Peppermint (Mentha piperita, also known as Mentha) is a hybrid mint: a cross between watermint and spearmint. Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now widespread in cultivation in many regions of the world. It is occasionally found in the wild with its parent species.
Peppermint typically occurs in moist habitats, including stream sides and drainage ditches. Being a hybrid, it is usually sterile, producing no seeds and reproducing only vegetatively, spreading by its rhizomes. If placed, it can grow anywhere, with a few exceptions.
Peppermint generally grows best in moist, shaded locations, and expands by underground rhizomes. Young shoots are taken from old stocks and dribbled into the ground about 1.5 feet apart. They grow quickly and cover the ground with runners if it is permanently moist. For the home gardener, it is often grown in containers to restrict rapid spreading. It grows best with a good supply of water, without being water-logged, and planted in areas with part-sun to shade. The leaves and flowering tops are used; they are collected as soon as the flowers begin to open and can be dried. The wild form of the plant is less suitable for this purpose, with cultivated plants having been selected for more and better oil content. They may be allowed to lie and wilt a little before distillation, or they may be taken directly to the still.
Peppermint has a high menthol content. The oil also contains menthone and carboxyl esters, particularly methyl acetate. Dried peppermint typically has 0.3–0.4% of volatile oil containing menthol (7–48%), menthone (20–46%), menthyl acetate (3–10%), methanofuran (1–17%) and 1,8-cineol (3–6%). Peppermint oil also contains small amounts of many additional compounds including limonene, pulegone, caryophyllene, and pinene.
Fresh or dried peppermint leaves are often used alone or with other herbs in herbal teas (tisanes, infusions). Peppermint is used for flavoring ice cream, confectionery, chewing gum, and toothpaste. Peppermint can also be found in some shampoos, soaps and skin care products. Menthol activates cold-sensitive TRPM8 receptors in the skin and mucosal tissues and is the primary source of the cooling sensation that follows the topical application of peppermint oil.
Peppermint Essential Oil is the essence of Peppermint plant and a great and convenient way to enjoy aromatic benefits. DA Aromatherapy Collection features Organic Peppermint Oil in our energizing and fresh Summer Bliss™ and Feel Awesome™ Blends.