Botanical: Mentha piperita
Family: Labiatae/Lamiaceae (mint)
Peppermint is a native of the Mediterranean region, but is now widely cultivated as a crop throughout temperate North America, Europe the Middle East and Asia. When cultivated, the plant is considered an annual that grows to a height of four feet, but it is long-lived, and if left in the ground, is likely to take over the whole garden in irregular fashion, and so, it may also be considered a perennial when wild.
Peppermint has been known and appreciated since antiquity. It has been cultivated since ancient times in Japan and China, and evidence found in a tomb dating back to 1000 B.C., tells us that is was also cultivated by the Egyptians. According to Roman mythology, the beautiful nymph, Minthe, was seduced by Pluto, the ruler of the underworld, and his enraged wife, Persephone, jealously changed her into a lowly plant to be trodden underfoot. Pluto then turned her into a seedling mint, knowing that people would appreciate her fragrance for years to come.
Medicinal interest in mint dates from the first century A.D., when its benefits were recorded by the Roman naturalist, Pliny. Today, Peppermint is an important staple of the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and liquor industries.
Peppermint oil is extracted from the whole plant just before flowering and has a yield of .1-1%.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any essential oils, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled
Color: Clear to pale yellow
Aromatic Description: Fresh, with a sharp menthol fragrance.
Constituents: Menthol, menthone, 1,8-cineole, methyl acetate, methofuran, isomenthone, limonene, b-pinene, a-pinene, germacrene-d, trans-sabinene hydrate, pulegone
Therapeutic properties: Analgesic, anesthetic, antiseptic, anti-galactagogue, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, cordial, decongestant, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hepatic, nervine, stimulant, stomachic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor and vermifuge
Contraindications: Peppermint Oil is non-toxic and non-irritant in low dilutions, but sensitization may be a problem due to the menthol content. Keep away from eyes. It should be avoided during pregnancy and should not be used on children under seven.