A perennial herb that can grow to 1 meter in height. Peppermint has hairy leaves with serrated edges and purple spiked flowers. Peppermint is known for its high menthol content. In fact, that menthol level is so high that crystals can sometimes form on the leaves and indeed the extracted oil (which melts at around 40 degrees).
Botanical Name: Mentha Piperita
Origin: UK, EU or India
Plant Part: Flowering Herb
Extraction Method: Steam Distillation
Colour: Pale off white to light yellow
Aromatic Scent: Peppermint has a sharp, penetrating mint scent based on its high menthol content. The sweetness of the vapor makes it easy to see why it is such a common flavoring and scenting agent.
Aromatic Strength: Medium
Blends Well With: Peppermint blends well with Basil, Bergamot, Cajeput, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Marjoram, Niaouli, Pine, Rosemary, Spearmint and Thyme.
Common Uses: Peppermint essential oil has long been credited as being useful in combating stomach ailments. It is also viewed as an antispasmodic and antimicrobic agent. Of course, most people will associate it with being a flavoring or scenting agent in foods, beverages, skin and hair care products (where it has a cooling effect by constricting capillaries and helping with bruises and sore joints), as well as soaps and candles. This is largely due to it's menthol content - typically 85%.
History: Peppermint and it's name has it's roots in Greek mythology. Pluto - god of the dead - fell in love with Minthe, herself a beautiful nymph. Pluto's goddess wife Persephone became jealous and turned Minthe into a plant, but out of respect for her beauty, she ensured that she would have a wonderful and fragrant aroma.
Cautions: Peppermint can be sensitizing due to the menthol content. Best avoided during pregnancy.
Never use pure oils on the skin without diluting, never use internally, keep away from children and eyes, always check if there are any medical issues which could cause a problem. Seek help if you have any doubts.
*The information provided is for educational purposes only*