Scientific name: Mentha peperita
Ayurveda name: Paparaminta
Famous for its strong and refreshing aroma, peppermint is a popular herb in the mint family. Peppermint is a hybrid variety between spearmint and watermint. Despite not being native to India, this herb is used in Ayurveda aroma oils which comes with a range of benefits for physical and mental health. Grown in North American and across European countries, the leaves are used for the extraction of this aromatherapy oil. The distinguishing feature of this oil is its minty and cool flavour and scent that instantly refreshes a person upon its inhalation. Apart from using it for massages, a few drops of peppermint oil are added in some dishes to enhance flavour. Despite seeming like a recent commodity, this oil has been used for centuries and finds mentions in ancient Egyptian and Greek texts.
Benefits of peppermint oil:
How can peppermint oil be used?
Primarily, peppermint is available in three forms: essential oil. extracts, and capsules. The oil is the most commonly used among all three.
For healthier and problem-free hair, add a few drops of peppermint oil to a base oil and massage it onto the scalp. This must be left on for about 20 minutes before washing it with a mild shampoo and conditioner. A few drops of this oil can be added directly onto the shampoo and/or conditioner before using it to achieve the same results.
The same applies to the topical application as well. A few drops of the essential oil can be diluted in base oils like jojoba, olive, and coconut before applying it onto the skin. They can also be added to moisturisers before applying them. However, if there is a burning sensation, it is advisable to reduce or stop its usage.
Since it is an essential oil, orally consuming large amounts of peppermint oil can result in vomiting and heartburn. An extract of peppermint can be added to food, if necessary. Even while using on one's skin and/or hair, it is important to dilute the oil in base oils like coconut or olive because peppermint oil is extremely concentrated. Direct application can result in skin irritation and/or rashes. It is safer to do a patch test on the hand before applying to other parts.
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