by burns, rashes, or dryness. Use a dilution of no more than 15 drops peppermint oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil to avoid damaging already irritated skin. Then simply massage the diluted oil into the skin to refresh, moisturize, and soothe away the pain.

For Digestive Health

Yet another natural remedy which medical research has yet to confirm, peppermint oil maintains an impressive record when it comes to relieving digestive ailments.

12. Indigestion

Peppermint oil is known for its ability to calm the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. Peppermint oil also improves the flow of bile – the chemical which our body’s use to digest fats. As a result, peppermint oil helps food to pass through the gut more quickly and efficiently. However, note that if your indigestion is related to gastroesophageal reflux disease (aka GERD) you should avoid this remedy. Peppermint oil will also relax the sphincter that separates the stomach from the esophagus, essentially worsening the heartburn associated with GERD.

13. Nausea

For some people, the scent of peppermint can soothe nausea. While this remedy doesn’t work for everyone, the next time you feel sick to your stomach, take a small sniff of peppermint oil. If you find that the scent soothes your stomach, go ahead and add a few drops to a diffuser to maximize the oil’s effectiveness. This remedy has even been known to help some women through the woes of morning sickness.

14. Gas & Bloating

There have been several medical studies which have shown that enteric-coated (EC) peppermint capsules are effective with treating some symptoms of IBS including pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. EC peppermint capsules prevent the oil from being released in the stomach, which can lead to heartburn and indigestion.

Editor’s Note: When treating digestive issues, you should take peppermint oil in enteric-coated capsules.

Oral Care

15. Soothe Toothaches

To ease toothache pain, apply 1 -2 drops of peppermint oil to a cotton swab. Apply directly to the aching tooth to simultaneously relieve soreness and disinfect the area.

16. Freshen Breath

This homemade peppermint mouthwash recipe by DIY Natural is both inexpensive and effective. It’s also antibacterial and anti-fungal which will help to minimize bad breath.

For one batch, you will need:

  • 4 oz filtered or distilled water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil
  • a small resealable glass jar

Shake before each use. Swish 2-3 teaspoons of mouthwash 1 – 2 minutes. Because tea tree oil can be toxic when ingested in large enough amounts, avoid swallowing this mouthwash.

17. Tooth & Gum Health

You can also use peppermint oil to make your own homemade Remineralizing Squeezable Toothpaste.

Against Parasites

18. Tick & Flea Repellent

This flea and tick spray can be used on carpets, pets, and people. Do not spray directly on cats as they are sensitive to essential oils.

You will need:

  • 6 – 7 drops each of Peppermint, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, and Citronella essential oils
  • 8 oz distilled or filtered water
  • a glass spray bottle for storage and application

Fill your spray bottle  almost to the top with distilled or filtered water. Drop in your essential oils and shake well before applying. You can spray this solution on your dog’s coat about once every two days. While it is inadvisable to spray essential oils direction on your cats’ fur, one reader did mention that she applied the solution by dipping a flea comb into the diluted mixture. She then used the comb to remove and kill fleas that were on her cat. This did not bother the animal. However, cats tend to be very finicky individuals. Therefore, I recommend that you use your own best judgment.

19. Peppermint Lice Shampoo

Peppermint oil is one of a number of essential oils which have been proven effective (when used in conjunction with combing) in the treatment and elimination of head lice. Always remember: Before you apply peppermint oil or any other essential oil to large areas of skin, test for allergic reaction by placing a small drop on the back of the hand. You may have to wait a few hours as not all allergic reactions occur instantly.

To make this shampoo, simply mix 2 ounces of olive oil with 15 to 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. Dab this mixture onto the scalp using cotton balls and leave on overnight (or for at least 12 hours.) Alternately, you can mix 15 to 20 drops of peppermint oil in a glass spray bottle with 4 ounces of rubbing alcohol. Saturate hair with the mixture and leave this treatment on for around 12 hours.

