Peppermint has been used since long for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is an essential part of our chutneys, pani-puris and a tastemaker in several recipes. It has also been used for its medicinal benefits – its use for digestive ailments is well known. Peppermint oil is an extract from the peppermint leaves. A highly concentrated essence, peppermint oil is used for its benefits for skin, hair and mental wellbeing.
Like all essential oils, peppermint oil is highly potent. Pure peppermint is highly concentrated and cannot be used without heavy dilution. Peppermint oil can have harmful effects if used in concentrated form. Some natural ingredients are allergic for some people, so one needs to check if they are allergic to peppermint oil before they start using it. All essential oils are to be avoided for use by children and pets. Also pregnant or nursing mothers and people under medical care can use any essential oil only upon suggestion from their doctor.
Read about some of the side effects and cautions to watch out for when using Peppermint oil. Always remember to use essential oils in diluted form.
1. Skin Rashes
This is a rather common issue that people face when they apply a new product on the skin however natural it might be. At times, we are not aware whether a particular product will turn out to be soothing for our skin or not. Therefore, due to the number of qualities that peppermint oil has, it should be first applied on a portion of the skin to test if it is suiting your skin type or not. This being said, it has also been noted that peppermint oil does cause rashes on the skin which is why it is advisable to not overuse peppermint oil and use it according to an expert-recommended recipe and dosage only to order to avoid these skin-related issues.
2. Increased risk of seizures
It is important to consult your doctor before you consider using peppermint oil and talk to them about the dosage in which it should be consumed so as to avoid complications of any kind. It has been noted that the peppermint oil, when consumed in large amounts, can affect an individual negatively and cause brain damage as well as seizures in them. Peppermint oil can also lead to a number of other hazardous conditions such as difficulty while breathing, convulsions, and slowed heartbeat to name a few. If you are have been suffering from any of these conditions, it is advisable to take the appropriate medical help.
3. Difficulty in breathing in kids
If peppermint oil is being consumed as a steam inhaler, then, it is advisable to not use it for infants. It is especially important to note that the fumes of the peppermint oil are harmful in kids and they should be kept away from the oil as it can cause a number of life-threatening conditions such as causing the inability to breathe.
4. Allergic reactions
One should not go for a product until and unless they are pretty sure that they are not allergic to it. Peppermint oil contains menthol so if you are allergic to menthol, then, the peppermint oil will cause blisters inside your nostrils and mouth when inhaled. Also, ensure that you do not consume any medicine that contains peppermint oil as an active ingredient to face similar side effects.
5. Harmful for people with a heart condition
In case you are a heart patient or are suffering from a cardiovascular condition of any kind, then, you are advised to stay away from this oil at any cost since one of the major side effects of this oil is that is slowing down the rate of the heartbeat.
6. Harmful for the lungs
This is another significant side effect that peppermint oil is bound to have. Studies indicate that people who use peppermint oil in the form of injections can suffer from lung damage. It can also go the extent of complete damage in some cases.
7. Causes complications in pregnancy
Another major side effect that the peppermint oil can have is on pregnant women or when a woman is breastfeeding. It has been noted that in the past, the use of this oil initially leads to relaxation in uterine but then causes miscarriage. The amount of damage caused strictly depends on the dosage of the peppermint oil as well.
This is one of the most commonly reported side effects of peppermint oil. When used or perhaps overused, peppermint oil is known to have caused severe headaches and dizziness in people. If you face any such symptom, do not ignore it, and visit your doctor immediately.
9. Complications in the digestion
Though one of the uses of peppermint oil is that it gives relief during a disturbed digestive condition, it is also true that its overuse can lead to heartburn and indigestion as well. Since the relaxation in the sphincter muscles causes the gastric acid to flow backward, people who are suffering from a hiatal hernia and gastroesophageal reflux disease should definitely stay away from the peppermint oil.
10. Kidney Failure
Excess of everything is bad and this is absolutely true in the case of peppermint oil. When consumed in large quantities, peppermint oil can cause kidney failure as well due to the inflammation caused in the kidneys. In addition to this, depending on the concentration of pulegone in the oil (which should definitely not be high), one is also likely to suffer from the damage of nerve tissue.
Precautions for Peppermint Oil
Every product which has benefits also has certain downsides to it. The ‘precautions’ mentioned at the backside of the product should be followed diligently. Some cases where the use of peppermint oil is not recommended include:
Do not use the oil on infants and children. Also, it is advisable for people suffering from the absence of hydrochloric acid in their gastric secretions to use peppermint oil.
- Avoid using peppermint oil when pregnant.
- Do not use peppermint oil while breastfeeding.
- Before you start using peppermint oil, consult your dermatologist and let them know about your allergies if any.
- Avoid using peppermint oil if you are suffering from diabetes, liver disease or alcoholic addiction.