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Thanks to its many therapeutic properties and refreshing aroma, peppermint oil is one of the most popular essential oils. Thanks to its benefits, it is used in medicines, nutritional supplements, natural therapies, cosmetic products, edible flavorings, air fresheners, and purifiers.
To obtain this oil, the peppermint is distilled with steam. All parts of the plant before flowering are used for this purpose. Throughout our guide, we will talk about its properties, uses, forms, potential contraindications, and much more. You will also discover some of the best peppermint oils on the market!
- 1 Summary
- 2 The Best Peppermint Oil: Our Picks
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Peppermint Oil
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Peppermint oil is multifunctional thanks to the numerous properties it offers. This is why it’s always good to have a small bottle handy at home. It will help you tackle indigestion, colds, hair loss, and lice, among others. It is also useful in dealing with stress and certain conditions of the nervous system. Besides, you can use it as a disinfectant to clean your house.
- Despite their many health benefits, not all peppermint oil products work topically, orally, and by inhalation. You will find some that are only suitable for external use and will be toxic if ingested. If you’re looking for a product for oral therapeutic use or use in cooking, make sure the packaging indicates that it is appropriate.
- The concentration or purity may differ from one manufacturer to the next, so you should always follow the instructions of use on the label. Keep in mind that most products need to be mixed with another oil or cosmetic for topical application. In any case, check the contraindications before starting to use peppermint oil.
The Best Peppermint Oil: Our Picks
Peppermint essential oil has a high ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). This means that it has a high capacity to destroy the free radicals responsible for the oxidation of the body. That in itself is an excellent reason to have this oil at home. But wait, there’s more; you can also use it for cooking, cleaning, and perfuming your home. In the following section, we have selected some of the most popular peppermint oils currently available on the market:
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Peppermint Oil
What are essential oils exactly?
The essence, along with all its properties, is extracted when oil is distilled from the aromatic plant. The concentration and purity of an essential oil depend primarily on the method of extraction used in its manufacture. Steam distillation is one of the extraction methods that most maintain the benefits, and peppermint oil is extracted from every part of the fresh plant before flowering.
What variety of mint is this oil extracted from?
The peppermint plant is a hybrid resulting from the cross between spearmint (Mentha spicata) and water mint (Mentha aquatica). Since ancient times, this species of mint has been employed to treat digestive problems and as an antiseptic. Its main ingredient is menthol.
What are the main properties of peppermint oil?
Peppermint oil helps alleviate stomach problems and nausea, as well as the symptoms of certain respiratory system conditions. In addition to stimulating hair growth and preventing lice, it can relieve sore muscles, headaches, and skin conditions (oily skin, acne, chapped lips). This essential oil is also used for stress relief and specific nervous system problems.
How can I use peppermint oil?
- Add a few drops to your air freshener to purify, refresh, or perfume your home.
- Dilute it in wash water to disinfect floors and surfaces, or use it as an insect repellent.
- Inhale it directly from the bottle to clear out a congested nose.
- When used topically, always dilute it in another vegetable to prevent skin irritation (for muscular or temple massages).
- Add a few drops in your shampoo or conditioner to strengthen your hair or to prevent lice.
- Flavor food and drinks with it, but make sure that the oil you purchase is edible first.
Does peppermint oil have any contraindications?
- Do not consume or apply doses higher than those indicated by the manufacturer. Overdosage can cause toxicity.
- Avoid peppermint oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Either way, consult your physician beforehand.
- Do not use directly on the skin or scalp without diluting it first in another vegetable oil, water, cream, or shampoo. You would be exposing yourself to unpleasant irritations.
- Do not use in your bath unless the product label specifically indicates that you can.
- Avoid contact with the eyes or their contour.
- Do not apply to the face or chest of babies or young children, as menthol could cause breathing problems.
- Avoid use if you are allergic or hypersensitive to menthol.
- Do not eat non-edible peppermint oil.
- Do not leave the container open for an extended period of time, as the essential oils evaporate on contact with air.
- Store in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Essential oils can be very useful at home, but you need to know how to pick a quality product that will satisfy your personal needs. This is the best way to know that you’re making the most of its properties. In the following section, we have delved into the shopping criteria that will help guide you toward the best peppermint oil.
Before you purchase any peppermint oil, it is vital that you inform yourself of the uses it is tailored to. Some products are only intended for cosmetic or aromatic applications, in which case you should never ingest them. You cannot use them as flavoring or aroma in food or drinks, or to treat digestive problems, for instance.
Before you even consider buying a peppermint oil for these purposes, you absolutely need to check that the label expressly indicates that it is suitable for human consumption. Otherwise, you would be exposing yourself to potentially severe intoxication. While the oil in itself has a wide range of uses, the ingredients added in each product may not be edible.
One way to know exactly what you are buying is to find out what components make up the product. In that regard, don’t hesitate to do some research on all the ingredients that you are not familiar with; that way, you will know if they are beneficial to you or if you should avoid them. Let’s now have a look at the different components of peppermint.
Here is a list of the substances present in it: menthol, menthone, menthyl acetate, isomenthone, menthofuran, limonene, isopulegol, and carvone. Note that the exact proportion of each component may vary from one oil to the next, depending on the conditions of cultivation, harvesting, and subsequent distillation of the plant.
Peppermint oil is most often marketed in liquid form in a dark glass bottle, as light affects the product. However, you can also find it in capsule format, which is odorless and tasteless. This is particularly interesting if you aren’t quite fond of mint’s characteristic taste and smell. You can compare the pros and cons of both formats in the table below:
|Bottle|| Suitable for topical use, vaporization, and inhalation.
You can also use it to disinfect your home and as an air freshener.
Products suitable for human consumption can be added to flavor or perfume drinks and food.
| It needs to be diluted in oil, water, or another product.
Not all are edible.
|Capsules|| Intended for oral use.
Suitable for individuals who don’t like the smell or taste of mint.
More convenient and practical to take.
| Not suitable for external or topical use.
While they are designed for oral use, you cannot add them to drinks or food.
Peppermint oil can come in different qualities. The purer the oil or the less refined it is, the better its properties will be. This quality is determined by the way the plant is grown and harvested, as well as its subsequent distillation. We can group peppermint oils into three main categories: industrial, 100% pure and natural chemotype, and certified organic.
- Industrial. This oil comes from botanically non-defined plants that are cultivated industrially and harvested at a moment’s notice. Its distillation is generally incomplete, so it has to be chemically rectified and reconstructed.
- 100% and 100% natural chemotype. It comes from botanically defined plants, cultivated or collected in the wild at the right time. The biochemical components of the oil are known and are appropriate for the quality sought.
- Certified organic. This peppermint oil is produced from organic cultivation plants certified by an authorized body. In order to receive this certificate, farmers cannot use genetically modified plants or any chemicals, such as fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, or additives, among others.
Peppermint oil is an incredibly popular essential oil. Before it flowers, the entire plant is distilled with steam to obtain a higher concentration of essence than other oils. It offers numerous benefits to our overall health and organism. Its aroma can help you relax, while its antiseptic properties are particularly handy to disinfect and clean your home.
As you discovered throughout our article, it can come in different formats and presentations according to its intended applications. Its quality may also vary depending on how its raw material – peppermint – has been obtained. Although it may have contraindications that you should be careful with, this product is amazingly versatile. What are you waiting for to make the most of it?
Did you find our shopping guide on peppermint oil helpful and informative? We hope it has convinced you to delve into the wonders of its properties. Please let us know what you thought in the comments section below, and don’t forget to share this article on your social media. That way, your friends and family can also enjoy this beautiful product!
(Source of featured image: Amylv: 93838184/ 123rf.com)