Peppermint oil (Mentha Piperita) belongs to the Labiatae family. The oil is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves and flowers. This herbaceous plant usually grows up to approximately three feet tall with dark green leaves and purple flowers.
The oil is a pale liquid, and its main constituents are menthol and menthone. This oil has a strong, refreshing, mint aroma with underlying herbal notes.
It is thought that menthol generates the cooling, analgesic sensation by dilating the blood vessels and stimulating sensory nerve endings.
Peppermint is sometimes believed to be the world’s oldest medicine, as evidence can place it ten thousand years ago. It is used extensively for flavourings today.
Medicinally, it is used to help relieve problems of the digestive system, especially indigestion and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). It has a cooling effect on the skin. Aromatherapists use it for pain relief and reducing mental fatigue.
Though native to temperate regions of Europe, Asia and Africa, peppermint is now widely cultivated worldwide. It is thought to be a naturally occurring hybrid of wild mint varieties.
There are about 25 species in the Mentha genus, some of which have a citrus or lavender aroma.
We use peppermint oil in our Demon in the Dark and Ice Blue soaps for its refreshing and cooling effect on the skin.
Our Cupcake mint-chocolate fresh face mask and Mask of Magnaminty contain peppermint oil to cool and refresh the skin.
We use peppermint and spearmint oils in our Fair Trade Foot Lotion and Running to the Embassy body butter for their cooling and analgesic effects when applied topically to the feet.
Our The Hair Doctor hair treatment, Rehab shampoo, Snake Oil Scalp Massage Bar, and Wiccy Magic Muscles all benefit from the cooling and invigorating peppermint oil.