Peppermint Essential Oil (18)

Peppermint is an aromatic herb in the mint family. It’s a hybrid mint that’s a cross between spearmint and watermint. It can be found naturally in North America and Europe. Peppermint essential oil can be extracted from the leaves of the peppermint plant and is used for a variety of different purposes.

The peppermint plant is a versatile perennial herb that has been cherished since ancient times. The plant’s first recorded appearance dates back to 1000 BC when dried peppermint leaves were found entombed in ancient Egyptian pyramids.1 Throughout human history, this herb has been valued as a multi-purpose plant and an essential oil whose components are now used by cosmetic, culinary, and health industries around the world. When you use it internally, Peppermint oil is also well known for its ability to help alleviate occasional upset stomach and promote healthy respiratory function.

FEATURES & BENEFITS

• Cools fatigued muscles after physical activity
• Produces a focused environment when diffused
• Provides a refreshing experience when mixed with your favorite shampoo or when applied to skin after a warm day in the sun
• Creates an invigorating and refreshing experience when inhaled

APPLICATIONS

• Diffuse Peppermint while working or around kids while doing their homework for an environment that is focused and energized.
• Add Peppermint to hot bathwater and enjoy the revitalizing scent and soothing aromatic steam.
• Inhale or apply it to your chest before and during a tough workout for a stimulating scent.
• Apply it topically to fatigued areas following physical activity for a cooling sensation.

Freshener:
When you need to freshen your breath, mix a drop of Peppermint oil with a drop of Lemon essential oil in water, take a sip, and swirl it around in your mouth for a healthy, refreshing mouth rinse. The most beneficial ingredient in this mouth rinse is menthol, a component found in Peppermint oil. Menthol has been used for centuries for its ability to cleanse and freshen.

Cooking:
Peppermint oil is a culinary wonder and has been used to add a fresh boost to meals in kitchens all across the world. However, the use of Peppermint oil is not just limited to cooked dishes; it also makes a great addition to any smoothie. Try adding one to two drops of Peppermint oil to your favorite smoothie recipe for a burst of minty flavor.

Energy:
Peppermint oil can be used aromatically to enliven the senses and promote a feeling of energy. Try placing one drop of Peppermint oil in the palm of your hand, add one drop of Wild Orange oil and one drop of Frankincense oil, and inhale by cupping your hands over your nose. This simple aromatic recipe is perfect for a mid-day pick-me-up.

Massage:
Try adding Peppermint oil to your massage experiences and enjoy the pleasurable cooling feelings it brings to your skin while immersing yourself in its sweet and relaxing aroma. A great massage companion to Peppermint oil is Lavender.

Beauty:
You can also try adding Peppermint oil to your shampoo or conditioner for a stimulating hair massage that will provide the pampering your scalp deserves.

Insect repellent:
Many bugs and spiders dislike the potent smell of Peppermint oil. Try placing one to three drops of Peppermint oil on a cotton ball and placing it in the corners of your bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, laundry room, or wherever you think these unwanted guests might be.

Lavender oil (17)

Perhaps the most well known and versatile of all the essential oils, and for good reason – Lavender has been used for thousands of years for its healing, antiseptic and sedative properties.
Lavender oil likely sparked modern interest in therapeutic essential oils after the ‘father of aromatherapy’, René-Maurice Gattefossé, attributed the healing of his hand from gas gangrene to Lavender. He went on to successfully use it in on wounded soldiers in the First World War.

Lavender has a scent that’s a wonderful blend of fresh, floral, clean, and calm. This dynamic aroma that has made the flower a classic for perfumes, soaps, fresheners, and beauty products.
Distilled from the plant Lavandula angustifolia, the oil promotes relaxation and believed to treat anxiety, fungal infections, allergies, depression, insomnia, eczema, nausea, and menstrual cramps.

Anxiety
While there’s currently a lack of large-scale clinical trials testing lavender’s effects on people with anxiety, a number of studies show that the oil may offer some anti-anxiety benefits.

Insomnia
Several studies have shown lavender essential oil may help promote sleep and fight insomnia.

Possible Side Effects
Lavender essential oil may cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction in some individuals. If you experience nausea, vomiting, or a headache after using lavender, discontinue use immediately.

