Peppermint is steam distilled from the partially dried herb, when the flowers are in the beginning of full bloom.
Peppermint is ubiquitous—you find it everywhere: as a flavoring for sweets and drinks, toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, medicines, so many flavors! As an herb, it’s been used for centuries as a decoction or infusion of the fresh leaves for cooling, for digestive issues, as a pain reliever, to stimulate awareness, etc.
The essential oil can be used for many of these, although care must be taken, as essential oils are so concentrated. So, pay attention, and remember that one drop is usually plenty sufficient, no matter what you’re using it for.
Mentha piperata is a hybrid from three other species of Mentha, all from Southern Europe. Peppermint was brought to the USA early in he 19th century, and its cultivation has spread across the country since then.
Natural Peppermint Oil is a pale yellow or pale olive liquid of fresh, strong, somewhat grassy-minty odor with a deep balsamic-sweet undertone and a sweet, clean dryout. Even the odor gives an impression of coolness, often due to the psychological effect of associating the known flavor with the impression of the odor. The flavor of the oil appears strong and cooling, but the cooling effect masks some of the delicate, sweet-balsamic undertones of the oil.
In very low concentration, 1:20,000, the cooling effect fades away while the actual flavor of the oil remains perceptible at about 5 to 10 times this dilution, strongly dependent upon the medium to be flavored, the sugar concentration, temperature, solvent types, etc.
The minimum perceptible of a good, average grade rectified peppermint oil under the experimental circumstances l(aid out in Flavors Part One of Arctander’s Perfumes and Flavors of Natural Origin) is about .10 to .30 mg% The coolness is a mouthfeel, a physiological effect, not actually a flavor or odor, but the coolness is the primary reason for the extensive use of peppermint oil in flavors.
Peppermint oil is occasionally used in perfumes, especially with lavender colognes, fougères, geranium bases, etc, for its generally lifting and lightening effects at low concentration
Peppermint oil is used in liniments for the relief of muscle pain, lumbago, bruises and contusions, joint pain, and insect bites. The local anesthetic action of peppermint oil is significant. The oil is recommended for myalgia and neuralgia.
Peppermint oil is one of the most effective essential oils for the digestive system. It relieves dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, diarrhea, and flatulence.
Cold compresses of peppermint oil may be applied to the forehead and temples to relieve headaches and migranes
Peppermint oil is beneficial for fevers and headaches associated with colds and influenza. It is recommended at the onset of a cold to alleviate the symptoms of cold. It is beneficial for sinus congestion, infection or inflammation.
I recommend it highly. Peppermint in particular has 10 pages devoted to it.
Steffen Arctanders Perfume and Flavors Materials of Natural Origin was written in 1960 and is out of print. If you find an original copy (make sure it’s the Natural Origins volume) then it will likely be insanely expensive. There are copies on Amazon available, and not expensive at all, but they seems to be photocopies of the original. Considering the original is out of print, this might be an alternative. Either way, it’s an excellent book.
#316 Flower Buds And Peppermint
by Jimmie Arrington
Did you see the sky today? The colours cast my fears away And set my heart at ease. Did you taste the falling rain? It tasted as sweet as sugar cane, At least my mind agrees.
Did you hear the gentle breeze Winding through the grass and trees, Barely making a sound? Did you feel the cleansing air Wafting by without a care, Drifting from town to town?
Did you smell the garden’s scent, The flower buds and peppermint, The sage and rosemary? Truthfully, if I can be sincere, I wish somehow that you were here, Taking in this day with me.
As with most essential oils, dilute before using on skin. Perform a patch test before use if essential oil sensitivity is suspected. Do not take essential oils internally. Do not use on children or pets. Seek advice from a trained aromatherapist before using on people with compromised immune systems. Keep away from eyes and mucus membranes. Enfleurage makes no medical claims relating to any products, essential oils or otherwise, on our website or through social media. We are an essential oil company, not doctors, The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. We present our information in order to educate our customers on traditional and general uses of essential oils; in no way do we diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or condition. You the customer are responsible for understanding the safe use of any and all of our products, including essential oils, and use them accordingly.
In addition to its healing properties, we find peppermint oil a terrific way to stay cool on those truly hot summer days in the city. Just 1 or 2 drops on the back of the neck work wonders. A fine product.