What Does Peppermint Oil Do?

What does peppermint oil do for your mind? What does digestion do for your stomach to feel better? How repel insects and scare away rats? How does Peppermint oil clear your sinuses when you have a cold, and how does its cooling fragrance remove pain from your bones? Answers in the article below!

A Quick Summary - What does Peppermint Oil Do?

    • Digestive, heartburn, indigestion
    • Stimulates bile
    • Tonic to the liver
    • Decongestant 
    • Analgesic
    • Reduces heat
    • Stimulating (do not use before bed, or you will never sleep)
    • Reviving and refreshing clears the head
    • Lovely and cooling, especially for tired feet.

Sometimes the most challenging thing about writing articles is how to lay things out. It is an effective mental, emotional, and physical…how do we break it down because it is especially true of peppermint? The easiest way of learning it might be to think about how it makes you feel. Then things tend to fall into place.

What does Peppermint Oil Do Energetically

The first thing that strikes you is how cooling it is…and that’s a subject in its own right. Peppermint is refreshing. Like the wind whisking around you, it makes you concentrate on where you’re going. It invigorates, stimulates, awakens, and enlivens. Peppermint volatiles is bracing, pervasive, and cutting.

So, do we want to put it in a warm bath at night?

Nah-ah. It makes no sense, does it? It goes against everything you are trying to achieve. But, like rosemary essential oil, peppermint is best for mornings to move and get us going.

Peppermint is Cooling

One of its main constituents is menthol which does a rather remarkable thing. It interacts with receptors in our body called TRP channels. Transient Receptor Proteins are located at accessible nerve endings, and they help us to interpret what is going on in our surroundings. For example, they interact with temperature and pressure to identify when we might be endangered.

They monitor heat and cold, but also mechanical pressure and pinching. These are what signal how heavy your bag is on your shoulder. They transmit this information they sense along nerves to the brain. They influence how one moment you are fine carrying your shopping bags, but the next they are cutting into your hands, and they feel pain. The bag didn’t get heavy; these TRP channels kicked in.

Menthol activates the TRPV8 receptor, which is the one that communicates information about the cold. So that’s why our mouth feels chilly when we use mint toothpaste because there are TRPV8 receptors in our mouth. So this menthol interaction with these channels is one of the active principles of freeze spray.

Muscles work similarly. They are made up of hundreds of bundles of fibers. When we have a knot, it reduces blood flow to the area and creates trigger points in the fibers. Sometimes, these taut bands that hold the fibers cannot release even with a massage. Freeze sprays and menthol confuse the messages, tricking them into relaxing, so you can get deeper into the knots.

Recommended Reading: What Is Peppermint Oil Good For?

What Does Peppermint Oil Do For Fevers? 

This is important because there is so much dangerous misinformation around this. 

Peppermint is cooling, and it will bring down the temperature fast, but that is a highly wild thing to do. It is perilous, fraught with risk, and can cause serious accidents. 


Fevers are a sign of infection, but they are more than just signs. They indicate that the body is in immune defense, trying to rid itself of pathogens. Fevers are natural, healthy things. They are associated with seizures.

Seizures can undoubtedly be a side effect of a fever, but it is not the fever per se. Instead, the body is in shock at the sudden temperature change…can you see where I am going with this?

Bringing someone’s temperature down too fast is just as dangerous (probably more so because you are doing it artificially) as the fever increases.

By all means, use cool compresses (Just a face cloth and cool water), but….

Do Not Use Peppermint Oil For Fevers

Hopefully, we have now made that point! Moving on.

What does Peppermint Do For Digestion? 

We’ve had lamb and mint sauce. The mint helps us to digest the greasy meat. Remember how I said it is pervasive and rutting? It is excellent for anything sticky or sluggish.

Constipation? Not with mint.

Indigestion? No more, with mint.

Heartburn? Nah. That’s for mint-less wusses.

It stimulates bile and acts as a tonic for the liver. As a result, everything gets strengthened and works better.



If you have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, carefully place that peppermint oil back onto the table and step carefully away.

Nothing to see here, folks…we have everything in hand….Calmly step away…

Recommended Reading: Peppermint Essential Oil for Beard Growth: Combat the Loss of Facial Hair

What does Peppermint Oil Do to GERD?

Imagine throwing ten tons of acid onto a raging fire…

Peppermint relaxes the gastrointestinal tract, which is excellent for most of us, but for those with GERD, it loosens the valve that keeps digestive acid in the stomach. Acid can then bounce into the chest cavity, painfully burning your insides.

Severe belching and reflux move in.

If you have GERD, always choose chamomiles over peppermint. 


If you have a stuffy nose or sinus headache, just sit and inhale peppermint for a few minutes, and you’ll soon feel it busting through. However, it can irritate the mucous membranes, so do not stick it up your nose!

Peppermint Essential Oil for the Mind

Elizabeth Ashley wrote a passage about how Peppermint affects the mind in her Tongues of The Trees Essential Oracle Cards.


Moonlight reflected on the wave less sea. 

Constellations are easily be viewed in the absence of clouds. 