Because consuming lavender essential oil can have toxic effects, this remedy should not be ingested unless under the supervision of a medical professional.

Dosage and Preparation
There is no recommended daily allowance for lavender essential oil. According to the principles of aromatherapy, breathing in the scent of lavender essential oil or applying lavender essential oil to the skin transmits messages to the limbic system, a brain region known to influence the nervous system and help regulate emotion.

One popular approach involves combining lavender oil with a carrier oil (such as jojoba or sweet almond). Once blended with a carrier oil, lavender essential oil can be massaged into your skin or added to your bath.

You can also sprinkle a few drops of lavender essential oil onto a cloth or tissue and inhale its aroma, or add the oil to an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer.

When buying pure lavender essential oil, check the label for its Latin name, Lavandula angustifolia. No other oils or ingredients should be listed. If you see another oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil, the lavender is diluted and should not be used in a diffuser.

Essential oils should be packaged in a dark amber or cobalt bottle and stored out of sunlight.

Applications:
• Add a few drops to lotions, shampoos, and skin care products for a classic aroma and more youthful complexion.
• Add 10 drops of Lavender and 1 cup of Epsom salt to a bath to create a relaxing environment.
• Unwind in the evening with a calming, Lavender-infused neck or back massage.
• Use Lavender as part of a bedtime routine by rubbing it on the bottoms of your feet or diffusing it next to your bed.
• Create a DIY room freshener with Lavender or diffuse it to help banish stale odours.
• Use Lavender essential oil to remove sticky residue and permanent marker stains from solid surfaces.
• Add 5-10 drops of Lavender essential oil to a small, slightly damp washcloth. Place it in the dryer while drying towels for a clean, fresh aroma.
• Diffuse Lavender in your bathroom to make your bathroom smell fresh.
• Put 3-5 drops of Lavender oil in each of your shoes to keep them smelling fresh. If your shoes have plastic or leather soles, put the oil onto a cotton ball and leave it overnight.
• Keep your carpet or rug smelling fresh with Lavender essential oil added to baking soda. Sprinkle the mixture into the carpet, let it sit for at least 15 minutes, and then vacuum it up.
• Add to food and drink recipes for a beautiful floral taste.

Best carrier oils (16)

Different carrier oils have different properties and use. The carrier oil chosen for aromatherapy treatment will depend on the desired outcome.

Coconut oil

People in the tropics have been using coconut oil as a moisturizer for centuries. Recently, the oil has also been shown to have antimicrobial properties. This is largely due to its high lauric acid content, which is the main fatty acid in coconut oil.
People with extremely dry and flaky skin must welcome coconut oil to their lives. This oil supplies sebum to the skin. As a result, the skin remains hydrated, moisturized, and free of acne-causing bacteria and germs.
Coconut oil can also be combined with another carrier in winter since it is prone to solidifying real quickly.
Coconut oil is high in antioxidants and Vitamin E. But, the thick, unrefined coconut oil you find at the grocery store is not as useful for aromatherapy purposes because it doesn’t readily absorb into the skin.

Black cumin seed oil

Black cumin seed oil is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal, and is thought to be helpful in promoting the healing of wounds and burns.
This oil is golden brown and has a mild, earthy, woody smell that can be slightly spicy or peppery. Black cumin seed oil also absorbs into the skin quickly.

Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil, which is really a wax, is commonly used in massage. Due to its natural anti-inflammatory properties, it might help in the treatment of mild acne.
In aromatherapy, it absorbs well and could be a good choice for those with oily or acne-prone skin.
Jojoba oil is very gentle on skin and rarely causes any allergic reactions.
Jojoba oil is yellow and has a distinct but pleasant smell.

Rose hip oil

Rose hip oil is rich in essential fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid. It has been shown to have antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects and is used to treat various skin conditions.

Rose hip oil is a natural source of vitamin C and vitamin E.

Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil is considered to be an all-purpose oil that is commonly used in aromatherapy, from massage to skin care. It has a light aroma that is slightly sweet and nutty, and it is virtually clear in color. It leaves a glossy film on the skin.

This oil is made from the pressings of the seeds from particular grape varieties. It is high in linoleic acid and is very moisturizing, especially for delicate skin. You’ll often see it listed on the ingredients list of many cosmetics. Its aroma is light and sweet, and it is clear in color. It can be a good carrier oil to use for occasional blemishes.

