Peppermint is one of the most popular essential oils on the planet – and one of my favorites also. Not only do you get that unbeatable “minty freshness” but it also has several therapeutic uses and reported benefits. We found a great article listing 7 awesome uses of peppermint. The link is after my “musings”…
Have you ever noticed that certain essential oils have an effect on your mood? If you are into aromatherapy, then you will not need any convincing of this. But if you are not quite so familiar with essential oils, you may not have had the opportunity to discover it for yourself.
The good news is, you can discover all this absolutely free – and it’s fun! Numerous “healthy” food stores such as Whole Foods Market and various others have an entire section devoted to essential oils, and a row of bottles marked “tester”. In other words, you really can check them out completely free. So next time you are at such a place, why not take a minute to do your own essential oil investigation? Simply gently sniff a little of the oil from the tester and see how it makes you feel. I find peppermint calming and uplifting. Cinnamon leaf makes me grin from ear to ear. Vanilla brings me an instant calm. You could check out a different one each time you get groceries.
If you are not experienced in this, go gently. Some of the oils have a more powerful scent and effect than others and you don’t want to knock yourself sideways! So I’d advise against sticking the bottle right under your nose and taking a mighty sniff – as it is actually quite easy to overdo it. Hold it further away (start at 1ft away), aim to “underdo it” and you will be much better off. Less is more – just waft it in your “general direction” and let the oils work their subtle magic. Take a couple of breaths and then wait a minute, observing how you feel.
I’d also advise against going through the entire row of bottles, as this too can create a sensation of a kind of “overload” to the olfactory circuits! You will also leave with less certainty as to “what caused what”. Note also that if you currently have serious medical conditions, I would suggest a dialogue with an aromatherapist before doing something like this, as you would not want to do something that had even a small risk of affecting you adversely. For example, certain essential oils should be avoided in epilepsy – rosemary, sage, fennel, hyssop, camphor, spike lavender, tansy, thuja and wormwood (though note that these last 3 are toxic and should not be used in aromatherapy at all. 
Another fun game you can play with a friend is “guess the oil”. Get your friend to waft a little of the aroma in your direction, and see if you can guess it. Then see if you can pick out the “notes” in a multiple-oil blend. Fun stuff.
Be aware also that essential oils should never be taken internally (there are a few exceptions but please observe the general rule), and also that they should not be applied to the skin without being diluted in a carrier oil.
Back on topic – here is the link to the original 7 awesome uses for peppermint (web archive): http://naturehacks.com/uncategorized/7-awesome-uses-for-peppermint/
We also have a full page of great information if you are interested in learning about peppermint essential oil in depth: Peppermint Essential Oil. This includes scientific research, infographic and all kinds of other info.
How do you use peppermint? Any good tips for the folks? Please let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments.