Mentha piperita, also known as peppermint, is a perennial herb native to the Mediterranean that has also been cultivated in the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Japan. It is distinguished by its serrated leaves and flowers, which range in color from light pink to mauve and grow in a conical shape. Peppermint is a naturally occurring hybrid of Water Mint and Spearmint that belongs to the Mint family along with Spearmint, Water Mint, and Forest Mint.
Peppermint essential oils are found in cells on the underside of the leaves and are extracted by steam distilling the fresh or partially dried plant leaves. It smells fresh, green, sweet, camphor-like, and minty.' Basil, Cedar, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Marjoram, Pine, Rosemary, Thyme, Black Pepper, Fennel, Ginger, Lemon, and Lemongrass go well together.
Peppermint essential oil, along with lavender oil, has earned the reputation of being one of the most versatile oils in the world. Menthol and Menthone, the most active components of Peppermint essential oil, are known to reduce pain and invigorate, energize, and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, respectively. Peppermint essential oil can be used in a variety of ways, including in cosmetics, aromatherapy, relaxing baths, and as a cleaning agent around the house.
History & Magic
Extracted from the Peppermint herb, the uses, and benefits of this cherished plant can be traced back to Chinese and Japanese folk medicine practices, as well as Ancient Egyptian times when dried Peppermint leaves were discovered in tombs inside the pyramids. Because the name Peppermint is frequently used interchangeably with the terms Mint and Spearmint, there has been some confusion about its cultivation history, but ancient textual references to it show that it has been used for culinary purposes and in herbal medicine since 1500 BC.
Mints are aloof herbs that are sobering and clear-headed. In mythology, they are descended from Mentha, a nymph who succumbed to Pluto's desires. His enraged and disgusted wife Persephone (or, according to some accounts, her mother Demeter) stomped the poor nymph into the ground and punished her with infertility. Peppermint is a sterile cross between the common Garden Mint and Watermint. She reproduces via creeping rhizomes, and quite prolifically at that. For millennia, peppermint has been used for food and medicine; evidence of its use can be found from China to Egypt.
Peppermint can be used to help one stay 'cool.' It clears the mind, improves concentration for studying, and aids in focusing on one's intent. It can be used in rituals of protection and cleansing. It removes lingering emotions and cuts through irrational fears or attachments. It is an excellent oil for seeking guidance and mental clarity.
Benefits & Uses
Peppermint is primarily used in aromatherapy as a digestive aid, to alleviate nausea and travel sickness, and to relieve cramps and colic. It relieves PMT-related symptoms like bloating and abdominal pain. It is also used to clear stuffiness, catarrh and sinus headaches, sinusitis, and bronchitis by decongesting the upper respiratory tract. The cooling effect is also very pleasant as a sunburn treatment. It revitalizes the mind and combats fatigue and lack of concentration.
Peppermint oil, when diffused, can help to improve relaxation, concentration, memory, energy, and wakefulness.
Peppermint essential oil's cooling and calming effects can relieve sore muscles when used topically in homemade moisturizers. It has traditionally been used to relieve itchiness and the discomfort associated with inflammation, headaches, and joint pains. It can also be used to alleviate the pain of sunburns.
Peppermint essential oil is known to relieve back pain, mental fatigue, and coughs when used in a diluted massage blend or bath. It improves circulation, relieves tired feet, relieves muscular pain, cramps, and spasms, and soothes inflamed, itchy skin, among other things.
A few drops of the oil, which is well-known for its anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, can be added to homemade spray cleaners and spritzed on areas that require anti-bacterial care, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Peppermint is an effective and natural pest and insect repellent. Peppermint oil is great for keeping creepy crawlies at bay. The scent is repulsive to mice, rats, cockroaches, and ants. A few drops on their path will undoubtedly deter them.
It is still a popular herbal home remedy and is used to flavor a variety of products, including chewing gum, chocolate, and cigarettes, to name a few.
Because of its stimulant properties, using Peppermint essential oil on a daily basis may disrupt sleep patterns, and an overdose of the oil may result in potentially severe side effects.
This oil must be carefully dosed or one will end up shivering from the cold. Caution: Not advised during the first four months of pregnancy.
Before using peppermint oil, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits. Some supplements may interfere with medication. Interactions can be harmful or cause medications to not work properly.
Combining peppermint oil with certain drugs should be avoided because it may impair the body's ability to metabolize the drugs, increasing the risk of side effects.
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