Argan Oil

Argan oil has high healing properties. It takes care of scars, stretch marks and heals the damage caused by UV rays and inflammation. This oil is also very soothing and gentle and can be used to fight acne, defy wrinkles and to repair damaged hair and boost its growth.

Olive Oil

Though it can be heavy, oily, and have a stronger odor when compared to the others, the benefit of olive oil is that it is high in both vitamins and minerals. Depending on the quantity and how diluted you need the essential oil to be, olive oil can overpower the scent.

Avocado Oil

Avocado has countless health benefits and its oil carries the same trait when it comes to skin. Avocado oil is one of the most luxurious oils with a thick texture. This carrier oil contains palmitoleic acid as well as oleic and linoleic fatty acids, and actively fights aging signs on the skin.

This oil is also great for people who suffer from inflammation, redness, and allergies on their skin. To balance out its thicker consistency, it can be combined with almond oil for best results.

Sweet Almond Oil

Almond oil is rich in protein and is heavier in texture, so people with extremely dry and sensitive skin will get their moisture from the application of almond oil. When mixed with rose petals, almond oil becomes one of the best body oils and moisturizes every pore.
Almond oil also has a very pleasant smell.

Evening primrose oil

The light and sweet-smelling evening primrose oil has been used in aromatherapy and skin care for many years. It is thought to be useful in many skin conditions, including eczema.

It is usually expensive, and aromatherapists tend to blend it with other carrier oils. It has a high essential fatty acid content, meaning that it deteriorates and goes rancid quite quickly.

What is a carrier oil? (15)

If applied to the skin directly, essential oils can cause reactions, such as severe irritation, redness or burning.

Carrier oils are vegetable oils with little-to-no scent that are used to dilute essential oils. They are not volatile like essential oils, and are shelf-stable. In carrying essential oils into your skin, carrier oils do dilute the potency of the oil. However, this does not mean that the oil is any less effective. Rather, it means that essential oils better absorb into your skin because it does not evaporate as quickly.
Dilution is also necessary for certain “hot” essential oils, and always a good idea when using any oils with children or for those with sensitive skin. When in doubt, always dilute.

To be used in aromatherapy, it is recommended that the carrier oil is obtained through cold pressing. In this process, the oil is extracted by crushing the plants. Users claim that the fragile nutrients in the oil can be damaged if they are extracted with heat.

While some are odorless, most carrier oils have a faint smell that is sweet and nutty. Unlike essential oils, they do not evaporate.

How are essential oils adulterated? (14)

Essential oils are not cheap to make. Pure essential oils are expensive, labor intensive, and subject to all kinds of hard work. They are pricey, as any pure product, carefully grown and extracted should be. In order to make essential oils less costly, some companies will “extend” essential oils. That means, they will stretch them by diluting them in some way.

Oils can be adulterated in several ways during the production process, from diluting with cooking oils to adding synthetic chemicals. The important thing to know is that adulteration is always intentional—you cannot accidentally adulterate an oil.

Natural Isolates
This means that a naturally-occurring chemical constituent is added to the essential oil. One example is the chemical constituent alpha-pinene, a primary constituent in Frankincense. Alpha-pinene can be taken from trees used in the paper industry and added to Frankincense essential oil.

Adding Other Oils
Common essential oils can be added to rarer or more expensive oils. Cassia, for instance, is similar to Cinnamon oil, but much less expensive. It can be added to Cinnamon essential oil and not be easily detected because the aromas and chemistry are similar. The same can be done with Lemongrass and Melissa.

Dilution
In order to make a small amount of essential oil larger, it can be diluted using carrier or cooking oils such as olive, coconut, or canola. This dilution lessens the potency and effectiveness of the oil.

Synthetic
Many of the chemical compounds found in essential oils can be synthesized in a lab. Typically, these synthetic constituents are created out of petro-chemicals. Lavender can be produced without using a Lavender plant at all, but by synthesizing linalool and linalyl acetate from petroleum-based products.

Extended with Alcohol
Another common way to extend an essential oil, and therein making it cheaper, is by adding alcohol to the EO. Ethyl Alcohol is a common substance added to EO to extend them. It’s very hard to detect this by smell, but it is possible.

