Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition accompanied by pain and inflammation usually in the hands and feet. MayoClinic.com explains that a cure does not currently exist for this disorder, although certain treatments might alleviate symptoms. Peppermint essential oil is a natural option, although you should discuss your best treatment options with your doctor.
Essential oils are extracts taken from plants for their healing benefits. The essential oil of peppermint is taken from the leaves and flowers of the peppermint, or Mentha piperita, plant. Peppermint originates in Europe and its recorded history goes back to the 17th century. Its healing components include menthol and limonene.
Peppermint essential oil might help rheumatoid arthritis because of its analgesic, anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties, which could all possibly alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with this condition. Peppermint oil has been used to fight pain and inflammation in numerous conditions, from toothaches to shingles. A December 2010 article in the journal “Dermatitis” notes that peppermint oil has been known to ease inflammation related to the skin. However, more research is needed to determine how effective peppermint oil is.
Apply peppermint essential oil to your painful rheumatoid arthritis by making a topical massage oil. Dilute 40 to 60 drops of peppermint essential oil in 3.5 oz. of a carrier oil such as grape seed oil. Store the mixture in a dark-colored bottle so it keeps fresh. Let this mixture fuse together for about four days before using it and then apply a small amount each day on the areas where you feel pain.
Although they are natural essences from plants, use caution with essential oils, as they can have side effects and cause allergic reactions. Perform a test with diluted peppermint oil on a small area of skin to see if there is a reaction before applying it to large areas. Side effects specific to peppermint oil are heartburn, if the oil is ingested, and skin irritation when used topically. Use of peppermint oil for prolonged periods can increase your chances of side effects. See a certified aromatherapist for the proper use of essential oils.
- MayoClinic.com: Rheumatoid Arthritis
- "The Aromatherapy Kit"; Charla Devereux; 1993
- "Aromatherapy Oils: A Complete Guide"; Carol Schiller, et al.; 1996
- MedlinePlus: Peppermint
- PubMed.gov: Mentha Piperita (Peppermint); E. Herro, et al.; December 2010
- "The Essential Natural Health Bible"; Nerys Purchon; 2006
- zia_shusha/iStock/Getty Images