Peppermint extract is an herbal extract of peppermint made from the essential oils of peppermint leaves. It is commonly used in cooking, as a dietary supplement, as an herbal or alternative medicine, and as a pest repellent.
1. Repel Bugs Naturally
Unlike us humans, a number of little critters hate the smell of peppermint oil, including ants, spiders, cockroaches, mosquitos, mice and possibly even lice.
A review of plant-based insect repellents published in Malaria Journal found that the most effective plant essential oils used in bug repellents include peppermint, lemongrass, geraniol, pine, cedar, thyme and patchouli and clove. These oils have shown to repel malaria, filarial and yellow fever vectors for 60–180 minutes.
A further study showed that peppermint oil resulted in 150 minutes of complete protection time against mosquitos, with just 0.1 mL of oil applied on the arms. (18) The researchers noted that after 150 minutes, the efficacy of peppermint oil decreased and needed to be reapplied.
2. Reduce Nausea
When 34 patients experienced post-operative nausea after undergoing cardiac surgery and they used a nasal inhaler that contained peppermint oil, their nausea levels were found to be significantly different than before inhaling peppermint.
The patients were asked to rate their feelings of nausea on a scale of 0 to 5, with 5 being the greatest nausea. The average score went from 3.29 before peppermint oil inhalation, to 1.44 two minutes after using peppermint. (19)
To get rid of nausea, simply inhale peppermint oil directly from the bottle, add one drop of peppermint oil to a glass of distilled water or rub 1–2 drops behind your ears.