Peppermint Essential Oil

The following profile provides further insight into Peppermint Essential Oil.


General Information

  • Common Name: Peppermint

  • Scientific Name: M. Piperita. M. Arvensis

  • Family: Libiatae or Lamiaceae

  • Origin: Argentina, USA, Brazil, Morocco, Europe, India and Australia

  • Synonyms: Mentha piperita, M. arvensis, M. Spicata and M. Aquatica

  • Perfumery Note: Top Note

Essential Oil Properties and Characteristics

Peppermint oil is a pale-yellow or pale-olive-coloured liquid with a fresh, strong grassy-minty odour with a deep balsamic-sweet undertone and a sweet, clean dry-out note.


Peppermint oil also contains small amounts of many additional compounds, including limonene, pulegone, caryophyllene, and pinene.


The major constituents of peppermint oil are:

  • Menthol

  • Menthone

  • Menthyl Acetate

  • Neomenthol

  • 1,8-Cineole

  • Menthofuran

Refer to our Resource Centre for specific details on Peppermint essential oil


Origin and History

Peppermint is native to southern Europe and was brought to the USA in the early 19th century. Peppermint is a perennial herb, growing to the height of 30 to 100cm. Mentha piperita belongs to a genus consisting of some 20 varieties and hybrids. Peppermint generally grows best in moist, shaded locations, and expands by underground rhizomes


The major components of the different mints are menthol and pulegone. Cornmint, also referred to as Japanese mint, is cheaper to produce than peppermint and spearmint and is often used as a 'blender' in mint flavours and as an adulterant in peppermint oil.


Method of Extraction

Peppermint oil is steam-distilled from the partially dried herb of Mentha Piperita or Mentha Arvensis. The oil is available in several forms, including:

  • peppermint essential oil - highly concentrated

  • peppermint extracts - which are less concentrated and include hydrosols

Other forms are available, such as enteric-coated capsules which contain a small amount of peppermint oil in a special coating.


Therapeutic properties

Peppermint oil is extensively used in food flavouring, as a fragrance component in toothpaste, mouth washes, soaps, detergents and perfumes.


Peppermint essential oil has cooling, invigorating, clearing, refreshing and antiseptic properties. It is refreshing to the nasal passages when used as an inhalant.


Peppermint essential oil is mildly antiseptic and helps purify the skin. Other reported uses of peppermint essential oil include treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, relief of indigestion, easing nausea, for muscle spasms, pain relief and a sore throat.


Peppermint oil has a high concentration of natural pesticides, mainly pulegone (found mainly in M. arvensis var. piperascens (cornmint, field mint, or Japanese mint), and to a lesser extent (6,530 ppm) in Mentha × piperita subsp. notho and menthone. It is known to repel some pest insects, including mosquitos, and has uses in organic gardening.


Whatever you choose to use peppermint oil for, it is really important to follow professional guidelines and use very small amounts.


Blends Well With

Peppermint essential oil blends well with lavender, chamomile, lemon, rosemary, bergamot and eucalyptus.


Precautions During Use (Contraindications)

Peppermint oil can cause skin irritation, digestive symptoms, and, in some cases, allergic reactions. If a person develops symptoms while using peppermint oil, they should stop using it immediately and speak to a doctor.


Peppermint should not be used on the face, particularly the nose, of infants and small children. Cornmint is considered more toxic than peppermint oil as it has higher pulegone content.


Always refer to IFRA Statements for more information on % inclusion levels for the various varieties of peppermint, when making topical blends containing peppermint oil.


Do not take any oil internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin. Seek advice from a qualified aromatherapy or medical practitioner.

References

Disclaimer

The information above is provided in good faith and is sourced from a variety of sources online and within relevant literature. Oils4life Limited accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of this information. The reader should conduct their own research through multiple sources to assure themselves of the accuracy of information provided, before determining its validity, relevance and/or appropriateness.

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