Peppermint, Mentha piperita

2:06 PM Posted by jo

 Peppermint, Mentha piperita, is part of the Lamiaceae. It is a one meter tall perennial herb.

The leaves, stems, and flowers are steam distilled to make the essential oil. 

The name comes from the Greek myth of the nymph Minthe. She was crushed into dust on the ground by Pluto's wife Persephone after Pluto declared his love for the nymph Minthe. Pluto wasn't able to change her back so he transformed her into a peppermint plant. He gave her fresh fragrance so that she would smell sweet when stepped upon.
 Peppermint, Mentha piperita has a sharp, sweet, minty and penetrating top note. The aroma is very refreshing, clearing, and it goes straight to the head. The middle note is earthy-grassy, old, dirty, and minty. It is an uplifting oil that increases the mental awareness. The base note is sweet, minty, refreshing, and intense. It does not leave a stain on the perfume blotter.

Peppermint has traditionally been used to aid people in becoming more clear headed. According to Battaglia it may be beneficial for people who have a difficulties concentrating or have mental fatigue. It's cephalic properties make peppermint ideal to use in a diffuser in areas where clear thinking and mental stimulation are required.

The chemical constituents of Mentha piperita are
  • Menthol
  • Menthone
  • Menthofurane
  • 1,8 Cineol
  • Pulegone
  • Menthyl Acetate

Battaglia also says that peppermint may be beneficial in treatment colds and flu due to peppermint's expectorant and antiseptic properties. He also says it is an ideal oil to use for sinus congestion, inflammation, infection, migraines and congestive headache. 

According to Battaglia, peppermint is an ideal remedy for all digestive disorders such as colic, flatulence, diarrhea, heartburn, indigestion, and stomach pains. Battaglia also say it is an effective remedy for nausea, vomiting and travel sickness.

According to Battaglia, peppermint is used in linaments for muscle pains, bruises, joint pain, insect bites, and contusions. Battaglia also states that it can be used to relieve itching and skin irritation.

According to Gary Young, peppermint is anti-carcogenic. Young also says peppermint may help arthritis, hives, hysteria, inflammation, rheumatism, nerve regeneration, food poisoning and skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. According to Jean Valnet, MD, peppermint kills tuberculosis bacteria. 

I also use peppermint to repel ants.

Weight loss
As we know, peppermint is a great digestive aid. According to Dr. Alan Hirsch, MD, peppermint has the ability to directly affect the brain's satiety center, the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus, which triggers a sensation of fullness after meals. This may contribute to weight loss.

Clinical trials
The antispasmodic properties of peppermint has been confirmed in clinical trials. Peppermint is one of the most effective oils of the digestive system. The German Commission E Monographs recommends peppermint oil for obstructions of the bile ducts, gall bladder inflammations and severe liver damage. 
Jean Valnet MD studied peppermint's supportive effect on the liver and respiratory systems. Peppermint has an approximate ORAC of 373,455 (TE/L).

It blends well with
Basil, bergamot, cajuput, cedarwood, cypress, eucalyptus, lemon, lime, mandarin, marjoram, rosemary, pine, spearmint, and thyme.

Peppermint is an antidote to homeopathics and should not be used at the same time. It should not be used in the first trimester of pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Peppermint can cause allergic reactions in the throat, neck, and mouth. Avoid in children under two years of age. It is also important to avoid in epilepsy and heart disease. Use for a limited time and don't exceed 2% dilution. Do not use on sensitive or damaged skin and perform a skin patch test prior to use.
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