What are the health benefits of peppermint oil?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory properties and soothes the nerves. Rub into the temples and forehead when a headache starts and rub; repeat every 15-30 minutes for added relief. Available for $7 at health food stores.
This content originally appeared on
Sarah LoBisco
Integrative Medicine
Peppermint oil is probably best known for its ability to relieve an “irritable bowel." However, this powerful “tummy tamer” has many other benefits.

Some studies have reported peppermint to be helpful for:
  • Headaches
  • Pain
  • Mood
  • Cognitive Performance
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Nausea
I have used peppermint with my clients for all of the above issues successfully. I only use therapeutic grade essential oils that have no fillers or additives with my clients. It is important to make sure they are communicating with their other practitioners what they are using.

Peppermint is a very strong oil and shouldn’t be placed in any sensitive areas. It is also important to avoid the eyes when applying peppermint, or you’re in for a stinging sensation!

Peppermint oil can be diluted with an organic carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil, and applied to the belly or sore muscles. It is best inhaled for helping mood and headaches.
Gobel, H., Schmidt, G., Soyka, D. (1994). Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetric headache parameters. Cephalalgia, 14, 228-34.
Pittler, M. H., Ernst, E. (1998). Peppermint oil for irritable bowel syndrome: a critical review and metaanalysis. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 93(7), 1131-5.
Anderson, L., Gross, J. (2004). Aromatherapy with peppermint, isopropyl alcohol, or placebo is equally effective in relieving postoperative nausea. Journal of Peri-Anesthesia Nursing, 19, (1), 29-35.
Barker S, Grayhem P, Koon J, Perkins J, Whalen A, Raudenbush B. Improved performance on clerical tasks associated with administration of peppermint odor. Percept Mot Skills. 2003 Dec;97(3 Pt 1):1007-10.
PM Moss M, Hewitt S, Moss L, Wesnes K. Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang. Int J Neurosci. 2008 Jan;118(1):59-77.ID: 14738372
Dig Endosc. 2012 Mar;24(2):79-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1443-1661.2011.01163.x. Epub 2011 Jun 1

Continue Learning about Peppermint

How does peppermint reduce bloating?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Indigestion is one of the most common causes of bloating. Peppermint improves the flow of bile to di...
More Answers
What is peppermint oil used for?
Sarah LoBiscoSarah LoBisco
Peppermint oil is most revered for its ability to calm upset bellies and support digestion in herbal...
More Answers
How effective is peppermint oil in treating migraine headaches?
Dr. Dawn MarcusDr. Dawn Marcus
Peppermint oil is derived from the plant Mentha piperita, with the main active components being ment...
More Answers
When can I use peppermint oil for headaches if I'm breastfeeding?
Dawn MarcusDawn Marcus
Topical peppermint oil for headaches can be used by women who are nursing -- but not while you a...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.