| Lindsay Becker

Peppermint, A Powerhouse Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil, derived from the leaves of the peppermint plant, Mentha Arvensis, is one of the most versatile and widely used essential oils in both aromatherapy and skincare. Its invigorating scent, cooling sensation, and numerous therapeutic properties make it a staple in many holistic and beauty practices. 

A bit of history

Peppermint has been used in holistic healthcare practices for thousands of years. It was formally recognised and scientifically classified in the mid-1700s in England, however, there are records of people using peppermint as far back as ancient Rome, Greece and Egyptian times - along with lavender, peppermint is one of the oldest herbs recorded to be used in cooking and medicine. It was even thought to be used as a form of currency in ancient Eqypt, thanks to its desirable health properties and our term for ‘minting’ money can be traced back to these times. 

Arriving in Europe and the Middle East, where it thrived in shady areas with moisture, Peppermint was used in the Middle Ages by monks to clean their teeth as well as repel rodents from their food stores, gaining popularity over time as a medicinal agent, helping with conditions such as digestive issues, migraines and more. 

It is now grown commercially on a large scale, approximately 4,000 metric tons of peppermint oil is produced each year. Harvesting tends to happen in the summer months when the plant is in flower, in dry and sunny weather after the morning dew has evaporated. The leaves are then steam-distilled and when cooled, separated into water and Peppermint oil. 

Best use

Peppermint oil is a powerful tool in aiding digestion, and the reason peppermint tea is so popular. Peppermint tea can help relieve symptoms of IBS and relieve the feeling of bloating. It’s also renowned for its ability to invigorate the mind and body. When diffused, its crisp, refreshing aroma can help increase alertness and concentration, making it an excellent choice for combating fatigue and enhancing productivity. 

Among its many uses, peppermint oil is particularly effective as a natural decongestant and a remedy for hayfever symptoms. Hayfever, or allergic rhinitis, is characterised by symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes, caused by an allergic response to pollen and other airborne allergens. Peppermint oil can help alleviate these symptoms through its anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effects. Diffusing Peppermint oil or inhaling it directly can help to open and clear the airways, providing relief from the symptoms of hayfever. By opening up the nasal passages and reducing inflammation, Peppermint oil can improve overall respiratory function which can be particularly beneficial during hayfever season, when breathing can become more difficult due to increased mucus production and airway constriction.

Peppermint oil also possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. In skincare, it can help to reduce redness and swelling, while the cooling sensation can provide immediate relief to tired and aching legs. It has a refreshing effect on the skin and scalp, helping to revitalise dull and tired complexions, stimulating circulation, which can enhance the skin’s overall appearance and health. 

Botanical notes

Peppermint essential oil has a fresh, strong and sweet smell, initially warm to the taste but with a cooling aftertaste, with camphorous undertones. The oil consists mainly of the compound Menthol, which gives its minty and refreshing odour.

Found in our Pink Grapefruit, Sweet Orange and Mint range, this sunny aromatherapy blend, with cooling coastal elements, will brighten any day, leaving you feeling refreshed and revived. We love it in our linen mist for an instant refresher on hot sunny days.