Peppermint is a versatile essential oil and we think you and your horse will really love the many benefits it offers. Peppermint can support digestive and respiratory health, boost alertness/energy, provide tension relief and act as a natural pest deterrent. Peppermint can be inhaled, applied topically and taken internally by both horses and people. We love using peppermint to help repel bugs when trail riding during spring and summer seasons!
The Science Of Peppermint Essential Oil
Species: Mentha piperita
Aromatic description: Cool, fresh, minty
The chemical constituents: Menthol, a monoterpene backbone with an alcohol functional group, is the main player which contributes to its energizing, cooling and cleansing properties. Menthone is another major player that makes up the chemical constituents of peppermint and is part of the ketone family which can help support healthy respiratory function.
Where in the World: Peppermint can be grown all over the world, but in order to attain the chemical constituents in the desired proportions, dōTERRA gets theirs from the Pacific Northwest, Europe and Asia. Rich soil and consistent high rainfall contributes to the quality including the high menthol content.
How it is Made: The entire plant is steam distilled.
The research: 1600 published studies on Peppermint on PubMed as of March 2020 plus other in-house studies being done by dōTERRA regarding athletic performance in humans
Benefits Of Peppermint Essential Oil
Physical: anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic for worms, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, supports gall bladder and digestive health, promotes pain relief, promotes healthy respiratory function, cools down body temperature, repels bugs.
Emotional: Lightens the heart and creates hope. If your horse is aggressive in it’s nervousness, the neurotonic qualities of peppermint may help. Also if your animal has a poor mood related to pain, this oil may help in lifting the spirits. If horse or rider have low energy or need an afternoon pick-me-up, inhaling peppermint can create feelings of alertness.
Other: If layering oils, this is a good oil to apply last as it may help drive the other oils deeper.
Suggestions For How To Use Peppermint
Remember to work with your qualified veterinarian to support your horse's health. We only recommend using certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils so that your horse receives the intended benefits of the essential oil, without any adverse reactions due to impurities. For more information on purity, read our article here
To relieve tension:
Use topically on the location of the tension but remember to stay away from sensitive areas such as eyes, inside of ears and nostrils. For people, peppermint can help to ease head tension by applying the oils to temples, back of neck or along forehead. Again, remember to stay well away from eyes and other sensitive areas. For more information on using essential oils topically on your horse, read this article
Respiratory and mental/emotional support (ie boost energy/focus, create hope, lighten the heart):
- Use peppermint essential oil aromatically in a diffuser placed near (but out of reach) of your horse.
- Allow your horse to smell the peppermint from your cupped hands or a cloth
- Apply 1 drop to to the noseband of your horse or a location the horse can access themselves.
- Riders: to increase alertness while driving, add 1-2 drops of peppermint to a cotton ball and place in your vehicle's vent near the driver's seat.
- For more information on the aromatic use of essential oils around horses, read our related articles here and here.
Digestive or general health support
- Internally it can be given in feed or dropped directly onto lower lip depending on desired outcome.
- A daily dose of 1-2 drops given as needed in the feed will assist in general digestive health.
- Read this article before giving essential oils internally to your horse.
Natural bug/pest repellent
- Mix peppermint with rubbing alcohol or distilled water to make a not toxic bug repellent. Shake well and spray your horse or barn areas as needed. Peppermint is especially effective against ticks, rodents and ants.
Peppermint in our lives
Peppermint is a staple for me when trail riding. I use it as part of a tick or bug repellent spray on Roxie my mare (see recipe below). I also love how peppermint will give me a little pick-me-up in the afternoon, especially when I am faced with a chore or task I don't particularly want to do. I place a drop each of peppermint and wild orange essential oil into my palms and inhale the aroma for a minute or so. It is amazing how quickly my energy and motivation comes back! Peppermint is also incredible in baking recipes. These black bean peppermint brownies are a hit everywhere I go. Get the recipe here
Amanda: Peppermint is a great way for me to sharpen my mind quickly if I have developed a bit of fuzz from just daily life, going through the mundane things that need to be done that can shut off the brain. When I have been doing household or farm chores and need to focus to help a client or my daughter with something specific, it is so easy to just put a drop of peppermint in my hand and inhale deeply.
- Add 4 drops each of peppermint and lavender essential oils to a 2 oz glass spray bottle.
- Add 1 oz of witch hazel and top with distilled water.
- Secure top and shake well before use. Spray your horse (and yourself if desired) after a hot ride.
Bug Repellent Spray
- Add 10 drops each of peppermint, eucalyptus, melaleuca (tea tree) and cedarwood essential oils to a 4 oz glass spray bottle.
- Add 1/4 cup of witch hazel and secure spray nozzle.
- Shake well before each use. Spray your horse (and yourself) as needed.
Peppermint's versatility makes it an ideal addition to your toolbox of natural solutions. We think it's amazing to be able to address so many issues with one little bottle of essential oil. And if the above isn't enough incentive to invest in a bottle of peppermint essential oil, try adding it to your favourite brownie, hot chocolate or horse treat recipe. Yum!
We would love to hear from you! Let us know what you think of this article by commenting below. If you have any questions about peppermint or about purchasing pure therapeutic grade essential oils and joining our awesome community, please email us at email@example.com
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Amanda and Daniela
Melissa Shelton DVM, The Animal Desk Reference II Essential Oils for Animals (Melissa Shelton, September 2018)
Carole Faith, Essential Oils for Horses A Source Book for Practitioners and Owners (J. A. Allen, 2002)
Nayana Morag, Essential Oils for Animals (Off The Leash Press, 2011)
Peter Holmes LAc MH, Aromatica Volume 1 (Singing Dragon, 2016)
The Essential Life 6th Edition (Total Wellness Publishing, 2019)
Modern Essentials 8th Edition (Aroma Tools, 2016)
Advanced Oil Magic (Oil Magic Publishing, 2019)
dōTERRA, Essential Oil Specialist course 2020