The vibrant, fresh aroma of Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is synonymous with crisp, cool cleanliness. The menthol scented plant has been used in many different industries over the centuries and is typically identifiable in modern flavours, pharmaceuticals and cosmetic applications.
The plant is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean, but has been used around the globe by numerous civilisations. The earliest recorded use of peppermint dates back to the 1st century AD, where Romans utilised the herb as a flavour for sauces and wine. The Ancient Greek physicians employed a specific variety of peppermint in the treatment of mild ailments. And the Egyptians cultivated the plant for use as a soothing digestive remedy.
Peppermint had become an accepted medicinal plant species in England by the mid 1700's and was commercially cultivated in Mitcham, Surrey. It was specifically utilised for its ability to alleviate indigestion and flatulence. Tea was brewed from the leaves to offer relief from cold and flu symptoms, and it was also said to relieve toothache.
Today, Peppermint essential oil is an extremely popular ingredient in many different industries. From oral or dental care to confectionary, cosmetic and personal care, fragrance and flavours and even pharmaceutical products, there is an ever-present demand for the oil.
In cosmetic applications, peppermint is an excellent cooling ingredient. It helps relieve the itch and sting of sunburn and can help reduce redness or inflammation. It is also effective as a cleansing oil as it can assist in removing blackheads while softening the skin.
In haircare it balances oily hair conditions and soothes the scalp. It also offers capillary constriction properties that are useful in aftershave products.
Massage oil blends also enjoy extra benefit when they include peppermint, especially for feet, as the oil can offer relief from muscular aches and pain, and help eliminate odour.
Aromatherapeutically it is recognised for its ability to relax the digestive system. Many ailments such as nausea, constipation and flatulence can be alleviated through the use of peppermint. It is also a common choice for natural headache remedies as the cooling action is said to ease tension from the mind.
Why not try Peppermint oil in your next blend? We know you'll love the uplifting aroma as much as we do!