Peppermint essential oil, originating from mystic East, is one of the worlds’ oldest medicinal plants. Believed to enhance the well-being of digestive and respiratory system, to promote body cleansing, to eliminate odors and to help with mental fatigue, peppermint essential oil has been widely used for over 3000 years as far back as ancient Egypt and Rome.
Even today we revel in the old world luxury by adding peppermint essential oil to our bath and beauty products. As the science comes to bear, the secrets behind this popular plant are revealed and understanding of its benefits better understood.
Peppermint from which the essential oil is extracted is a hybrid mint plant, a natural cross between watermint and spearmint. Easy to cultivate and extremely durable peppermint is spread worldwide. It is typically found in moist areas habitats, dotted with natural streams and ditches. Being a hybrid, it is usually sterile, producing no seeds and reproducing only vegetatively by spreading by its rhizomes. However, it can grow anywhere, and that is why it remains a popular plat additive to cosmetic, bath and beauty products.
Peppermint oil is steam distilled from the partially dried tops of the plants, just before the flowering as this produces the most fragrant oil. Peppermint essential oil extracted from mature flowers results in lower grade, less-sweet and complex oil.
Chemically peppermint essential oil is made of menthol, often used as food and toothpaste additive, menthone, menthyl esters, numerous minerals and nutrients including manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, folate, potassium, copper and omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Menthol, menthone and menthyl esters are responsible for a natural minty scent peppermint lends to bath and beauty products. They also create a cooling skin sensation in low concentrations and warming skin sensation in higher concentrations. The cooling sensation comes from a natural ability of peppermint oil property to constrict the skin surface capillaries in low dilutions. This also allows peppermint essential oil to act as natural analgesic and decongestant which is why is often found in natural migraine and sinus inflammation aids. In higher concentrations, body reacts to cooling by triggering heat response creating warming skin sensation. And this is a root cause of high applicability of peppermint essential oil. Add a little to soothe and cool and add more to warm and relax.
Together with its minerals, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids delivers analgesic and soothing care or plump and increase skin tone and elasticity as needed which is why you will often find natural skin care products listing peppermint oil. The trick is to go for products that have peppermint essential oil, not the fragrance oil.
Be careful with peppermint essential skin oil in bath and beauty products. While it is tempting to go for higher concentrations due to combined cooling heating effect, adding too much will irritate skin and that beats the whole purpose. Stay away from products that exceed higher than 5% peppermint essential oil concentration and you will be fine.
Want to know a natural secret for get rid of tired, achy feet? Simple! Use a generous hand-full of peppermint oil bath salt in warm water and soak your feet for 15 minutes. You will love it, your feet will love it and most of all your family will be love seeing you relaxed and pain free.
Enjoy reading about our peppermint essential oil solutions and more at Nina Bella Collection website and blog.