Peppermint Essential Oil: The Complete Profile
Peppermint essential oil is extracted from the Mentha piperita, which is a perennial herb native to the Mediterranean. It is one of the most valued and widely used essential oils across the world. Most prominently, peppermint oil is known for its energizing aroma that invigorates the mind. Interestingly, even the American Navy uses it to test gas masks. If any scent that can penetrate a mucus-blocked sinus, then it will be of peppermint oil. But its profound benefits are beyond its scent; peppermint oil also has cleansing, clarifying, soothing, and therapeutic properties. It can be found as a key ingredient in many shampoos, cosmetics, and personal care products because of these attributes.
Most of the benefits of peppermint oil can be attributed to menthol and menthone compounds in its composition. These compounds leave a cooling sensation on the skin, soothing redness, irritations, and itchiness. Other main constituents in peppermint oil include cineol, menthyl acetate, pinene, limonene, and isovalerate. These compounds are therapeutic for the mind, body, and skin. So we can say peppermint oil rightly deserves the popularity it has gained in personal care and cosmetics industries. Now you must be wondering about the origin of this classic gem and how it has reached us, let us take you on a history tour.
What is the History of Peppermint Essential Plant?
Historians believe that the ancient Egyptians were the first to use peppermint plants for purifying purposes. They would keep dried leaves of peppermint plants inside tombs and pyramids to get rid of bad odors and purify the air. In Greek mythology, peppermint's origin has a rather extraordinary story. It tells us that Mentha or Minthe was the name of a nymph who had been transformed into an herb called Mentha (as known as peppermint plant) as a punishment. Mentha emitted a fresh and vibrant scent, leaving a lingering aroma on anything she touched or wherever she stepped in. However, beyond this myth, peppermint has a long and rich history of use by diverse cultures for different purposes.
The Chinese and Japanese have used peppermint plants for the preparation of traditional herbal medicines. The Romans used the peppermint plants for scenting and therapeutic purposes. However, the cultivation of the peppermint plants for commercial purposes began in the 17th century and spread throughout the world. Peppermint plant is now grown in many countries around the world, including the USA, Italy, Great Britain, and Japan. Now you might be wondering how is the essential oil from the peppermint plant extracted? And does it carry the properties and scent of peppermint plants? We have the answer to that:
How is Peppermint Essential Oil Extracted?
The most popular way to extract peppermint essential oil is steam distillation. In this process, dried leaves of peppermint plants are taken and placed inside the chamber of distillation still. In this chamber, steam passes through the plant material and converts it into vaporous form, containing oil and water. The vaporous material enters the condensation flask where it cools down. This material then enters into another chamber where oil and water are separated to extract peppermint essential oil. So the questions one might ask, whether the essential oil and peppermint plant have the same chemistry? The answer is yes, peppermint essential oil carries the aromatic compounds and essence (aroma) of the peppermint plants.
Now we will explain its benefits in skincare, haircare, and aromatherapy practices to explain why it is so famous.
What Are the Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil for Skin?
In our modern and virtually advanced world, where information is in access to us in just one click, everyone is conscious about the probable side effects of harsh chemicals in many skincare products. This education has drawn our attention towards trying organic, natural, and herbal-based ingredients, which are healthy and soothing for the skin with little to none side-effects. Any one of you, who searches for the natural skin care remedies, might have seen peppermint essential oil in many recipes. Whether you search for the best essential oil for acne, irritations, itchiness, redness, or for an essential oil that promotes skin's health, peppermint essential oil is there at the top of the list!
We will tell you why and what are its benefits for skin:
- Cleanses the skin
- Promotes Skin's Firmness
- Leaves the Skin Looking Clearer, Healthier and Younger
- Helps Lighten Appearance of Scars and Blemishes
- Soothes Acne-Prone Skin
- Calms Irritations, Redness, and Itchiness
What are Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil for Hair?
Nourishment and care is necessary for healthy scalp and hair. As a matter of fact, your hair's health mainly depends on the condition of your scalp. The most common scalp issues are irritations, itchiness, dryness, dirt buildup, oiliness, and inflammation. These scalp issues lead to increased hair loss and affect the hair's health and growth. For issues like these, oils come to our rescue. In particular, peppermint essential oil that has clarifying, soothing, detoxifying, purifying, and therapeutic properties. The menthol and menthone compounds in peppermint essential oil leave a cooling sensation, soothing irritations, and itchiness. Moreover, it leaves a cheerful and fresh scent to your hair, making you feel energized all day long.
Here are some of its benefits for hair and scalp's health:
- Purges out the buildup of dirt, impurities and excess oil from the scalp
- Soothes troubled scalp
- Calms irritations, itchiness, and inflammation
- Improves scalp's health
- Soothes dryness
- Calms oiliness
- Promotes voluminous and shiny hair
What Are the Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil for Aromatherapy Practices?
The Peppermint plant belongs to the mint family, which means it has a minty, fresh, and rejuvenating scent. The aromatic compounds in peppermint essential oil carry the properties of the peppermint plants. Peppermint essential oil deodorizes the environment, purifies the air, and creates a clean and healthy atmosphere to your surroundings. Besides deodorizing and purifying the air, peppermint oil's aroma has many psychological benefits. Its scent leaves an energizing impact on the mind, promoting concentration, alertness, and focus.
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