Peppermint Based Products

Peppermint oil is extracted from Menthe piperita of the Labiates family and is also known as brandy mint and balm mint.

This cooling and refreshing essential oil is used in aromatherapy to stimulate the mind, increase mental agility and to increase focus, while cooling the skin, reducing redness and calming irritation and itchiness. It furthermore helps to ease spastic colon, migraine, headaches, sinus and chest congestion and boosts the digestive system.

 Peppermint generally grows best in moist, shaded locations, and expands by underground stolen. Young shoots are taken from old stocks and dibbled into the ground about 1.5 feet apart. They grow quickly and cover the ground with runners if it is permanently moist. For the home gardener, it is often grown in containers to restrict rapid spreading. It grows best with a good supply of water, without being water-logged, and planted in areas with part-sun to shade.

The leaves and flowering tops are used; they are collected as soon as the flowers begin to open and can be dried. The wild form of the plant is less suitable for this purpose, with cultivated plants having been selected for more and better oil content. They may be allowed to lie and wilt a little before distillation, or they may be taken directly to the still.

Peppermint oil has a fresh, sharp, menthol smell, is clear to pale yellow in color and watery in viscosity.

It is a native of the Mediterranean, but is now also cultivated in Italy, USA, Japan and Great Britain. It has underground runners by which it easily propagates. This herb has many species, and peppermint piperita is a hybrid of water mint and spearmint.

Precautions

Peppermint oil is non-toxic and non-irritant in low dilutions, but sensitization may be a problem due to the menthol content. It can cause irritation to the skin and mucus membranes and should be kept well away from the eyes. It should be avoided during pregnancy and should not be used on children under seven.

Uses

Peppermint oil is excellent for mental fatigue and depression, refreshing the spirit and stimulating mental agility and improving concentration. It helps for apathy, shock, headache, migraine, nervous stress, vertigo and faintness and in general respiratory disorders, as well as dry coughs, sinus congestion, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis and cholera.

For the digestive system, peppermint oil is effective for a range of ailments, as it stimulates the gall bladder and the secretion of bile. It is used for colic, cramps, dyspepsia, spastic colon, flatulence and nausea and can relieve pain in cases of toothache, aching feet, rheumatism, neuralgia, muscular pains and painful periods.

On the skin, peppermint oil is used to relieve skin irritation and itchiness and also helps to reduce skin redness, where inflammation is present. It is used for dermatitis, acne, ringworm, scabies and purities and also relieves itching, sunburn and inflammation of the skin, while at the same time having a cooling action.

 

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