Peppermint oil has been used from ages not only to enhance flavor but also in treating various health conditions like cough, common cold, headache, and depression. According to research, it was observed that using essential oils proves to be an efficacious remedy in treating several upper respiratory tract infections like cough and cold (1)
The active ingredient in peppermint oil; menthol is known to be an effective coolant and it not only soothes the throat but also helps in numbing in any kind of irritation that could be present in the throat.
Menthol; is the reason why peppermint oil is brimming with medicinal properties and helps in curing several ailments and symptoms that affect the body.
Benefits of Peppermint oil
Menthol, a natural agent present in the oil works as a decongestant that is found in various over-the-counter cough products like throat lozenges and other branded decongestants.
It can effectively thin or loosen chest congestion and break phlegm. Menthol also cools the oral cavity and throat, offering a temporary numbing sensation that can make coughing bearable. Additionally, It is also known to soothe a sore throat which is caused due to a dry cough.
Several natural products for respiratory conditions often contain peppermint oil due to its characteristic feature of helping in relaxing the muscles of the windpipe, known as the bronchial muscles. This may explain why oil can ease breathing in people with coughs. However, it is to be noted that it also has analgesic properties that can effectively soothe a headache (2).
Peppermint essential oil can be used in different ways.
- Steam Inhalation
- Diffusion of the Oil
- Topical Application
- Direct inhalation
Peppermint oil is one of the best essential oils for treating sinus congestion and coughs because it contains menthol, which is both antibacterial and antiviral. Menthol has a cooling effect on the body and improves the nasal airflow when they get congested by unclogging the sinuses.
It also provides relief from a scratchy throat that leads to a dry cough. It is also known to have antitussive (anti-cough) and antispasmodic effects.
Furthermore, it also relaxes the bronchial smooth muscles and increases ventilation, which is why it’s often used by athletes to enhance their exercise performance(3).
It is these properties that make peppermint essential oil an effective remedy against severe coughing, which in turn improves your respiratory rate and helps in easing the ability to breathe.
You must be very cautious when using peppermint oil, as overdosing is dangerous. If you are using it for cough relief, the recommended dosage is between 4 to 10 mg of peppermint oil and for inhalation, it is three to four drops of oil mixed in 150 ml of hot water three times a day.
People who have gallstones, acid reflux issues, and gastroesophageal reflux diseases should not use peppermint oil as it might worsen their condition. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers also should avoid its use. Do not get it too close to your eyes or it can cause irritation. Do not use peppermint oil on the skin of children under the age of 2.
How to use Peppermint oil for cough
Peppermint oil is known for its ability to treat coughs and associated respiratory ailments like pharyngitis, bronchitis, and sinusitis. It provides almost instant relief from chest congestion and persistent cough. It decongests the airways and makes breathing easier.
Method – 1
How to use
- 6 to 8 drops of Peppermint essential oil
- 1 liter distilled water
- A clean and dry cloth
- A small bowl to boil the water
- Take 1-liter water in a bowl
- Heat the water till it boils
- Turn off the heat
- Add 6 to 8 drops of Peppermint essential oil to it
- Put the dry towel on your head and inhale the vapors
- Ensure that you don’t touch the bowl and no vapor escapes out
- Inhale the aroma
- Inhale 10 to 15 times to release congestion and to get relief from cough
You can do this twice a day. It is ideally suggested that you do this before sleeping as it induces better sleep quality.
Method – 2
How to use
- 6 drops of Peppermint oil
- 2 tablespoons of Coconut oil or olive oil (any carrier oil)
- A small bowl to mix the above ingredients
- ½ teaspoon of camphor powder
- Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil in small bowl
- To that add 6 drops of peppermint oil
- Mix well until it reaches an even consistency
Apply this mixture on your chest and upper back area and gently massage in the area for at least 3-4 minutes twice a day. Massaging just before going to bed will promote better sleep as it clears the nasal congestion and acts against the irritants causing cough. It also clears mucus and provides great relief.
Peppermint essential oil has menthol which makes it suitable for relieving an itchy throat, serving as an expectorant and improving your breath. It also helps in providing relief to severe cough, and ease up chest congestion.
It is also effective in treating other ailments such as headaches and depression. Peppermint oil has an antibacterial property which makes it effective against various infections.