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Peppermint Essential Oil: Its Origin, Uses, and Benefits

Common Name: Peppermint

Latin Name: Mentha Piperita

Aromatherapy Uses: Peppermint Essential Oil has a fresh, uplifting scent. The Essential Oil suppresses negative thoughts, while fighting mental fatigue. For the Respiratory System, Peppermint oil helps with bronchitis and colds when combined with steam.

Discussion: Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) is a sterile hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint, with a high menthol content, often used in tea and confectionery. Peppermint is the oldest and most popular flavor of mint flavored confectionery (including chewing gum). A primary derivative of Peppermint is menthol. which serves many purposes including flavoring, and a masking flavor for medicines.

Oil Extraction Method: The tops are dried and steam distilled to produce the Essential Oil. The oil becomes thick at room temperature, so frequently a large portion of the menthol is removed to obtain a liquid form.

Oil Characteristics: Peppermint Essential Oil is a light greenish-yellow color, and has a strong minty odor.

Plant Distribution: The primary center of distribution is the Mediterranean region, where these plants form a dominant part of the vegetation. Peppermint grows almost world wide, and can be found in many yards and gardens. It generally thrives in shade and expands quickly. The plant needs a good water supply, and is ideal for planting in part-sun to shade areas.

Scent Blending: Peppermint Essential Oil blends well with Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Rosemary, and most mints.
Safety Notes: Non-Irritating, non-toxic, but can be sensitizing in concentrated form due to the high menthol content of the Essential Oil.

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