The reason I chose Peppermint oil for my first oil to profile is because I've been using it so much lately. I have/had a head cold, as I mentioned in my Be Healthy blog, and peppermint is one of the main oils I use for it. I make it a point to never run out of peppermint. It's one of the universal oils and should be part of everyone's oil first aid kit.
I have been using oil for my cold in this way. Rub a couple of drops on my forehead, around my ears, and down my throat where the swollen glands were. This helped with the inevitable sinus headache, earache, and stuffy ear feeling, and sore throat. I also have that tickle in the back of my throat that makes me cough and cough until I feel like I'm going to pee my pants or throw up. If I put a drop or two on the back of my throat it stops the convulsive coughing.
My kids have gotten that cough where they can't sleep because they keep coughing (not this year, so far) and the doctor prescribes cough syrup with codeine. Instead, I make them put a couple of drops of peppermint on the back of their tongue. They hate the way it tastes, I let them drink water immediately after, you can't dilute oils with water anyway. But after they do it, if they start coughing like that again, they do it for themselves. Because it's better than coughing.
I also put it in an empty capsule with Defense, Rosemary, and a little messenger oil. Taken that way, the oils will usually kick any flu or cold's butt.
We use peppermint for stomachache and nausea, also. And to wake us up. I'll rub a couple of drops on the soles of Isaiah's feet if he's having trouble waking up in the morning. He's not a morning person and he has to get up an hour and a half before Tabitha. At work I've also shared it with co-worker friends by putting a drop or two in the palms of their hands, they rub their hands together, cup it over their noses and inhale. We work until 11 or 11:30 at night and for a lot of my friends this is their second job. It smells good, helps them breathe easier in our stuffy building, and keeps us alert. It did backfire one time with a friend who told me the next day it kept her up til 2 a.m. She never used it again.
Don't use it if you have high blood pressure. It's one of the best things for you if you have low blood pressure.
Here's what my cheat sheet says it's good for, some of this I've already mentioned: Anti-bacterial, anti-viral. Pain, bruising, swelling, anti-inflammatory properties provide warming and cooling action; muscular aches and pains, sciatica, rheumatism, arthritis, toothache, laryngitis, sinusitis, cools skin; aids hypotension, soothes feelings of nausea and fainting. Antispasmodic calms bronchitis, dry cough, asthma; colic, indigestion/heartburn/acid reflux, flatulence, diarrhea; helps with mental clarity and helps develop emotional tolerance; relieves headache, mental exhaustion, vertigo, and nervous stress.
Keep it fresh. Keep it fun.