Curious about the differences between lavender vs. peppermint essential oil? Both of these oils have a medley of properties that make them well worth their place in your pantry – but which one is right for you?
Let’s take a closer look in this post!
The Basics on Lavender Oil and Peppermint Oil
Essential oils have been used for centuries both medicinally and for aromatherapy purposes. Lavender and peppermint essential oils have gained massive popularity over the years due to their therapeutic properties – but which one is better?
Let’s take a closer look at where each of these essential oils comes from to give you a clearer picture.
|Flowers of the lavender plant
|Flowers and leaves of the peppermint plant
|Look and Smell
|Pale yellow or clear color with a light, flowery, and somewhat sweet scent
|Viscous appearance with a crisp, cooling aroma
|Top Health Benefits
|Calming and relaxing properties, anti-inflammatory
|Antispasmodic and decongestive properties
|Best Used For
|Better sleep, digestive system support, immune system support, anxiety relief
|Improving mental function, relieving headaches and muscle aches, reducing stress
|Can cause headaches or skin irritation at high doses
|Can cause headaches or skin irritation at high doses or when undiluted
|Who Can Use?
|Anybody except pregnant or breastfeeding women
|Anyone besides young children
|Best Carrier Oils
|Coconut, almond, grapeseed, avocado
|Avocado, grapeseed, almond oil
What is Lavender oil?
Lavender essential oil comes from the lavender plant, a common herb, and has been used throughout history as a natural remedy for various ailments. It is known for its calming, relaxing and soothing properties that may help reduce stress and anxiety and promote restful sleep.
In some cases, it may help ease headaches, muscle aches, and joint pains. Lavender essential oil can be diffused, massaged, or added to bath water to provide a calming and rejuvenating effect.
What is Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint essential oil is derived from the peppermint plant, another common herb, and is well-known for its invigorating, cooling, and refreshing properties. It may be used to help alleviate headache symptoms, muscle soreness, and may even aid with digestion.
Peppermint oil can be diffused or topically applied as a massage oil or inhaled for a refreshing and awakening effect.
Lavender Oil vs. Peppermint Oil: Look and Smell
Lavender oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant through steam distillation. It has a pale yellow color and a sweet, floral fragrance that is calming and relaxing. The scent is often described as fresh, clean, and mild, making it a popular choice for aromatherapy and perfumes.
On the other hand, peppermint oil is extracted from the leaves of peppermint plants, which are a hybrid of spearmint and watermint plants. The oil is obtained through steam distillation and has a clear color with a strong, minty aroma. Its scent is refreshing, cooling, and invigorating.
In terms of their physical properties, lavender oil is lighter in viscosity compared to peppermint oil, which has a thicker consistency. This means that lavender oil has a lighter texture and is easier to absorb into the skin, while peppermint oil is more viscous and may require dilution before use.
Also, note that peppermint oil has a cooling effect on the skin due to its high menthol content, while lavender oil offers a soothing and calming sensation.
Top Health Benefits of Lavender and Peppermint Oil
Lavender oil is known for its calming and relaxing properties. It may help reduce anxiety and stress levels, improve sleep quality, and even alleviate headaches. The oil’s sedative properties make it an excellent natural remedy for insomnia, especially when used in an oil diffuser or added to a warm bath.
Lavender oil is also a natural painkiller and anti-inflammatory agent, making it useful for alleviating muscle soreness, joint pains, and tension headaches.
Peppermint oil is best known for its cooling and refreshing properties. It may help improve digestion, reduce nausea and vomiting, and even treat respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis.
The oil’s antispasmodic properties make it useful in soothing muscles and treating abdominal discomfort, such as bloating, cramping, and indigestion.
Both lavender and peppermint oil have antimicrobial and antiviral properties, making them effective natural remedies for common ailments like colds, flu, and sore throats. Lavender oil’s antibacterial and antifungal properties make it useful for treating skin infections, while peppermint oil’s antiviral properties make it effective against respiratory infections.
Top Uses for Lavender and Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is well-known for its cooling sensation and calming properties. It is commonly used in aromatherapy as a natural remedy for nausea, headaches, and respiratory problems.
This essential oil is a natural expectorant and bronchodilator, which may reduce inflammation caused by asthma and other respiratory diseases. Peppermint oil is also effective in treating digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and bloating. You can add two to three drops of peppermint oil to a cup of warm water and drink it slowly, and it will help you to relieve the symptoms.
Lavender oil, on the other hand, is known for its soothing and relaxing effect on the mind and body. This oil is beneficial for reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. Lavender oil is also effective in treating insomnia and sleep disorders.
Adding a few drops of lavender oil to your bath or diffuser, or applying it topically to your wrists, neck or chest, can immediately help you to relax and unwind. Lavender oil may also be used as an insect repellent, as it has a strong and pleasant aroma that repels bugs.
Peppermint oil can be used in different topical applications due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It may be used as a natural pain reliever for sore muscles and joints. You can massage a few drops of peppermint oil into the affected areas to reduce pain and inflammation.
Peppermint oil may also help in treating skin conditions like acne, eczema, and sunburn. It is highly recommended to blend it with a carrier oil like almond oil or coconut oil before applying to the skin.