In many cases, the added substance is inferior or even harmful. Adulterations not only have the potential to alter the chemical and physical properties of an oil, but they can decrease the efficacy of the oil, to produce an allergic reaction, irritation or toxic side effects.

How to Store Essential Oils? (13)

An essential oil can’t stay fresh without proper storage. It does not react well to changes in temperature, and since you’ve spent a considerable amount of money in it, you might as well look after it properly. Otherwise, you’ll lose its therapeutic benefits. Luckily, storage solutions for an essential oil are easy.

BOTTLING
Since ultra-violet light affects the composition of the essential oil, make sure that you put it on a dark-colored glass. Dark amber is the most common shade of glass. However, you can also choose one that is violet, green, or blue. They offer the same level of protection.

Putting your essential oil on a dark glass does not mean you can expose it directly to the sun. While the glass helps screen the UV light, natural heat will still speed up the oxidation process. So, be sure to still keep it some place dark and cool.

Cap the glass tightly so as not to expose it to oxygen. If not, some of the chemicals will evaporate, especially if the oil is not 100% pure.

COOLING
Essential oils are prone to oxidation under heat and temperature variations – especially citrus oils. The same is true for massage oils and carrier oils. To avoid this, you can store them in your refrigerator. Be careful not to set the temperature too cold, about 5 to 10 degrees Celsius is enough. In fact, it’s much better than storing your oils on the kitchen’s window ledge.

Citrus essential oils will not change under the prescribed temperature; however, Aniseed, Rose Otto, Fennel, and Star Anise may solidify. So, before you use any of them, allow them to sit for a few hours. This will return them to their normal form. For the Rose Otto, you can just hold it in your hands for a few minutes. Never put the oils under the sun in order to hasten the process. Let it the natural wax dissolve without exposing it to UV light.

In summer, when it’s especially hot, essential oils can be particularly vulnerable. Store them in the fridge and take them out about 12 hours before you use them. This way, they can adjust to the room temperature naturally. Give it a quick shake to ensure that the waxy particles are completely dissolved.

BOXING
If you don’t have any space in your fridge, use a storage box instead. It’s good enough to keep some types of oil. You just have to keep in a place that has the least or no changes in temperature. You also have to remember that some oils are moderately volatile, so they will evaporate quickly if you don’t cap it tightly. Also, don’t leave them lying around after you use them. Put them back in the box.

STORING
Essential oils are flammable. Thus, do not leave them near fires, candles, cookers, or any other sources of ignition. Don’t forget to keep them away from children. The essential oil is not something they can play with.

Never keep undiluted oils into plastic bottles. Why? Most oils will eat into the material and start degrading the plastics. Diluted oils like lotions and massage oils might be stored in plastic since the concentration of essential oils is lowered through the mixture with the other components.

Do Essential Oils Expire? (12)

Essential oils are a product of nature. Every natural product has a shelf life. They’re natural, liquid chemicals and their chemistry can get altered under certain conditions.

As soon as you open a new bottle or container of essential oils and it comes into contact with oxygen, a process called oxidation begins. The oxidation process involves the changes of oxygen bonds between cells into carbon bonds.

When an oil comes into contact with oxygen, light, and heat, its composition begins to change. Over time, it starts to lose its strength and effectiveness. This is why most essential oils are sold in amber-colored bottles — the darker glass provides better protection against ultraviolet light.

Does this mean that essential oils spoil or “go bad?”

Essential oils don’t spoil like food does, but they do change over time. Because it’s hard to determine what the oils have changed into, it’s also hard to determine whether or not they’re safe to use.

The bottom line is, don’t inhale expired essential oils or use them on your skin after they have expired.

Essential Oil Skin Testing (11)

Some essential oils can cause irritation. Even essential oils that have been actively promoted as being remarkably safe to use.

Prior to using an essential oil for the first time, skin patch testing is often recommended as a method of determining if you have an existing sensitivity/irritation to the natural constituents present in a particular essential oil. 

There are some simple rules to follow when evaluating a scent:

• Do not place your nose right up to the open tester and sniff. The undiluted oil is incredibly strong and can give you a headache. Instead, hold the lid at least five inches from your nose and gently sniff.

• Never use essential oils undiluted on the skin.

• Avoid using essential oils that are hazardous and that are known to be of higher risk in causing dermal irritation.