20. Intestinal Worms

For treatment of intestinal worms, you can try using enteric coated peppermint capsules (which are designed to bypass the stomach and dissolve in the intestines where they are most effective) however, as intestinal parasites can pose very serious health risks if not treated properly, it is always recommended to consult with a medical professional first.

Peppermint Oil Aromatherapy


As far as aromatherapy essential oils go, peppermint oil is one of the most refreshing and stimulating choices available. Whether you want to cool down a room during the heat of summer, set a festive mood for winter holidays, or boost your mental alertness and concentration, peppermint oil can help. Check out these recipes to use in your diffuser:

Cooling Relaxation Blends

21. Zero Stress Energizing Blend

(Restore vitality. Cut back on stress.)

  • 1 part Peppermint oil
  • 1 part Lavender oil
  • 2 parts Sweet Orange oil

22. Beat the Heat Blend

(Cool down after a day under the hot summer sun!)

  • 1 part Peppermint oil
  • 1 part Basil OR Lavender oil
  • 1 part Eucalyptus oil

Stimulating Concentration Blends

23. Fresh Mint Diffuser Blend

(I call this one the “Homework Helper…”)

  • 4 – 6 parts Spearmint oil
  • 3 – 5 parts Peppermint oil
  • 3 – 5 parts Palmarosa OR Citronella oil
  • (optional) 1 part Lemongrass oil

(Recipe borrowed from

24. Wake Up, Pick-me-up Blend

(Simple, yet effective.)

  • 1 part Wild Orange oil
  • 1 part Peppermint oil

Holiday Diffuser Blends

25. Enlivening Blend

(Great for entertaining family from afar. Combats jet lag!)

  • 2 parts Peppermint oil
  • 2 parts Geranium oil
  • 5 parts Rosemary oil

(Recipe borrowed from originally found in The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy by Chrissie Wildwood.)

26. Peppermint Surprise Essential Oil Blend

(Heavy sweet floral aroma with sparkling peppermint!)

(Recipe borrowed from Mountain Rose Herbs.)

Peppermint Oil for Natural Beauty

With so many uses that promote natural health, it should come as no surprise that peppermint essential oil makes a perfect addition to your daily beauty routine as well. As a natural astringent and anti-microbial, this oil is great for beautiful skin, luxurious hair, strong nails, and a glowing smile. The best part is, the following all-natural recipes are easy and inexpensive to make, too!

Clarifying Face Cleansers


We found two excellent recipes for creating your own clarifying facial cleanser using peppermint oil. Here they are:

27. Peppermint & Lemon Face Wash

(Recipe borrowed from

You will need:

Shred off enough glycerin soap for however many batches you plan to make. Bring the water to a boil then promptly remove from heat. Add your soap and stir until it’s all dissolved. Let the mixture cool then add in your essential oils. Store away from heat and light to preserve the delicate essential oils.

28. Clarifying Face & Body Wash – For Acne Prone Skin

(Recipe borrowed from

You will need:

  • 2 oz liquid Castile soap 
  • 2 oz olive oil
  • 2 oz vegetable glycerin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tea Tree oil
  • 5 – 10 drops Peppermint oil
  • 5 – 10 drops Lavender oil
  • a small ceramic bowl or glass measuring cup for mixing
  • a glass container with a hand pump for storage

Combine all of the ingredients in your mixing container then transfer to a glass bottle for storage. Remember to store away from heat and light to preserve the delicate essential oils.

29. All Natural Peppermint Oil Shampoo

(Recipe borrowed from

You will need:

  • 4 oz distilled water
  • 2 oz liquid Castile soap 
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon Peppermint oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon Tea Tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin 
  • 10 – 15 drops other essential oils (to customize the scent)

Pour all of the ingredients together into a container large enough to hold them. I prefer to use this style glass container with a hand pump for storage and easy use. Remember to shake your homemade shampoo before each use as the ingredients tend to separate quickly.

