Like other plant sources of essential oil, peppermint shares many versions of its history. Some say it was first used in ancient Rome and Greece. Some records say it was first used by Egyptians who put dried peppermints in some of their pyramids. Making a long story short, peppermint found the road to England and other parts of Europe in the 18th century were it was cultivated commercially for medicinal purposes. Some believe it to be native to England while others say it is a hybrid of spearmint and water mint.
Peppermint plant is a small herb that only grows up to a maximum height of 30 to 35 inches. It belongs to the Lamiaceae family under botanical name ‘Mentha Piperita’. It is characterized by straight square stems, bright green leaves and purple flowers. This plant doesn’t yield fruits/seeds to be used in cultivation. Instead, it propagates through rhizomes (fleshy fibrous roots similar to ginger) that invasively and quickly spread underground. Peppermint is easy to maintain; it can be grown in containers in your backyard.
The leaves and tops are the source of peppermint essential oil which is extracted by steam distillation. This oil is well-known for its crisp and sharp minty aroma which people can easily identify as mint (really, peppermint). This valuable plant is commercially grown in India, Africa, North and South America, Russia, Australia and many countries in Asia. It grows best in moist soil; it also grows wild along the sides of rivers and streams. Cultivated peppermint plants are used for oil production.
The aroma of peppermint essential oil is sharp and penetrating because of its high menthol content. It has a mint candy sweetness which is uplifting, refreshing and diffusive. It blends well with basil, cedarwood atlas, eucalyptus, marjoram, pine, rosemary, spearmint, thyme and other citrus oils. Peppermint oil is considered a ‘top note’. The pure grade oil is thin and colorless – sometimes very pale yellow. The fresh leaves when crushed also offer the beautiful aroma that soothes headache and nausea.
1. Get relief from sinusitis and respiratory complaints. Use it in aromatherapy or a diffuser. One session can start giving the relief you need.
2. For arthritis and rheumatism: Peppermint essential oil can be applied topically with a carrier oil to affected area several times a day to get relief from excruciating pain.
3. Bug and insect bites: Apply this oil with a carrier; it quickly relieves itchy/swollen bites caused by bugs, mosquitoes, ants and other insects.
4. Perfumery: Peppermint is one of the ingredients used in the formula of ‘Ultraviolet Liquid Metal for Men, (Paco Rabanne) and ‘Bleu de Chanel for Men’ (Channel) and more fragrances. Their labels often refer to this oil as mint.
5. Air freshener: Peppermint essential oil can be used to safely clean and freshen up your indoor air. It has no chemicals or other additives. If you need an immediate indoor spritzer, here is a quick recipe that works effectively - we use this in our home regularly. Mix vinegar and water and add the essential oil. Use a dark spray bottle to protect the mixture from light. Shake before using. Spray it in your bedroom, bathroom, closets and anywhere needed.
1 ½ cups of purified water
1/2 cup of white vinegar
12-15 drops of pure peppermint essential oil
1. Aromatherapy: Peppermint essential oil is highly valued in aromatherapy for its benefits in treating asthma, bronchitis, colds and coughs, migraine, headaches, sinusitis and hay fever.
2. Stress reliever: Like yoga, meditation and exercise, peppermint aids in the relief of stress. It works well in massage, diffuser or aromatherapy. It’s great in reducing physical and mental fatigue.
3. Antispasmodic: Peppermint acts as an agent that stops muscle cramps/spasm of involuntary muscles in the digestive system especially in the stomach and the bowel walls.
4. Anti-inflammatory: You can apply its diluted form or blend it with lavender, tea tree, wintergreen and chamomile for the best anti-inflammatory benefit.
5. Pain reliever: Peppermint essential oil comes as a strong painkiller! It safely and quickly relieves pain. There is no drug in it! it simply is a powerful all-natural and ecofriendly product that relieves pain without causing drowsiness.
6. Stimulant: Its aroma is so powerful that when inhaled it may relieve you from symptoms of dizziness, vomiting, travel sickness, fatigue and other nauseous moments. In massage it can comfort you from stomach pain, indigestion and colic.
Peppermint essential oil can bring you the much needed healing to feel better, promote and achieve balance; but it must always be used in the right way, in the right amount and in the right body parts. It has been used since ancient years in folk medicines, perfumes, cosmetics and flavoring in many kinds of food preparations in almost all parts of the world. Convenience in cultivation makes it easily available. Simply Earth brings it to the forefront of today’s modern applications to assist everyone in search of natural healing. Always keep it handy to diffuse or massage just when you need it most.
- DILUTE peppermint essential oil before using it to the body/skin (all the time).
- Patch testing is recommended before using any essential oil that would come in contact with the skin to identify if it would cause irritation or inflammation.
- Protect the eyes, nose and the mucous membranes from peppermint essential oil as it may irritate these sensitive areas.
- It is not to be used to babies and children below 3 years old, elderly people above 60, pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- This pure oil is combustible; store it away from sparks, open flames, lighted cigarettes, and out of reach of children.
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Please note: This post is a compilation of suggestions made by those that have extensively used essential oils and has not been verified scientifically with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns, please consult your doctor.
- Chelzee Goingco