Peppermint oil is steam distilled from the fresh or partly dry Mentha piperita herb of the Labiatae family. It has a fresh, sharp, menthol smell, is clear to pale yellow in color and watery in viscosity. The chemical components of peppermint oil are menthol, menthone, 1,8-cineole, methyl acetate, methofuran, isomenthone, limonene, b-pinene, a-pinene, germacrene-d, trans-sabinene hydrate and pulegone.
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 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 pruritus and also relieves itching, sunburn and inflammation of the skin, while at the same time having a cooling action.
Undiluted use 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. Consult a certified aromatherapist for the proper way to use essential oils.