Mentha x Piperita in Latin. We call it “peppermint,” a natural cross between water mint and spearmint.  When the flowery parts of this hybrid plant are pressed and compounded, the emerging oils become the wonderfulness of peppermint essential oil (EO) used in the making of candy canes that pop up everywhere this time of year.  

Candy canes herald in good times, but the value of peppermint EO is way more than sight, taste, smell, and just one season.  

The nose-tickling component of menthol is the reason. It’s medicinal and therapeutic, helping to throw off congestion, bad breath, headaches, digestive issues*, bacterial infections, inflammation, fatigue, muscle and joint soreness, dandruff, hair loss, bugs, and more! Check out the “Nutritional Watchdog” online blog for a great article about the many uses of peppermint oil, with links to important studies and resources that support these claims.  

Peppermint’s menthol component is antibacterial and antimicrobial, so it works as a cleansing agent on counters and surfaces, making it a vital tincture to have in your “war chest” for every season.   

Add a few drops of peppermint oil to the water in an aromatherapy diffuser to “scrub” household air of impurities. The “Wood Grain Orb” Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser or “Bamboo Lantern” Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser, as sold on The Gift of are perfect for this practice.  

These products can be found on the drop-down menu under the Diffusers and Warmers tab/Aromatherapy Diffusers+.  

There are also two brand-new diffuser products just added to The  They’re like nothing I’ve seen before.  

FlashScent® USB Diffuser brings aromatherapy right to desktops and laptops as it uses a USB connection. When you place a few drops of essential oil onto the included sachet pad, you have instant aromatherapy wherever you find a USB port in your immediate area. 

Another new fun product is the Scent Pendant™ aromatherapy car jewelry. Another filigree design for open airflow of aromatherapy with an oil-absorbent ceramic lotus inside. Totally artisan designed and made in Mexico. Place around vehicle rearview mirror.  

Check out the collection of aromatherapy diffusers at  

A few words of caution on using peppermint oil: The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) cautions that it’s too strong for direct contact with mucous membranes, so don’t put it in your nose. 😊 And, before applying to skin, test a few drops on the underside of your forearm to determine whether you have a sensitivity to peppermint, or really, any essential oil before use.  

Also, Essential Oils Natural Remedies by Althea Press, states that peppermint oil is not recommended for children under age 6, during pregnancy, and for those who have epilepsy or acid reflux.  

But! (I almost forgot…) There’s another great use for this minty sensation. Memory and focus. When inhaled right from the bottle, airborne from a diffuser, or diluted with a carrier oil and applied to your chest, peppermint essential oil can sharpen your memory and focus.  

See. I didn’t forget; so, I think it works. 😊  

Here’s to your health! 

Jean VanGrey for