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spray bottleJoin me each week as I explore the naturally aromatic side of DIY.
Helpful recipes for your "scentual" pleasure: from essential oils,
herbs, and other botanicals to soap-making, body care products and other useful blends.

Peppermint . . . candy canes, peppermint patties, toothpaste and tea. I'm sure that when you think of peppermint, these are some of the images conjured up for you. OK, maybe some of those yummy mint melt-a-way candies too. Or perhaps even indigestion tablets. I think you get the point.

There are a myriad of uses for peppermint essential oil that just may shift your long-ingrained minty paradigms, so read on.

Before you create any of these mint-a-licious recipes, be sure you are getting a quality peppermint essential oil from a reputable source. It should be organic or wild-grown.

1. Chocolate Mint Lip balm
This is so easy, you are going to make enough for everyone you know, I am sure of it. Peppermint is also reputed to help plump up the lips, so your kisser will not only taste great, it'll look great too.
  • 1 tsp. beeswax
  • 2 tsp. prime-pressed cocoa butter
  • 3 tsp. any liquid oil you like. I love rice bran oil and jojoba (not really an oil, but a wax), but you can use the olive oil in your kitchen cabinet and get great results.
  • 5-10 drops peppermint essential oil

Slowly melt ingredients in a double boiler or in 30-second spurts in microwave. Cool slightly and fill containers. You may like to adjust the ratio of ingredients to suit your liking.

2. Ant repellent
Apply peppermint essential oil to areas where ants get into your house. I diluted 1:1 with water in a spray bottle, but you can apply using a cotton ball right from the bottle. Yes, your house will smell like candy canes for a few days, but this really works for a good 2-3 weeks before you need to reapply.

3. Migraine chaser
Blend with lavender, dilute in a carrier oil and apply to temples to ease your migraines. Try 3 drops peppermint oil and 3 drops lavender in a TB of jojoba. I like to store my blend in a dram vial with an orifice reducer for easy application.

4. Morning and motion sickness reliever
Sniff for morning sickness, nausea, or sea-sickness. I like to blend it with ginger and lemon for this purpose. Try 4 drops lemon, 3 drops peppermint and 3 drops ginger mixed with coarse sea salt, just enough to fit in a dram vial. Then you can carry it with you and sniff when you need to and it won't spill.

5. Cooling foot bath
Try this easy recipe for soaking your aching feet at the end of a long day.
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1 tsp. jojoba or oil of your choice
  • 1 cup sea salt
Combine well and add about 2 TB to a foot bath. Follow with the tropical body butter you made from the last Scentual Life column, then wear socks while you sleep. Soft, refreshed feet!

6. Driving aid
If you ever get sleepy behind the wheel, try a little peppermint to perk you up. On a tissue, place 2 drops peppermint essential oil and 2 drops lemongrass essential oil. Tuck the tissue into your car's vent and inhale your way to mental alertness.

Are there more ways to use peppermint essential oil? You bet there are, but those are for another column. One of the fun things about peppermint is that it can be relaxing or stimulating depending on what you blend it with.

Peppermint . . . not just for candy canes anymore!

  • Raymond Chandler

    I like using organic oils like peppermint to help me relax. My mom used this as her favorite because of the relaxing properties/ a> it had on her after she had surgery. Being relaxed at home by using the peppermint oil really helped improve her disposition due to being home on bed rest .

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