Peppermint is a widely known herb with a recognizable scent that puts out a pretty purple flower. It is a cross between watermint and spearmint and in the right conditions spreads rapidly through underground runners. We use peppermint that is grown in the USA and put through a steam distillation process to produce the peppermint essential oil that we add to our goat milk soap.
We add peppermint to our goat milk soaps for three main reasons.
It smells good.
Yes, we love the smell of peppermint and how it helps to wake us up in the morning when we're feeling sluggish.
It can help relieve stress.
While peppermint lifts you up, it can also relax you and help you fight anxiety. And because it stimulates it can help you clear your mind and focus better, which always relieves stress.
It can help with circulation.
Peppermint oil has been show to help increase blood circulation. Apparently, when your nose smells the peppermint, it can increase your pulse rate which aids in blood circulation. This makes it a good choice for people with diabetes where circulation can be a problem. It may also be one more tool to help with arthritis.
Peppermint essential oil is a key ingredient in our rosemary mint shampoo bar. The antiseptic properties of the peppermint oil may help with dandruff or psoriasis, and the increased circulation may support hair growth. We also make an energizing luffa soap called a peppermint foot scrubby for tired or achy feet (or anywhere else that needs exfoliating).
It's not soap, but we also add peppermint essential oil to our tooth powder because it has antiseptic properties that can help with bad breath and gum health.
We don't recommend ingesting peppermint essential oil directly without diluting it, but we eat peppermint leaves out of our garden regularly. They are easily digestible and good for nausea and upset tummies. Taking some with you on car trips can provide those with motion sickness something to chew on. Peppermint has been shown to be a good source of potassium, calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium, so you're getting a good dose of healthy nutrition from it as well.
Essential oils are very strong and should never be ingested or used undiluted on your skin. We are very careful with your goat milk soap to use an amount that is beneficial, but safe for your skin. Allergic reactions to peppermint essential oil are very rare but can occur, as can heartburn (if ingesting) and headaches. If you are concerned, check with your doctor and test on a small patch of skin first before using.
This article has not been evaluated by the FDA.