August and the Lazy, Cazy, Days of Peppermint
It’s nearly August and … ahhhh … the lazy days of summer! An excellent essential oil for this lovely month is Peppermint.
During these lazy days it’s easy to reach for that last piece of I-shouldn’t-have-eaten-that. If your tummy feels like it’s taken one turn too many on a county fair ride, turn to Peppermint. It’s first aid for your digestive system – that upset stomach, bloating, reflux … and those things your kids are really amused by … gas and flatulence … relax, this is the month they go back to school.
I was very sore last week from a big project. Many hours at the computer added up to a tight neck, back, shoulders and a mouse injury. No, I wasn’t attacked by a wild rodent. All that mousing around at the computer with my right hand made the muscles around my elbow very painful. I put a couple of drops of Peppermint in some grapeseed carrier oil, then put it on the affected areas (with a little help from the hubby), allowed it time to penetrate, then let the warm shower water drive it into my muscles. During my hydrotherapy session, I rolled my head through my neck’s full range of motion, shrugged my shoulders and stretched my back. Soon I was hearing the familiar and welcome snap and crackle that meant my body was popping back into place.
To try to avoid this level of muscle pain and soreness in the future, I have a chart of stretches to do when I’ve been at my desk too long and yes, I intend to use them.
The largest of the oil-producing plant families is Lamiaceaa (Libiatae) and the low-growing peppermint shrub is part of the family. Peppermint comes from the plant’s leaves and, as leaves are the lungs of a plant, they help the humans’ lungs and sinuses. That’s why Peppermint is also important for colds, allergies and asthma, not only for its lung-assisting properties but also for immune support.
Not every day in August can be stress free (I know, it’s not fair). For those times of stress and headache (including migraines), Peppermint can help. It’s also helpful for mental sharpness in planning for and going back to school.
An excellent example of our “less is more” approach to essential oil use and safety, one drop of Peppermint equals 27 cups of peppermint tea. It is a member of both the ketone and monoterpenol chemical families but a bit of a “stand-out” in each family. Why? Peppermint is the only essential oil in either family with safety precautions. It should not be used by:
- children age 2 and under (however, it may be used diluted for children ages 2-5)
- pregnant women
- individuals taking medication for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- people taking high blood pressure medications or calcium channel blockers, as it may alter the effects of the drugs.
When you need the benefits of Peppermint in these cases, choose Spearmint instead.
How do you learn the safest ways to use Peppermint? Get the book or the free e-book. Foundational Aromatherapy is the new book by Leiann King and Brenda Wright and is available here:
Nearly half of the book is offered as a free e-book, with detailed information about 46 single oils and 25 blends:
I hope you enjoy some lazy – and not too crazy – days of August and, if you need it, some Peppermint oil nearby.