I have been interested in Aromatherapy for close to 30 years, I thought I might share some of my knowledge with others.

Peppermint or Spearmint?

What is the difference, and what is the same?

Both have anti-nausea benefits, are digestive aids, and both are analgesics. Great for you tummy and pain relief.

Peppermint:

Peppermint is a Central Nervous System (CNS) STIMULANT. What does this mean? It awakens you, and stimulates your mind. This would not be a good oil to use if you are trying to sleep, but would be great if you need to be up working.

Peppermint is wonderful to use with Respiratory issues, it will assist you in breathing and help control your cough due to they high Menthol content of the oil, but with this there is a trade-off. YOU CANNOT USE THIS OIL WITH CHILDREN UNDER 5. 

Peppermint is an amazing oil to use on your itching skin, but be sure it is DILUTED.

From the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy website:

– Avoid use on children under 30 months of age. The nasal mucosa is an autonomic reflexogen organ, which has a distance action to the heart, lungs and circulation and may lead to sudden apnoea and glottal constriction.

– Direct application of peppermint oil to the nasal area or chest to infants should be avoided because of the risk of apnea, laryngeal and bronchial spasms, acute respiratory distress with cyanosis and respiratory arrest. (The Longwood Herbal Task Force

Spearmint:

Spearmint is a CNS SEDATIVE. What does this mean? It clams you, and brings rest to your mind. This would be a great oil to use if you are trying to sleep, but would not be good if you need to be up working.

Spearmint will also assist with Respiratory issues; assist in breathing and open you sinus. It can also control your cough but not because of Menthol. Spearmint has a very small amount of Menthol but high amounts of Carvone. Carvone stimulates white blood cell production and is an immunostimulant and as a bonus is safe to use around smaller children

While Spearmint is not good for your itchy skin, it does have anticonvulsants benefits due to it being a CNS sedative.

The only safety concerns I have found for Spearmint Oil have to do with mucus membranes and application to the skin and ensuring it is well diluted:

Tisserand and Young report that Spearmint Essential Oil is a potential mucous membrane irritant. They also caution that there is a low risk of skin sensitization and recommend a dermal maximum of 1.7%. Reading Tisserand and Young’s full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 427-248.]

Which do you need? Peppermint or Spearmint, it really depends on what you need and how old you are.  They are both great, and can both assist you in so many ways.

God Bless, Namestá, and Oily on down the street……

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