Peppermint Oil: Your Most Versatile Travel Companion

Reader Contribution by Justine Patton
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As Labor Day approaches, it’s time to decide what to pack in your suitcase before you hit the road. This year, you may want to consider taking a bottle of peppermint oil along for the ride.

The medicinal benefits of peppermint are nothing new. Ancient Greeks and Romans relied on peppermint as a stomach soother, and in the 18th century, Europeans used peppermint to treat ailments anywhere from nausea, vomiting and morning sickness to respiratory infections.

We’re still discovering the benefits of this versatile herb today. Here are a few scenarios when you will be glad you included this cooling, relaxing plant in your travel plans.

Peppermint oil can help you with many common ailments including motion sickness and hearburn.
Photo by gochie*/ Courtesy

Scenario: Your flight to sunny California just took off, and your stomach is doing flip flops, leading to a serious case of motion sickness.
Solution: Peppermint has long been known for its help with stomach-related ailments. The herb’s cooling properties sooth the stomach and act as an anesthetic to the stomach wall, which calms vomiting and nausea. For motion sickness, place a few drops of the essential oil on a tissue and inhale.

Scenario: While chowing down on your grandma’s famous spicy chicken enchiladas, you managed to go back for one too many second helpings, and now you are beyond full.
Solution: Gas, bloating and heartburn happen to the best of us–but that doesn’t make these ailments any less miserable. Luckily, it’s peppermint to the rescue again. Simply massaging a few drops of diluted essential oil on your stomach, or rubbing the pure essential oil onto the bottoms of your feet, will awaken your digestive juices and help your body digest all of that grub.

Scenario: You just told your child that you weren’t going to Disneyworld this vacation like you did last year. At the thought of not visiting her favorite Disney characters, she lets out an ear-piercing shriek that marks the beginning of a tantrum. This means a time out for her and an instant headache for you.
Solution: Peppermint isn’t just for digestive problems–it helps relieve headaches as well. In 1996, German researchers discovered that a solution containing 10 percent peppermint oil was as effective in relieving headache pain as acetaminophen. To experience its benefits, place a few drops of essential oil on a cool, wet towel and use it as a compress on your forehead.

Scenario: You are about to meet your long lost Uncle Fred for the first time, and you want to make a good first impression. The problem? Your breath stinks.
Solution: Peppermint is used worldwide as a flavoring agent for chewing gum, mints, mouthwash and toothpaste. So, its breathing freshening properties are no secret. For minty fresh breath, place several drops of the essential oil on your tongue.

So next time you’re packing for a holiday weekend, pick up some peppermint oil for a happier and healthier vacation.

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