Botanical name: Mentha piperita
Plant part used: flowering herb
Method of distillation: steam distilled
The Mentha piperita herb
, more commonly known as peppermint, reaches up to 35 inches (88.9 centimeters) in height and produces dark-green, fragrant leaves covered in fine hairs. The plant produces no seeds, but spreads through an underground network of rhizomes.
The plant's leaves and flowers are used to obtain the essential oil, via steam distillation. Around 50 percent of the oil is composed of menthol.
The most common medicinal use of Mentha piperita
is aiding digestion. The plant's dried leaves are typically made into a tea or infusion for treating gas, indigestion, menstrual cramps, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea and gastroenteritis. Other uses of peppermint leaves include the treatment of insomnia, headaches, nervousness, morning sickness, colic, muscle spasms, rheumatism, motion sickness, fevers and colds.
When added to hot water, the menthol-rich vapors are inhaled to relieve congestion. Peppermint oil is sometimes added to cough lozenges to soothe the throat during a cold. When applied topically, the oil is believed to relieve sore muscles and joints, and to soothe dry, itchy skin.
Peppermint is a popular flavoring used in ice cream, candy, chewing gum and even baked goods. Is also used in soaps and shampoos to produce a minty scent. In balms it provides a cooling sensation to the skin.
In aromatherapy, peppermint oil is believed to invigorate the mind, improve the mood and relieve tension or anxiety. The essential oil is also used as a natural pesticide in some commercial products.
Cautions: Some people may have a skin reaction.
Important Note: The information provided is for educational purposes only. It is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate.
General Safety Information: Do not take any oils internally without consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and give children only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. A skin patch test should be conducted prior to using an oil that you've never used before.
COA peppermint piperita essential oil.docx