Wednesday, 23 July 2014

In praise of Peppermint oil

Peas with peppermint leaves and butter. Very nice. The leaves also contain valuable antioxidants. Peppermint is very easy to grow in a tub for a source of leaves and to introduce children to aromas and eating healthily. Serving a defensive function for the plant the oil is secreted in oil glands so using the leaves is practical whereas other oils are the product of their distillation. Peppermint tea is one of the most popular herbal teas. Peppermint supports liver function by improving the flow of bile from the liver to the gallbladder. 

Menthol with citral and camphor are certainly important and useful terpenoids central to aromatherapy which can be thought of as modified terpenes. The cooling effect is important and is used in veterinary medicine as a herbal poultice for inflamed tendons. The antispasmodic property of peppermint oil makes it useful for gastrointestinal treatments in capsules. 

I like to think of peppermint oil as having a stimulating politicians personality. We'll wake up and listen to them and give them our attention but in small doses! Blending? I'd be interesting in others thoughts. Do you have a favourite blend or does peppermint shout the other oils down?



Menthol and menthone are useful for illustrating aroma chemical family structures as they are simple and structurally related.  Add in citral, limonene, linalool and linalyl acetate and you cover a lot of ground quickly.