• Place 1-2 drops of a diluted skin safe essential oil on your inner forearm or back as the most appropriate regions for testing.

• Apply a bandage. Do not get this area wet during the test.

• If you feel the onset of any irritation or if any reaction occurs, immediately remove the bandage and carefully wash the area with mild soap and water.

• If no irritation occurs after 48 hours, the essential oil,  should be safe for you to use diluted on your skin.

• Also keep in mind that if you are allergic to a particular plant, you are more likely to be allergic to that botanical’s essential oil.

• When comparing a variety of oils, take a break in between scents. Sniffing oils too closely together can overwhelm the senses and reduce your ability to discern the fragrant notes.

How to Choose the Right Essential Oil ? (10)

There are a number of important factors to keep in mind when you buy essential oils.

• Watch out for words such as “fragrance oil,” “nature identical oil,” or “perfume oil.” These words indicate that what you see is not a pure, single essential oil.

Essential oils are concentrated oils distilled from plants. They not only smell great, but they also contain the beneficial chemical compounds of the specific plant they’re derived from. Fragrance oils are synthetic, and though they may smell good, they do not have any beneficial natural compounds. They’re less expensive to produce because they’re diluted with artificial substances.

• Avoid essential oils that have been diluted with vegetable oil. To test this, place a couple of drops on a piece of paper. If the drop leaves an oily ring, it likely contains vegetable oil.

• High quality essential oils list the Latin name of the plant species they’re derived from. For example, a bottle of lavender essential oil could be distilled from Lavandula Angustifolia, or English Lavender. If an oil doesn’t list the Latin name, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re really getting.

• Verify the source. If the label doesn’t outright mention country of origin, you might see a “lot#,” which you can then look up. If you’re buying from a website, it should state where the oil is from on the product page, even if the individual bottles may not (simply because labels can be quite small).

• Avoid buying essential oils from a company that prices all of its oils the same or an oil that is unusually low-priced. The process of extraction can vary enormously from one plant to the next.

• Pricing practices like this suggest that the oils are either synthetic, contain little of the essential oil they claim to have, or are of low quality.

• Many oils are labeled as “Therapeutic Grade.” But it’s important to note that this isn’t a term that’s regulated by the FDA, or any other evaluating body. So while many reputable companies label their oils as “therapeutic grade” to denote purity, any company can put that on any bottle of oil without having to meet any specific standards of quality. A “Therapeutic Grade” label is not necessarily a bad thing, but don’t overestimate its meaning or let it fool you.

• Essential oils should be sold in a tightly sealed dark amber or dark blue glass bottles. Clear glass allows unfiltered light to enter and can cause the oil to spoil.

• Never buy pure essential oils in plastic bottles, since the oils can dissolve plastic and contaminate the product. 

• Always buy less rather than more. A 10-milliliter bottle will likely last months even with frequent use. Buying too much can lead to spoilage and waste.

Why essential oils have such huge differences in price? (9)

When purchasing essential oils, it’s not uncommon to find huge pricing differences between companies.

One of the reasons why some essential oils are expensive than others is due to the cost and complicated production processes. For instance, Rose Bulgaria creates the best rose oil globally yet for one ounce of rose oil, rose petals of about 600 pounds have to be collected, not forgetting that the flowers must be delicately hand-picked, cultivated and carefully pruned. Also, just to produce a single ounce of the finest jasmine, one experienced picker must labor for over 20 days.

The rarity of the plant, the region where the source is grown or the difficult conditions of growing a certain plant makes that essential oil very expensive than another.

For comparison, the retail price for Young Living’s 5 ml Hawaiian sandalwood essential oil is $124.67 and 15 ml lavender essential oils is $30.92 (equivalent to $10.31 for 5 ml).
The reason Sandalwood essential oils is expensive because the source is becoming more scare due to high demand and tree maturity to get high quality oils. Commercially, Australian Sandalwood tree is harvested at minimum age of 15 years.

For the individual who is new to shopping for essential oils, the cost difference between essential oil suppliers can be intimidating.
In many cases, the new essential oil user may simply shop by picking a company they find who is cheapest.
Beware, the cheapest oils do not always offer the same therapeutic value as those purchased from sellers that invest more care and cost into the distillation, storage and shipment of their oils.