30. Soothing Foot Soak

To relax sore and tired feet, just add a few drops of peppermint oil to a pan or bowl partially filled with warm water and soak feet for at least 10 minutes. We also recommend following up this relaxing treatment with this…

31. Exfoliating Peppermint Sugar Scrub

Use peppermint essential oil to create your own exfoliating sugar scrub by following this recipe, compliments of Craftinomicon:

You will need:

  • 4 – 5 tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or another oil of your choice – I prefer organic cold-pressed coconut oil!)
  • 1 teaspoon flax seed oil
  • 3 – 4 drops Peppermint oil
  • a small glass jar for storage

The recipe says to simply mix all of the ingredients together. I did mine in the order that they are listed and came out with a wonderful, all-natural and refreshing sugar scrub.

32. Peppermint Tea Tree Bath Salts

(Recipe borrowed from Nancy Creative.)

You will need:

  • 2 cups Epsom salt
  • 5 – 7 drops Peppermint oil
  • 3 drops Tea Tree oil
  • 1 gallon-sized resealable freezer bag

Pour Epsom salt and essential oils into the resealable bag. Mix well by ‘squishing’ the ingredients together in the closed bag for several minutes. If you don’t plan to use them right away (1 batch is just right for one bath) you’ll want to store the salts in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. To use bath salts, dissolve 2 cups of salts into warm or hot bath water while filling your tub. Soak for 10 – 15 minutes for maximum relaxation, up to three times per week.

Peppermint Oil Around the Home

Homemade Air Fresheners

33. Minty Citrus Twist Room Spritzer

Jill Winger of The Prairie Homestead suggests this recipe for making a wonderful-smelling spritz-able room freshener.

You will need:

  • 4 drops Peppermint oil
  • 4 drops Wild Orange oil
  • 1 tablespoon Real Vanilla Extract
  • 8 oz of water.

Combine all ingredients in a glass spray bottle and be sure to shake well before using.

34. Hanging Air Fresheners

Simply add peppermint oil (or any other of your favorite essential oils) to a small decorative object and hang anywhere you want to freshen the air.

Or, for a quick and easy air freshener solution, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a used tea bag

35. Pet Odor Neutralizer

(Based on a recipe by

Ditch your store-bought spray and try this homemade pet odor neutralizer instead. Not only does it smell good, it’s also antibacterial, anti-fungal, and of course all-natural!

You will need:

  • 3 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup all-natural fabric softener 
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 15 – 20 drops peppermint oil
  • 15 – 20 drops tea tree oil

Pour the water into a 16 oz spray bottle and dissolve in the baking soda. Add fabric softener and essential oils. Shake well before each use.

If you don’t like the smell of tea tree oil, you can also sub citrus oils like lemon or orange. Other scented fabric softeners like Geranium, Basil, and Lemon Verbena may be subbed out if you don’t like the smell of lavender. As always, I recommend that you get creative with your mixing until you find the combination that works best for you.

D-I-Y “Green” Cleaners

36. Homemade General Purpose Disinfectant

For general purpose cleaning, I recommend the following two essential oil combinations:

Tea tree + Peppermint – (great against the Flu and E. coli.*)

Lime + Peppermint – (excellent broad spectrum antibacterial power.**)

To make this all-natural cleaner, fill a 16 oz spray bottle almost to the top with water and add about 2 teaspoons total of your chosen essential oils. Remember to shake well before each use as the mixture will separate quickly.

*Against major illnesses like the Flu and E. coli, Lemongrass and Lavender oils – though not as powerful Tea Tree essential oilare also very effective.

**While Lime essential oil is one of the best for broad spectrum germ killing power; Lemon, Orange, and Rosemary oils also have powerful antibacterial qualities.

37. Citrus Mint Wood Cleaner & Dusting Spray

Not only will this mixture lift away dust and dirt with ease, it will also impart a lovely shine to most wood surfaces. As always, be sure to test first in an inconspicuous area!

