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The effect of peppermint oil on skin and health

Headache, sore muscles or inflammation on the skin – the useful effects of peppermint oil seem almost endless. We reveal what is in the oil and whether you can use it without hesitation.

What exactly is peppermintöl?

Peppermint oil is a thermal oil produced by distilling water vapor from the leaves of peppermint, a herb and medicinal plant that was already known in ancient times. From a purely optical point of view, the ¨l is colorless to slightly yellowish. Menthol and menthone are the two main constituents of the essential oil, with menthol accounting for the largest proportion (35 to 45 percent). Other components are B vitamins, enzymes, labiate tannins, flavonoids, potassium and calcium. Peppermint oil is used primarily in the cosmetics industry, but also in the pharmaceutical industry for medicinal purposes. It is used, for example, in toothpaste, mouthwash, massage oils, shower gels, soaps, creams and ointments.

How does peppermint oil work and what is it good for?

If you apply peppermint oil to your skin, you immediately feel a cooling effect. Many headache sufferers who prefer not to take pills therefore swear by a drop of peppermintöl on each temple or even the entire forehead. The benefit of peppermint as a painkiller substitute was already proven in a study in 1996.1 Scientifically proven: according to this, the Öl locally affects the heat and pain receptors of the cells. This effect is also used for itching after insect bites and for sore muscles and muscle tension. One of the other important effects of peppermint is its mild antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial action. For example, it can be used not only äußerlich for headaches, but also by oral ingestion for relaxation in cramping bile and gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and to calm the nerves and sleepörderung. For this, sufferers take up to three times a day a few drops on a piece of sugar cube.

When inhaled with water vapor, peppermint can have a mucolytic effect on colds. When drizzled on a handkerchief, it also provides relief for fainting and circulatory problems. In addition, the Öl in the aroma diffuser is suitable for increasing attention and concentration. Another plus: Peppermint Öl has an antifungal effect.

Where to buy peppermintöl?

Italy, Bulgaria and the USA are considered the main suppliers of Öl. When buying, you should make sure that it is not cheap mint öl, but 100-percent, pure ätherisches peppermint öl is. Of course, this also applies to ointments and creams that contain peppermint oil and are sold in pharmacies and online pharmacy mail order. Classic peppermint is available, for example, in health food stores, in organic food stores, in some drugstores and online.

Is peppermint anti-inflammatory?

Yes, due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can also be used very well for many health problems, such as inflammation of the oral mucosa and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract and bronchi. If you boil three to five drops of the oil in about a liter of water and inhale this under a towel two to three times a day for ten breaths, you can cough up mucus more easily. In pregnancy and lactation, the Öl is a good, natural alternative.

Is peppermintöl harmful?

As with all ätheric Öls, the dose of peppermintöl is crucial to avoid a toxic effect. Especially for small children and babies, peppermintöl should only be used after consultation with the midwife or pediatrician. The ingredient menthol can also burn if it gets into the eyes. Therefore, thorough hand washing after use is advisable.


1 Tension headache: Peppermint Öl is equal to other analgesics, Ä