The peppermint plant is a versatile perennial herb that has been cherished since ancient times. The plant’s first recorded appearance dates back to 1000 BC when dried peppermint leaves were found entombed in ancient Egyptian pyramids. Throughout human history, this herb has been valued as a multi-purpose plant and essential oil whose components are now used by cosmetic, culinary, and health industries around the world.
Botanical Name: (Mentha piperita)
Also Known As: Nymph
Plant Part: Whole plant
Extraction Method: Steam Distillation
Description: A thin, colorless to pale yellow liquid.
Aromatic Summary: Top note with a strong aroma, Peppermint has a sharp, penetrating scent based on its high menthol content. The minty sweetness of the vapor makes it one of the most popular Essential Oils.
INCI: Mentha piperita (Peppermint) Oil.
CAS Number: 8006-90-4.
Herbal Actions: Aromatic, Warming/Cooling, Antispasmodic, Expectorant, Analgesic, Anti-Inflammatory, Vasoconstrictor, Stimulant
May help with mild coughing and clears breathing
Helps focus the mind
Repels bugs naturally
Peppermint’s scientific name is Mentha piperita. In ancient Greek Mythology, Minthe (also known as Mentha), a nymph, was transformed by Queen Persephone into a sweet-smelling mint.
Peppermint essential oil has been found to eliminate harmful bacteria, relieve muscle spasms and flatulence, disinfect and soothe inflamed skin, and to release muscle tension when used in a massage. When diluted with a carrier oil and rubbed into the feet, it can work as a natural effective fever reducer.
Peppermint acts as an astringent that closes pores and tightens the skin. It's cooling and warming sensations make it an effective anesthetic that leaves the skin numb to pain and calms redness and inflammation. It has traditionally been used as a cooling chest rub to relieve congestion, and when diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut, it can promote the safe and healthy renewal of skin, thus offering relief from skin irritations such as sunburn.
Added to a moisturizer, the cooling and calming effects of Peppermint essential oil can relieve sore muscles. Historically, it has been used to reduce itchiness and the discomfort of inflammation, headaches, and joint pains. It can also be used to relieve the sting of sunburns.
In a diluted massage blend or bath, Peppermint essential oil is known to relieve back pain, mental fatigue, and coughs. It boosts circulation, releases the feeling of having tired feet, relieves muscular pain, cramps, and spasms, and soothes inflamed, itchy skin among other conditions.
Added to your shampoos, it can stimulate the scalp while also removing dandruff.
Peppermint essential oil’s has expectorant properties that help clear the nasal passageway to promote the relief of congestion and to encourage easy breathing. It is also believed to stimulate circulation, reduce feelings of nervous tension, soothe feelings of irritability, boost energy, balance hormones, and enhance mental focus.
As an analgesic oil is known by many to help relieve headaches, and its stomachic properties are known to help suppress the appetite and promote the feeling of being full. When diluted and inhaled or when rubbed in small amounts behind the ear, this digestive oil can reduce the feeling of nausea.
With its anti-microbial properties, Peppermint oil can also be used as a cleaning solvent to sanitize and deodorize the environment, leaving behind a trail of a fresh, cheerful scent. Not only will it disinfect surfaces, but it will also eliminate bugs in the home and function as an effective insect repellant.
Directions For Use
Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with Fractionated Coconut Oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.
Main Chemical Components
L-Menthol: 28 - 40%, L-Menthone: 18 - 25%
The main chemical constituents of Peppermint essential oil are Menthol, Menthone, and 1,8-Cineole, Menthyl acetate and Isovalerate, Pinene, Limonene and other constituents.
The most active of these components are Menthol and Menthone. Menthol is known to be analgesic and is thus beneficial for reducing pain such as headaches, muscle aches, and inflammation.
MENTHOL contains energizing properties that contribute to the overall energizing effect of Peppermint oil. Menthol is known to soothe the smooth muscle that lines the colon.* This relaxant property occurs due to menthol’s ability to keep calcium channels working optimally
METHONE is known to be analgesic as well, but it is also believed to show antiseptic activity. Its invigorating properties lend the oil its energizing effects.
Cultivating & Harvesting
Peppermint has a need for water, and flourishes in cool or temperate regions that are wet such as near streams or in areas with plenty of rainfall, though adequate drainage is also required. In order to produce the ideal balance of oil compounds during the growing phase, the best growing conditions would consist of warm or hot days followed by cool nights. When grown in warm climates, Peppermint can grow in partial shade or full sun. When harvested in the sun, it will be higher in oil content; however, if the growing conditions are too warm, especially at night, less desirable compounds such as highly toxic Menthofuran will form.
When 10% of the Peppermint crop is in the flowering stage, it produces the optimum oil and Menthol yield and quality. When all traces of dew disappear on a dry, sunny day, harvesting can begin. The whole Peppermint plant is cut down with the aid of conventional hay mowers. If the stems become fractured or if the leaves break, there will be lower oil yields and this will prevent the regrowth of the plants. For this reason, it is important to cut the plant neatly. A more economic oil extraction is achieved through lower moisture content, so once the Peppermint is cut, it is left in the field to wilt. Afterward, it is sliced with a forage harvester into a mobile distillation pot, tub, or trailer in which it is transported to the facility for distillation.
Despite the ideal wilting conditions, Peppermint will still lose essential oil from lying in rows of dry leaves or in heaps for any amount of time. If the Peppermint is not checked, the quality and quantity of the oil could be compromised by fermentation - that is, the chemical breakdown of the Peppermint by microorganisms. In order to prevent this, some producers distil the fresh Peppermint as soon as it is cut.