Ahhh….SPRING TIME!!!   Throw open the windows, throw on the shorts, and breathe in the warm, fresh air!!  It’s by far, my favorite time of year!  But before I ever go shopping for new shorts, tank tops, or swimsuits, I make sure I have on hand a whole season’s supply of peppermint oil! As yummy as peppermint is at Christmas time, it is VITAL to have on hand as the weather warms up, and we head outdoors.

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Diet and weight loss:

Forget about New Year’s Resolutions….THIS is the time we really need to get in “swim suit shape”!!!  Did you know that the scent and taste of peppermint sends a signal to your brain that your appetite is satiated?? Inhale the aroma or place a tiny drop on your tongue to diminish your food cravings. Doing this prior to a big meal or before dessert will help lessen the impulse to over-indulge.

Therapeutic grade peppermint oil, that is safe for ingestion, may also be used for flavoring, such as in brownies, chocolate milk, crème de mint ice cream toppings, etc.  It is loaded with anti-oxidants, so even when you indulge in a treat, at least you will be getting some great, protective nutrition – and the anti-oxidants are natural food preservers!! But use very sparingly – it is much more concentrated than peppermint flavoring!!  Use just a toothpick tip dipped in the oil, and stir into your recipe.
For a longer, more intense work-out, or other physically demanding work, start by inhaling several deep breaths of peppermint oil to super-oxygenate your blood, boost your mood and motivation, and reduce fatigue.

 

water_ice_editedHydration:

As we work in our yards and gardens and enjoy the outdoors with our family and friends, we can often lose track of time, and “forget” to stay hydrated. The heat and humidity of summer very quickly sucks the water right out of us. Remember to drink pure spring water constantly throughout the day. Adding a safe essential oil to water can make for an especially refreshing drink. Make sure that the essential oil is therapeutic and safe for ingestion before use. One of the best and most refreshing essential oil is peppermint.

Add a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil to a tall glass of cool water. Not only will the peppermint cool you, but it has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and antifungal. This will ensure the glass of water you are served at restaurants is safe (the lemon slices we frequently ask for to enhance the flavor of water away from home, have been shown to be a frequent source of bacteria, including E. coli…just sayin’….).

 

AllergiesSpringtime colds and allergies:

If you do pick up a spring-time cold, add a drop or two of peppermint oil to hot-tea-temp water. Inhale the steam to clear your sinuses, and then sip slowly to cool and soothe a sore throat, while those healing molecules go to work to kill the virus or bacteria, mold, mildew or other “bugs” that caused the infection (Bonus: this will also very effectively freshen your breath and helps prevent tooth decay!) If your cold includes a fever, rub a few drops of peppermint oil on the soles of your feet to help bring it down.

(Bonus: this will also very effectively make your feet smell minty fresh, as well!!)

The decongestant action of peppermint oil also helps those dealing with seasonal allergies.  Not only are the symptoms alleviated immediately, but many have found they are much less sensitive to pollens, etc, after the daily and consistent use of essential oils, especially peppermint.

 

SpiderBug Control:

One of the best essential oils to use for insect protection is peppermint. Adding several drops of this oil to a spray bottle half full of water and spraying on skin, hair, and clothing frequently will help ward off those mosquitoes, flies and other pests. If you do happen to get an itchy bite, or come into contact with poison ivy or poison oak, place a drop of peppermint oil on the unbroken skin of the affected area to numb the pain and itch, while reducing the swelling and neutralizing the poison (you may dilute the peppermint oil with equal part of grapeseed oil, if you wish). To remove a tick, swab it with a cotton swab saturated in peppermint oil; wait for the tick to unhedge its head, and remove with tweezers and tissue (do not apply undiluted peppermint oil to your pet’s skin. It is much more sensitive than human skin to the oil).

As you rotate your décor, spray the water/peppermint oil mixture in and around storage boxes prior to bringing them inside, and spray around foundations, windows and doors, in cupboards and on countertops and floors, to deter spiders, ants, and other pests from taking up residence in your home, while being safe for children and pets. Another approach is to place cotton balls with a couple of drops of peppermint oil in the pests’ point of entry. Your entire house will be the freshest smelling home in the neighborhood! This will also help kill air-borne viruses and bacteria, keeping all your family healthier.

Peppermint oil will help with several other common warm weather conditions as well:

-Relieve a headache or hot flash: being careful to avoid the eyes, rub a few drops all around the scalp at the hairline.mint_edited

-Nausea from indigestion, virus or travel sickness: rub several drops on the stomach and chest

-Sore joints and muscles, from arthritis or exertion: rub on area to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation

-Sore feet: add several drops to a foot bath of hot water, along with a handful of Epson salts, and soak for 15-30 minutes to cool and refresh your feet, and reduce swelling and achiness.

Set an open bottle of peppermint oil on your desk or work station to alleviate “brain fog.” Peppermint oil has been shown to enhance clear thinking, concentration, alertness, and memory, while reducing that mid-afternoon drowsiness.

And more….

Many more uses for peppermint oil are just waiting to be discovered.  Breathe easy this spring and summer and make this season the safest and healthiest yet for your family and home, with the freshness of peppermint.