The navigator stands steady at the helm of the ship, effortlessly driving the ship to its course, 

Peppermint alleviates distractions and stills the mind. 

Where concentration is peaceful, somehow mint is so incredibly loud, raising your focus into a sound tunnel where nothing else can be heard. 

Riveting peppermint requires your attention. 

Perhaps it is something to do with his ice-cold glare, but peppermint demands you take notice and place the importance of your thoughts at the core. 

Peppermint for Stress

If the body has been caught in a stressful situation for a while, its internal signaling changes.

When we perceive fear or see something alarming, messages from our amygdala head off to our hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenals, the adrenals secrete our fight and flight response chemicals, the adrenaline that we are all familiar with cortisol.

Cortisol tends to get an awful press, but when it works correctly, it is anti-inflammatory and helps us respond quickly to stressful situations.

It’s easiest to imagine it in our most primitive role, s if we were cave people running from saber-tooth tigers. Cortisol removes all power from what it deems to be unnecessary body processes for dealing with the job. Instead, it helps change all energy into glycogen to fuel our muscles so we can jump higher up a tree and run faster. (You might consider how your sin looks worse when stressed. This is why. It is considered non-essential to fight and flight.)

The problem is that when the saber tooth had been slain, it would be okay for our old systems to switch off. The parasympathetic system would then step in, start the rest and restore processes and the body would come back into balance. The problem is that many of us never switch off now, do we? The response carries on and on. Then, cortisol turns on its axis and becomes inflammatory to the system.

What Does Peppermint Oil Do for Stress

The next layer of the puzzle is that the cortisol reserves will run out at some point. When that happens, the body starts to take from the pituitary (which typically secretes sex hormones, amongst other things, which is why we see potency and fertility going awry). Then it starts to steal power from the liver. 

Long-term stress is a powerful driver for migraines, eczema, psoriasis, sexual problems, chronic stress, and aches and pains. On all counts, peppermint can be helpful because of its supporting action on the liver. 

If nothing else, we can see how it would give us that jolt to feel like we were a bit more in charge of things, at least. This is especially good if someone does a difficult job, works long hours, or does a job they hate. A drop of peppermint oil on a face cloth in the morning can do extraordinary things, as can adding a drop to massage oil to use daily.

What does Peppermint Oil Do To Children?

Yes, every aromatherapist has asked that at least once in exasperation when they’ve had it going in a diffuser, and half an hour later, the kids are bouncing off the walls. First, it’s way too stimulating. Then, they become hyper and argumentative.

If you want something to help them concentrate, try some grounding vetiver. It is much better suited for kids.

Also, menthol slows respiration which can be problematic for children. Use in very small dilutions and only on their backs. Keep it away from their faces.

There is always going to be a better oil you can use for kids. Digestion? Chamomile. Stuffy nose? Frankincense. Pain, again lavender and chamomile. Get inventive. Save yourself the stress. 

What does Peppermint Do To Other Animals?

Is Peppermint essential oil safe for dogs?
Yes. But they don’t like it. Very few animals do.

Is it safe for cats?

No, it’s not. Their little livers can’t break down some constituents, so even airborne droplets can be problematic if they get on her fur. So when she licks them, it’s as if she is drinking peppermint oil straight from the bottle.

Peppermint oil for spiders, rats, and mosquitos

They hate, hate, hate it.

Oddly though, bees adore mint.

Recommended Reading: Does Peppermint Oil Repel Mice?

Peppermint Oil Safety

Peppermint stimulates the heart, so it carries a mild risk of fibrillation. 

Anyone with epilepsy or a heart condition should use only the smallest dilutions. We suggest a homeopathic dose which is just 1/15th of a drop. (Count out 14 drops of carrier oil, then add one drop of essential oil. A homeopathic amount is one drop of this mix.)

Irritant to the mucous membranes, do not stick it up your nose or any of those soft, damp, delicate bits! 

G6PD is a blood disorder that mainly affects males. Therefore, Peppermint essential oil is not suitable for patients with G6PD deficiency.

We do not advise using peppermint essential oil during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. 

What Does Peppermint Do? DIY Recipes


Method of Use: Massage into the abdomen gently in a clockwise direction. A hot water bottle can help the oils get to work faster. Reapply hourly. 

Safety: Not suitable for use on children under 10 or during pregnancy. Not ideal for sufferers of G6PD deficiency. Do not use old lemon oil since the monoterpenes degrade quickly and can lead to skin sensitization.

Concentration Diffuser Oil 

Safety: Not designed for topical use and does not burn around cats.

Stuffy Nose 

Method of use: Rub into the forehead and around the cheekbones. Also, apply to the back of the neck and the insides of the rest where there is a good blood supply to get the oils to work fast.

Safety: Not suitable for use on children under 10 or during pregnancy. Not ideal for sufferers of G6PD deficiency. Do not use old lemon oil since the monoterpenes degrade quickly and can lead to skin sensitization.


What does Peppermint do? It awakens, revitalizes, and refreshes the spirit. The oil helps you concentrate and focus better. It aids digestion and pain and is excellent for unblocking noses. But, it slows respiration, so we don’t want to use it on kids, and most important to remember of all, it keeps you awake at night.

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