(Original recipe borrowed from

You will need:

  • 6 oz olive oil
  • 2 oz white distilled vinegar
  • 10 – 20 drops peppermint oil
  • 10 – 20 drops citrus oil (lemon, orange, grapefruit, etc.)

Pour olive oil into an 8-ounce glass spray bottle then add essential oils and top off with vinegar. Remember to shake vigorously before using. Spray directly onto wood surfaces and finish by buffing with a clean, dry cloth. (Remember to test first!)

38. Homemade Surface & Glass Cleaner

You will need:

  • 8 oz white vinegar
  • 2 oz cup rubbing alcohol
  • 10 drops lemon oil
  • 10 drops rosemary oil
  • 5 drops peppermint oil

Mix all ingredients together in a 16-ounce glass spray bottle then top off with lukewarm water. Remember to shake well before each use!

(Recipe borrowed from – originally published in the “April 2006 issue of Alternative Medicine – The Art & Science of Healthy Living, page 95.”)

39. Homemade Carpet Freshener

Simply sprinkle 15 – 20 drops each of peppermint and tea tree essential oils into a resealable container filled with baking soda and mix well. Sprinkle onto carpets and rugs (always remember to test first in an inconspicuous area if you’ve never used this before!) Let the scented baking soda sit for 15 minutes or more then vacuum away. This is the ultimate easy and inexpensive carpet freshener.

Natural Pest Control

Please note: The following two spray mixtures are not recommended for use on seedlings, new blossoms, or delicate plants as the powerful essentials oils may damage them. If you aren’t certain, test the spray on one or two leaves about 24 hours before spraying the entire plant. If you notice any burning or spotting, do not apply spray to the rest of the plant.

40. Natural Insecticide Spray

Use this super simple, all natural insecticide spray in the garden or around the house. Not only is it safe and effective, it also smells great (unless, of course, you’re a bug!)

How to make it:

  • Fill a 16 oz spray bottle about halfway to the top with water.
  • Add about 10 drops each of Rosemary, Peppermint, Thyme, and Clove essential oils.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin 
  • Finally, top the whole thing off with water. Remember to shake well before each use!

41. Natural Fungicide Spray

This all natural fungicide spray will keep mold and mildew out of the house and off of your plants.

How to make it:

  • Fill a 16 oz spray bottle about halfway to the top with water.
  • Add about 10 drops each of Rosemary, Peppermint, Tea Tree, and Wintergreen essential oils.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin 
  • Finally, top the whole thing off with water. Remember to shake well before each use!

42. Spider Deterrent

Did you know that spiders hate peppermint? They do, and you can use this to your advantage and keep the creepy crawlies out of your home. Simply apply a few drops of peppermint oil to a cotton ball and stuff into any areas where spiders can squeeze through (ie: around doors and windows.) Refresh as needed.

43. Rodent Repellent

The same trick works against many small rodents. The smell of peppermint oil irritates their sensitive noses. Apply a few drops of peppermint oil to a cotton ball and stuff them in your pantry, cabinets, etc. You can also use this technique to keep mice out of the garden. Stuff peppermint oil cotton balls into mouse holes or hang used tea bags infused with peppermint oil around plants which these tiny pests are attracted to. (Look for the tell-tale nibble marks.) Mice will quickly move to a less minty-smelling area.

A Few Precautions

Peppermint oil may be irritating to people with sensitive skin. Furthermore, some people may have or develop allergies to essential oils. Always perform a skin test on the back of the hand a few hours before applying essential oils to large areas of the body, inhaling, or ingesting.

Always use caution when taking any essential oil internally. Only use high-quality food-grade essential oils for this purpose and always be aware of possible interactions with medications or other supplements. Peppermint essential oil may contain pulegone which can be damaging to the liver if ingested in large enough quantity.

When in doubt, we always recommend that you consult with a licensed physician. The information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional medical advice and is for information and entertainment purposes only.

43 Amazing Ways to Use Peppermint as Medicine, Food and a Household Cleaner

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