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Aromatherapy Tips: Using Peppermint This Holiday Season

20 Dec 2017

Ah, the winter holidays – ’tis the season for peppermint! Yes, you might think in terms of mint-flavored hot chocolate and those ever-present candy canes, but we’re thinking more about the benefits of peppermint essential oils used for aromatherapy.

For centuries peppermint oil has been used for medicinal purposes as well as cooking. Its use in Japanese and Chinese traditional medicine is ancient. It’s also believed to be the oldest herb used among Europeans for therapeutic purposes. There is evidence in the Egyptian pyramids of its use in that culture as far back as 1000 BC.

Peppermint is well-known to soothe an upset stomach, and peppermint tea is commonly used for digestive issues.

Candy canes made with real peppermint oil rather than synthetic flavorings may actually help counteract some holiday overindulging, although all the corn syrup that goes into their manufacture will definitely offset their medicinal benefits.

Did you know that the use of peppermint essential oil for aromatherapy can often be more beneficial than consuming it?  Often an upset stomach makes it impractical to drink or swallow something.  But simply inhaling the vapors of peppermint essential oil can take away that nauseated feeling.  Because of this, some hospitals are stocking their nurses’ stations with peppermint oil to be used when patients are unable to take anything by mouth.

But you don’t have to be sick to your stomach to enjoy the benefits of using peppermint oil this holiday season. Check out some of its other benefits:

  • Peppermint oil is anti-microbial, so putting some in an aromatherapy diffuser may counteract those winter cold and flu bugs floating around
  • The scent of peppermint can be calming to the nerves, so putting some into the air around you may help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety the flurry of activity the holiday season can bring
  • Inhaling peppermint can relieve congestion
  • Peppermint oil rubbed on the temples may lessen headache pain
  • It can also alleviate ‘brain fog’ and help with mental focus
  • For many, the scent is energy-boosting, and who couldn’t use just a little bit more energy at this time of year?

Remember, NEVER injest essential oils and ALWAYS dilute oils with a carrier oil before applying directly to skin.

We’re not saying that you avoid consuming peppermint treats this holiday, but we do recommend you expand your use of peppermint to include aromatherapy preparations. Not only is peppermint oil very therapeutic, but it just plain smells great! So freshen up your home and your life with peppermint this time of year.

Instruction in the therapeutic use of essential oils (aromatherapy) is just one of the many electives available to students in our various bodywork programs. It’s a part of our Spa & Resort Techniques class. Our Minneapolis massage school also offers this course as a continuing education option for professional bodywork therapists. Our next session is scheduled for 3 weekends beginning May 19, 2018. Click here for class information and registration details.  

 

 

 

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