Mint Essential Oils #AtoZChallenge

Hello and welcome to my letter M post in the #AtoZChallenge. My theme for the challenge is aromatherapy and today, I’ll be talking about minty essential oils. The most well-known oils in this category are peppermint and spearmint. I don’t own spearmint, though I want to someday. I do own peppermint essential oil and also field mint (also known as corn mint), which is very similar.

Peppermint essential oil is far stronger than most other essential oils. Though it is generally safe to use peppermint essential oil in massage and skincare products, you should very much dilute it into a carrier oil. I, for one, prefer to use at most 0.2% peppermint essential oil. This means two drops of essential oil in a 100ml bottle of carrier oil. Don’t use peppermint essential oil in a bath or in whole-body massages. Field mint is somewhat safer to use.

Besides concentrated peppermint essential oil, there also are peppermint extracts, which are less concentrated. You can also buy enteric-coated capsules, which contain a tiny amount of peppermint oil in a special coating.

Peppermint can be used to lessen the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The menthol in peppermint supposedly helps block calcium from moving across the intestinal membrane, thereby lessening symptoms of intestinal spasming, which are the main cause of IBS-related discomfort and pain.

Peppermint essential oil, when inhaled, may also be able to reduce indigestion and nausea. However, it may actually contribute to reflux, so do consult your doctor when you experience persistent heartburn or acid reflux.

Minty essential oils, along with eucalyptus essential oil, are well-known for their refreshing properties and can be used to relieve cold symptoms.

Spearmint essential oil, unlike peppermint, is safe to use on children. It is also more skin-safe than peppermint. It doesn’t have as strong an aroma, but still is refreshing. It can be used to stimulate the senses and clear the mind.

Spearmint essential oil blends well with many different oils, including citrus oils such as bergamot and orange, lavender, ylang ylang, etc. It has a unique combination of uplifting and stress-reducing properties.

Peppermint oil blends well with oils like lemon and eucalyptus. It is more stimulating and energizing than spearmint.

Do you like the smell of peppermint? If you’ve tried spearmint, do you like it?

Essential Oils and Fragrances: My Favorite Scents #AtoZChallenge

I am very late posting my letter E post in the #AtoZChallenge, because I’m struggling quite a bit. I won’t go into details about that now. My letter E post is about essential oils and other fragrant products.

Essential oils are oils that are extracted from plants. They are called essential, because without them the plant will die. Essential oils are often believed by natural medicine-minded people to help with a variety of health issues. There are no placebo-controlled, double blind research studies on their effectiveness though. I in fact doubt that’d be possible, as patients would be able to tell by smell whether they’d get the EO or a placebo.

That being said, essential oils do smell good and, even if you don’t believe in their effectiveness for health issues, you can still use them in self-care. Here are some of my favorites.

1. Ylang ylang. This sweet-smelling essential oil is reported to be an aphrodisiac. It is also said to help with relieving anxiety, sadness or tension. It can be used as a relaxing oil. I just love the smell of this oil!

2. Sweet orange. This oil is reported to be good for lifting your mood. It is my favorite of the citrus essential oils.

3. Eucalyptus. I don’t know what type of eucalyptus EO I own, as I bought it at a soaping supplies store that didn’t specialize in aromatherapy. There are several commonly-used eucalyptus varieties, such as eucalyptus globulus and eucalyptus radiata. I particularly like to smell eucalyptus when I’m having a cold or congested sinuses.

4. Peppermint. This is another oil that helps when I’m having a cold. I bought it at the same soaping supplies vendor I bought the eucalyptus EO at. They recommended peppermint oil should not be used in baths, as it is very strong.

5. Lavender. Though I don’t particularly care for strong lavender scents, I like to diffuse a little lavender EO when I can’t sleep. I don’t know whether it works, but it does help.

Besides essential oils, other products that have strong scents can be used in self-care too. For example, when I still lived with my husband, I would often burn a wax melt. These are a relatively safe alternative to scented candles. That is, the melting wax doesn’t get very hot, but it still makes a mess at times and you don’t want to spill it all over your hands. It may not leave burn marks, but it’s definitely uncomfortable.

Wax melts come in a ton of different scents. I particularly liked the bakery smells, though my husband found most way too strong.

What are your favorite scents?