Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Fun fact: It's believed that the genus Mentha was named for the mythological nymph Minthe, who, according to Roman legend, was seduced by Pluto, then turned into a plant by his jealous wife. Pluto then turned Minthe into an herb, to be valued by generations to come.
Peppermint is one of the most useful and beloved essential oils. Refreshing, cooling, uplifting, and restoring, peppermint has a variety of therapeutic uses. Used extensively in both Eastern and Western medicine for everything from indigestion to diarrhea, headaches to tired feet, and toothaches to cramps. Peppermint is also a big favorite among the food industry, and can be found as a flavoring agent in gums, candy, ice cream, and pastries. However, peppermint really shines in aromatherapy, as its fresh, comforting scent soothes and relieves all sorts of ailments, both mental and physical.
Mixes well with: Basil, eucalyptus, geranium, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, lemon, myrrh, pine, rosemary, spearmint, tea tree, and wintergreen.
Extraction method: Steam distillation.
Parts used: Flowering herb.
Safety Information: Avoid if pregnant or breast feeding. Do not use on babies or small children. May cause irritation to sensitive skin, however it is rare. Do a patch test, first, before applying in large amounts. Do not use in baths. Should not be used in conjunction with homeopathic remedies, as it will act as an antidote.
Essential Oils FAQ's
What are essential oils?
Essential Oils are the naturally occurring volatile oils obtained by distillation or expression having the characteristic aroma of the plant part from which it was derived. These 100% pure oils are neat, meaning they have not been processed or manipulated in any way with solvents or other additives. Though a particular species of plant harvested and distilled for its essential oil during a particular growing season in a specific region may produce a fragrance that differs from the same species grown that season in a different region, many of the main chemical markers and physical specifications may be similar.
Do essential oils have a grading system to tell me which is better?
There are many companies selling Essential Oils today spinning many tall tales regarding the quality or grade of their products. To my knowledge there exists NO official grading system in any of the more respected sources of essential oil literature. Neither The Federal Register and Code of Regulations, FEMA nor AFNOR has to date adopted a system that grades these oils as an A, B or C grade. A product is either 100% pure essential oil or it’s not. All of our 100% pure essential Oils are labeled as such. We also sell oil blends that are formulated with essential oils or absolute extracts and pure grapeseed oil and are clearly labeled.
Are NOW essential oils pure or do they have anything added to them?
Again all of our 100% pure essential Oils are labeled as such. We also sell oil blends that are formulated with essential oils or absolute extracts and pure grapeseed oil and are clearly labeled.
Natural Essential Oils by their very definition will vary from season to season. We are committed to allowing nature take its course without adding isolated compounds to the oil in an effort to improve on the naturally occurring nuance. We take both the organoleptic (sight, smell and taste) and chemical properties into account when evaluating our essential oils.
What are NOW’s criteria for testing essential oils?
Our Quality Assurance and Control departments adhere to specifications used by the Essential Oils and Flavor Industry and published in The Essential Oils by Guenther, as well as Fenaroli’s Handbook of Flavor Ingredients.
These texts, as well as other sources of scientific information, detail specific physical and chemical properties that compose a fingerprint defining the peculiarities of a particular oil. A partial list of the components that we analyze for would include Specific Gravity, Refractive Index, Optical Rotation, Flash Point, Infrared Absorption (as published in FCC), Solubility, Taste/Odor, Color/Appearance, Heavy Metals and Predominant Active Chemical Components.
Our in-house laboratory employs state-of-the-art analytical equipment that allows us to perform highly specialized analyses, such as Gas Chromatography and Infrared Spectrometry. We use our own analysis results to confirm specification sheet results and certificates of analyses received from 3rd party outside laboratories and vendors. As always, when it comes to Essential Oils, individual practitioners and lay people will decide for themselves which variety of a flower or leaf produces the essential oil that best suits their particular need. The nose, eyes, ears, hands and heart of a man or woman, used with humility and wisdom, are still the best tools given us by God to discern what is necessary and good.
NOW® Foods is committed to offering the purest and most potent natural Essential Oils available. All of our 100% Pure Essential Oils are FCC or food grade and derived through natural distillation or cold pressing methods with no chemicals or solvents.