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Reader’s Mail: What Does the Peppermint and Lavender Oil Do?

Question:

What does the peppermint and lavender oil do? I’m assuming just inhaling them to relieve some stress?

Answer:

While there is little academic research supporting the medicinal value of these and other essential oils, there is some clinical evidence that suggests peppermint and lavender may have therapeutic benefit beyond just smelling good. Peppermint oil is associated with anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, anti-infective and pain-relieving properties due to its inherent content of menthol. Lavender has been shown to reduce labor pain, and is also recognized among aromatherapists as having anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities. With any essential oil, it’s important to know the quality and purity of the source, and most aromatherapists advise against direct application of undiluted products. Instead, try adding several drops to a diffuser, your bathtub or a carrier oil like almond oil. The use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes is considered to be complementary therapy. It is not likely to cure, but may pick up some slack where other therapies are lacking.

For more information for consumers about aromatherapy, check out this publication from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a branch of the National Institute of Health: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/moreinfo/60/3889

Dr. Heather McCoy
Adult Nurse Practitioner
Integrative Headache Care, LLC.



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