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I have often been asked what my favourite essential oil is, and it’s always hard to answer. The reason why is because there are many favourites – for different reasons – some oils I love particularly for their energetic effects and others are more practical in use. An example of a simple essential oil I would never be without is Peppermint – [Mentha x piperita].

A bold and vigorous herb, it will rapidly take over space in a garden. I grow it in pots to keep it contained. It’s a favourite herbal tea, taken in different ways – in the wintertime, hot with lemon juice and honey, or with crushed cardamom seeds for a more exotic flavour; in the summer, infused with an equal amount of melissa [lemon balm] which I also grow in the garden, and then cooled for  a refreshing drink.

As an essential oil, Peppermint offers a pungent mintiness combined with green fresh notes and a strong hint of spice. Just a few drops inhaled on a tissue is instantly head-clearing. I often put a tissue with Peppermint on it in the car while I’m driving. The clean clear smell helps to keep me alert. It’s also an essential oil I take on flights as well, to help clear my head and ease the stuffiness of air in the cabin.

Peppermint works instantly to clear cluttered thoughts, mental overload and too much internal chatter. It is also very helpful in a simple blend [10 drops in 20ml base oil] applied to the forehead to ease headaches.

I always use peppermint when I need to think clearly and just cut through mental debris. It’s a very useful and simple essential oil… one of those I will not leave home without!

peppermint INT