Peppermint Essential Oil
Botanical name: Mentha piperita
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
Mint is a perennial herb that grows to about 1 metre in height. It has slightly hairy, serrated, leaves and pink-mauve flowers. The plant is native to the Mediterranean, but it is also grown in Great Britain, Italy and the USA. The essential oil is extracted, via steam distillation, from the fresh or partly dried whole plant (above ground parts), just before flowering. Peppermint essential oil has a fresh, sharp, menthol scent, with a thin consistency, which is clear to pale yellow in colour.
Peppermint essential oil is an excellent choice when suffering from mental fatigue or depression; it has the ability to stimulate the mind, focus concentration and lift the spirits. The menthol present in peppermint essential oil has a clearing effect and helps to alleviate chest and sinus congestion, respiratory disorders, coughs and headaches. It also has the ability to ease pain and soreness associated with muscles, rheumatism and aching feet. The cooling effects of this oil help to calm skin irritation and itchiness while reducing redness and inflammation. It can aid with such skin problems as dermatitis and acne as well as cooling sunburn.
Peppermint essential oil blends particularly well with benzoin, eucalyptus, lavender, marjoram, lemon and rosemary. It can be used in burners and vaporisers to help improve mental sharpness and increase concentration. It also possesses reasonable insect and spider repelling properties, which makes it a great essential oil to use in the bathroom to keep away unwanted guests. In a bath or massage oil it can help with digestive problems, muscular soreness, chest and sinus congestion and headaches. It is an excellent choice to stimulate tired, aching feet and helps to soothe irritated and itchy skin. In a cream or lotion, peppermint essential oil can be used to cool the skin and reduce redness or inflammation.
Chemical constituents of peppermint essential oil: Menthol, Menthyl acetate, Carvone, Jasmone, Menthone, Carvacrol, Limonene and Phellandrene.
Properties of peppermint essential oil: Analgesic, Antidontalgic, Anaesthetic, Antigalactagogue, Antiphlogistic, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Astringent, Carminative, Cephalic, Cholagogue, Cordial, Decongestant, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Febrifuge, Hepatic, Nervine, Stimulant, Stomachic, Sudorific, Vasoconstrictor and Vermifuge.
Why do we use peppermint essential oil: We use peppermint essential oil for its uplifting and invigorating scent and for its skin cooling properties. It has the ability to ease soreness and we utilise the menthol for its congestion clearing effects.
Where do we use peppermint essential oil: We use peppermint essential oil in our Natural Handmade Peppermint and Spirulina Soap, Mint Rosemary Shampoo Bar, Peppermint and Lime Bath Soak, Muscle Relaxing Bath Soak and our 100% pure Peppermint Essential Oil.
Peppermint essential oil is non-toxic and non-irritant in low dosage, but can be sensitizing due to the high menthol content. It can cause irritation to mucus membranes, and should be kept away from the eyes and wounds. It should not be used on children under the age of 7, and should be avoided during pregnancy or if suffering from high blood pressure.
NOTE: The essential oil information provided, by Soapy Skin Ltd, within this article is intended for educational purposes only. The data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate.
General safety Information: Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted oils, absolutes, CO2 or other concentrated essences on to the skin without advanced essential oils knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer or have any other medical problems, only use oils under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children, and is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before doing so. A skin patch test should be conducted prior to using oil you have never used before. For in-depth information on oils safety issues, read Essential oil safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.