Sunday, July 15, 2012

Finding Cool Relief with Peppermint Oil

Candy canes.  Toothpaste.  Tea.  Patty.  These are a few of the things I used to think of when I heard the word "peppermint".  Since being introduced to doTERRA essential oils a year ago, I now think of words like:  cooling, pain relief, alertness, chocolate bark, headache and moles. (Moles?  Keep reading).
This summer in particular, we have been using peppermint oil every day. 
When I get too heated while working in the yard on these hot, dry days of 2012, and when I get hot flashes, or when the air conditioning at work isn't quite low enough, I take a cool damp rag or bandana, sprinkle a few drops of doTERRA's CPTG peppermint oil on it and drape the cloth over the back of my neck.  It feels like my own personal cooling system.  (Who'da thought a minty spicy oil would have a cooling effect?)  I am sitting on our deck right now, watching the dogs play in the 79 degree weather at 9:30am, with a damp, pepperminted purple bandana on my neck to cool off as I write this.
If I don't have Deep Blue or Past Tense oil blends with me, I pull out my peppermint to ease aching muscles or headaches.  Since being introduced to doTERRA oils, in the past year, I have only taken a dose anti inflammatory medicine twice.  I used to take them daily, often every 4 hours for chronic pain.  The only times I have taken them since joining doTERRA was this spring, during the first really heavy lifting and grunt work of the yard and garden. 
I must confess that sometimes, if I am getting ready to meet someone after work and I haven't gotten a chance to brush my teeth, or if my mouth tastes off from being too dry when I forget to stay hydrated, I'll put a drop of doTERRA peppermint oil right in my mouth, either on my tongue or under it.  I get an instant, powerful, WHOOSH feeling in my mouth and up through my sinuses.  I love to take a couple of open mouthed breaths to feel the coolness, run my (now minty) tongue around my gums or swish a swig of water around my mouth to spread the sensation throughout my palette.  Yum.
I work midnights, and some nights, no amount of daytime sleep or strong black coffee can clear my head.  At those times, I am so grateful to uncap my doTERRA Peppermint Oil and breathe deep.  It makes me more alert and energized than any amount of caffeine can do. The aroma goes up my nose, through my sinuses and straight into the limbic part of my brain, the seat of emotions.  The peppermint aroma in my brain makes me more alert, uplifts my mood, and sometimes, even transports me back in time to my kindergarden year while making peppermint cookies with my mom (I took them to school to share).
I read in a couple of different organic gardening articles, that moles don't like peppermint oil.  So, I took another reputable brand of peppermint oil outside with me one day, determined to put a couple drops in every mole hole that my dogs had dug up, before refilling them with dirt.  And, as I worked in the 90+ degree heat, even though I was drinking water, my mouth still had that stale taste you get from being dry.  So, I put a drop of that other reputable brand peppermint oil on my tongue, and I gagged and rushed into the house to brush my teeth with doTERRA's On Guard Toothpaste because the taste of that other oil was so horrible!   It had a rank, sour taste with barely a hint of mint flavor.  We had used this brand for years, but never cooked with it or took it internally.  DoTERRA oils were the first essential oils we had ever thought to take orally, they were the first essential oils we ever felt confident enough in to know they were safe and pure.  We had used that other peppermint oil for things like massage (never again because whatever goes on your skin goes into your bloodstream, and I no longer trust that brand), taking the stink out of latex paint when redecorating the house, and things like that.  Since I have been using doTERRA oils for a year now, inside and out, I guess I had a momentary lapse and figured this other oil would bring me at least a measure of relief from my skunky breath.  Although this other company advertises. "Purity tested/quality assured", their quality and purity are nothing like doTERRA's Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils.
I should have had my first clue the very first time I received an Aroma Touch session.  As soon as the peppermint and Wild Orange oils were applied to the bottoms of my feet, I tasted the flavors of both in my mouth and felt the refreshing coolness of the peppermint, as if I had brushed my teeth through my feet.  In all my years with using that other oil for massage and to cool my feet, I have never experienced that cooling sensation/taste when it touched my skin.  The fact that I taste the wonderful minty fruitiness of the oils on my feet are great evidence to me of how putting something on your skin goes directly into the blood and other permeable tissues throughout the body.  The skin is, after all, the largest organ of the body.
I should have had my second clue when the website of the other "pure peppermint oil" said that you can use it for aromatherapy in diffusers but to carefully mix with a carrier oil for any other use.  DoTERRA's CPTG Peppermint Oil can be diluted with Fractionated Coconut Oil, or another carrier oil for sensitive skin, or for children, or just to make it go further when used topically.  And, it can also be ingested as is, right from the bottle!  I have sensitive skin, yet I  use doTERRA Peppermint oil (and any other dTERRA oil or oil blend) directly on my skin without being diluted by a carrier oil, and I have never had an itch, rash, or any negative reaction.  (That is not to say you won't.  Everyone is different and allergies or other sensitivities may come in to play for you.  Click here for some basics on using essential oils safely.)  
Even though that other brand of peppermint oil is less expensive, it is pretty much useless to us now.  Deb and I now understand the wider range of amazing benefits we can get from Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Peppermint Essential Oil, and now that we have experienced the difference, pretty much the only thing we will use that other peppermint oil for is to scare the moles.  I hope it doesn't make them sick if they accidentally ingest it.  I doubt if I could get them to brush their tiny teeth (do moles have teeth?) with doTERRA On Guard Whitening Toothpaste to get the taste out of their mouths either.
Some uses for doTERRA Peppermint Essential oil:
Use in cooking (see our recipes for peppermint bark, and peppermint "tea" that we posted this past winter)
Reduce Nausea
Relieve Diarrhea
Ease Sciatica/nerve pain
Minty fresh breath (I said that already, but I can't help it.  I love the phrase)
Increase alertness
And more
*these statements have not been approved by the FDA and are not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any of the above issues or illnesses (although there has been some research that supports many of these uses)