Common Name: Peppermint
Latin Binomial: Mentha piperita
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Production Method: steam-distillation
Countries of Origin: USA
Description of Oil: pale yellow, clear, fresh, menthol, clean, cool, strong scent
Description of Plant: A perennial up to three feet tall with dark green, purple tinged, oval shaped, sharply toothed leaves. Produces small lilac-pink flowers during summer.
History, Folklore and Myth: The nymph, Mentha, is said to have been trod into the ground by Pluto’s jealous wife, Persephone. Pluto then changed Mentha into the herb peppermint.
Properties and Uses: analgesic, anti-emetic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitussive, carminative, cephalic, decongestant, expectorant, febrifuge, insecticidal, stimulant stomachic, sudorific
Precautions and Contraindications: HAZARDS: choleretic; neurotoxicity; mucous membrane irritation (low risk) CONTRAINDICATIONS (ALL ROUTES): Cardiac fibrillation, G6PD deficiency, Do not apply to or near the face of infants or children. (ORAL): Cholestasis CAUTIONS (ORAL): gastroesophageal reflux disease
Other Interesting Information: Peppermint oil should be part of every traveler’s first aid kit. A drop works wonders for motion sickness or general nausea. Research has shown it can also be effective for irritable colon.
Peppermint essential oil may be used to support us through colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and asthma. In the digestive system, it can aid in relieving nausea, dyspepsia, and flatulence and can support us through the inflammation and spasm of intestinal colic, mucous colitis, and hepatitis.
Mentha piperita has a strong menthol aroma that can assist in stimulating the brain and nerves. Its stimulating quality may help with dizziness, vertigo, fainting, shock and numbness of the limbs.
Headaches, migraines, toothache, sore feet, and rheumatism may respond well to the use of this oil.
Peppermint essential oil can assist in concentration and in the absorption of new ideas.
With its potent menthol aroma, Peppermint essential oil opens us on several levels. It uplifts us and, some claim, might open us to prophetic dreams.
Caution: Avoid in pregnancy and lactation. May be an antidote to homeopathic medicine.
Sources: Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit by Gabriel Mojay; The Directory of Essential Oils by Wanda Sellar