Lavender oil is an excellent choice for various skin and scalp treatments because of its ability to promote relaxation and cell regeneration. It is often used in massage therapy to help alleviate psoriasis and dry skin. Lavender oil also works as a natural hair conditioner, as it promotes hair growth and decreases hair loss.
Pros and Cons of Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is known for its energy-boosting properties, making it a popular choice for mental clarity and focus. Its cooling effect highly suits individuals suffering from headaches and migraines.
Moreover, peppermint oil is an excellent natural remedy for indigestion and respiratory problems, thanks to its antispasmodic and anticongestive properties.
However, peppermint oil may also be a potential skin irritant and may cause allergic reactions when used in high doses. It may also cause headaches if used too often or at too-high doses. It is important to note that children under six years old should not ingest peppermint oil as it may cause respiratory distress.
Pros and Cons of Lavender Oil
On the other hand, lavender oil is best known for its calming and relaxing properties. Its gentle scent helps alleviate anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Lavender oil is also an excellent natural remedy for pain and inflammation. It is safe to use directly on the skin, making it ideal for treating minor cuts and burns.
However, lavender oil may cause skin irritation to some individuals, although it is less likely than other essential oils.
Despite its numerous therapeutic benefits, consuming lavender oil orally or inhaling it at high doses may lead to nausea, vomiting, and headaches in some individuals.
Are Lavender Oil and Peppermint Oil Substitutes for Each Other?
While peppermint oil and lavender oil have different therapeutic properties, they do share similar features.
For instance, both essential oils have antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, making them ideal for treating minor cuts and scrapes. They both have potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate pain and swelling.
However, substituting one oil for the other would not provide the same therapeutic benefits they are well-known for. Instead, it is best to use each essential oil for its specific therapeutic properties.
Best Carrier Oils for Lavender and Peppermint Oil
To safely use both lavender and peppermint oil (more on this below!), you need to dilute them with carrier oils. Here are some of the best options to choose from:
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which possesses antiviral, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties, making it ideal for acne-prone skin. The oil is lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin without leaving any greasy residue.
- Sweet almond oil: This oil is rich in essential fatty acids that nourish the skin, making it supple and hydrated. Sweet almond oil is also rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals. It has a light and not overpowering fragrance that blends well with lavender and peppermint oils.
- Grapeseed oil: Grapeseed oil is a lightweight oil that is easily absorbed by the skin. It is a rich source of linoleic acid and antioxidants, which make it an ideal oil for people with oily or acne-prone skin.
- Jojoba oil: Jojoba oil is similar in composition to the sebum produced by our skin, making it easily absorbed and non-greasy. The oil is rich in vitamins E and B complex, which nourish and rejuvenate the skin.
- Avocado oil: Avocado oil is a luxurious carrier oil that is perfect for dry and mature skin. The oil is rich in essential fatty acids, including oleic acid, which nourishes and moisturizes the skin.
How to Choose and Use Lavender Oil and Peppermint Oil Safely
Choose pure, high-quality oils. Look for reputable essential oil companies that have third-party testing and certification to ensure that their oils are pure and free of additives, synthetics, or contaminants. The label should indicate the scientific name of the plant, its country of origin, and the type of extraction method used.
Avoid purchasing oils that are labeled “fragrance oil” or “perfume oil,” as these are not suitable for therapeutic use.
Also, remember that essential oils are highly concentrated and volatile substances that may irritate the skin and mucous membranes if used undiluted. Therefore, it’s essential to dilute essential oils before use. A general guideline is to dilute essential oils in a carrier oil at a ratio of 1-5% (e.g., one drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil).
Never use essential oils undiluted, especially on babies, children, pregnant women, or individuals with sensitive skin.
Avoid ingesting essential oils, as they may be toxic and cause serious health problems. Do not apply essential oils near the eyes, ears, nose, or mouth, as they may cause irritation, burning, or sensitivity. Always do a patch test on a small area of skin before applying essential oils liberally.
Lavender vs. Peppermint Oil Shelf Life and Storage
Essential oils are sensitive to heat, light, air, and moisture, which may degrade their quality and potency. Store essential oils in dark glass bottles in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
Avoid leaving essential oils in a hot car or near a radiator. Keep essential oils out of reach of children and pets. Dispose of expired or contaminated essential oils properly, as they may pose a fire hazard.
In general, as long as they’re stored properly, both lavender and peppermint oil can last for several years (peppermint as many as five and lavender slightly less, at around two to four years).
Lavender vs. Peppermint Oil: The Ultimate Verdict
Lavender and peppermint are versatile essential oils that may be used for various health conditions.
Lavender is known for its calming, soothing, and healing properties. It may help alleviate anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, wounds, burns, insect bites, and menstrual cramps.
Peppermint is known for its invigorating, refreshing, and cooling properties. It may help alleviate headaches, nausea, indigestion, muscle pain, congestion, and fatigue.
Choose the essential oil that suits your needs and preferences, and always consult a qualified healthcare professional if you have a medical condition or are pregnant or nursing.