How to make peppermint essential oil without all the distilling equipment! This is the method I use for making peppermint-infused oil from scratch, that doesn’t require distilling.
Essential oils have become one of my favourite DIYs to make at home myself. I’ve made a couple before, lavender and grapefruit, but I wanted to experiment with making a homemade version of peppermint essential oil.
It’s summer here up on the Gold Coast, and with this warmer weather comes bugs. We’ve recently had a few cockroaches, spiders and ants get into our home, so I started looking for something natural to help deter them without using chemical sprays.
*Enter this peppermint oil.*
Rodents and insects don’t like the strong smell of peppermint, thanks to the compounds terpene, alcohol and menthol.
These are a few of the ways to use peppermint oil around the home to deter insects and rodents:
- Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with some hot water (5-10 drops of essential oil per ounce of water) and pour into a spray bottle. Spray down countertops, furniture, curtains, blinds and any hard-to-reach areas where insects are present. Always test a small area first to make sure the oil doesn’t damage anything you want sprayed.
- Apply 5-10 drops of peppermint oil onto some cotton balls and place around the house. Refresh the cotton balls at least once a month.
- Place the oil in areas where rodents gain access to the inside of your home. It’s important for them to detect the smell before entry. It masks the pheromone trail of rodent excreta that then attracts other rodents and shows them the ‘pathways’ in your home.
- Combine 50mL peppermint oil and 50mL water and add to a spray bottle along with a little liquid castile soap (to prevent the oil and water from separating). Shake well and spray on floorboards or entry points around the home to deter rodents.
I collected organic mint from my local farmer’s market and olive oil from The Source Bulk Foods to make this peppermint oil, so everything was plastic-free. I re-used an old essential oils tincture bottle I had at home to store my homemade peppermint oil in.
Now, forewarning, this method won’t produce what is technically a “true” essential oil, as steam distilling is required. To make an authentic essential oil, you’d have to distil the peppermint leaves, capture the steam, and condense the steam into a liquid. This process requires heat, pressure, equipment and a lot of patience. To make true essential oils, you’ll need the proper equipment.
But for those of us whose kitchens aren’t filled with essential oil distilling equipment, flower/herb/fruit-infused “essential” oil is as close as we get. Keep in mind that this oil will be less concentrated than a true essential oil.
Peppermint oil benefits
Peppermint essential oil has many health benefits, including:
- Used on feet for nausea or fever
- Used in homemade cleaners and soaps, and in the diffuser
- For congestion, I add a few drops of peppermint and a few other oils to a pot of steaming water, drape my head with a towel and inhale the steam to help open up my sinuses. It’s great for illness or allergies.
- As a digestive aid, as it helps soothe and calm the digestive system. Here is a great Digestion Tincture recipe that can help with morning sickness, motion sickness, and stomach aches
- May help relieve gas, indigestion and heartburn
- Good for relaxing nerves and improving circulation
- As a natural headache remedy – rub oil on the back of neck and the temples
- A little mild peppermint tea or tincture rubbed on baby’s stomach may help with colic, especially when used along with chamomile
- Diluted in coconut oil for sore muscles
- Used in a homemade remineralising toothpaste for antibacterial effects
- Used in a homemade moisturiser or body butter
- Used in homemade insect repellents
- Used in an after-sun spray to help cool sunburns.
Wherever you buy essential oils, always ensure they are:
- Organic, as pesticides may be more concentrated in essential oils
- Sourced from the native area for each plant
- Not altered in any way
- List any contraindications and precautions (pregnancy, medications, etc) for each oil
Before we get started in learning how to make this homemade peppermint oil – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!
If you make this peppermint oil, please let me know! Leave a comment below, and if you take a picture and share it, please tag me on Instagram @simplynaturalnessa or use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa so I can see! I’d love to know how you went!
DIY Peppermint Oil
True peppermint oil you find in stores contains around 45% menthol. Menthol is what gives peppermint its soothing qualities. While we will not be making a true peppermint oil at home today, we will be making this peppermint oil infusion, which can be used for many different purposes. This oil will not be as concentrated as the true peppermint essential oil, but it will still have the same qualities.
- Wash the peppermint leaves well (even organic leaves). Throw the mint leaves into a strainer or colander and thoroughly rinse with water. Lay the mint leaves spread out on some paper towels to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
- Using your hands, a spoon, knife, or mortar and pestle, you’ll need to crush up the leaves to release the oil within.
- Add the crushed leaves to your glass jar and pack them in. Then, take your carrier oil and completely cover all the leaves. Don’t fill up the whole jar, otherwise the extract will be too diluted. Tightly seal the jar and let sit for 24 hours to 3 days (the longer it sits, the stronger the potency). Let the oil steep on sunny windowsill and shake the glass jar every 12 hours or so.
- Using a strainer, cheesecloth or nut milk bag, strain out the mint leaves. You can strain it into a separate cup or bowl, or right back into the jar. Compost the leaves.
- Repeat the first set of steps to prepare more leaves to add to the jar. Add a little more carrier oil, then seal and allow to steep for another 24 hours-3 days, and then repeat the process again.
- Strain out the oil and store in small, dark coloured bottles – dark bottles protect the properties within the oil, preventing deterioration. Seal with a lid and store in a cool, dry place (do NOT refrigerate) for up to 6 months.
Even though your essential oil is made with a carrier oil, you will still need to dilute it with more carrier oil if you want to use it topically. Never put an essential oil — homemade or not — undiluted on skin, as it can irritate and/or harm the skin.
DIY peppermint essential oil tutorial
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.
Have you made essential oils before? What oil did you make? Share in the comments below
Lots of love,
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