According to Greek mythology, the mint family came into being when Persephone, Queen of the Underworld (and a previous victim of Hade’s lust) changed a wavering nymph named Menthe into a healthful and sweet-smelling plant. Ironic then, that the peppermint plant is usually sterile, being a naturally occurring hybrid of two other members of the mint family-watermint and spearmint. Despite this limitation, peppermint is extremely prolific, spreading rapidly below ground through offshoots called stolons.
The use of the peppermint plant’s healthful and cooling essential oil though, has a much more ancient history even than mint’s use by the Greeks as a part of the Eleusinian Mysteries and in their funeral rites. Archaeological discoveries indicate this healthful herb has been used medicinally for over 10,000 years. Peppermint has its origins in Europe, but today grows in widespread regions throughout the world. Indeed, peppermint’s popularity has only increased across the millennia, particularly since the 17th century when it became a fad in England to place a drop of its essential oil on a sugar cube as an after-dinner aid to digestion, the precursor to the popular after-dinner mint. This fashionable cure for over-indulgence is only one of the many health benefits provided by peppermint’s natural essential oil, today one of the primary fragrance oils used in aromatherapy.
What is Essential Oil, and How Does it Relate to Aromatherapy?
Essential oil is a distillation of the oil naturally produced by many species of plants, often as an aid to protection and self-healing. In the case of the peppermint plant, this oil is derived from the leaves and flowering tops of the plants. When the plant blooms, it is harvested and the oil distilled from it, its natural properties becoming much more concentrated. All the good things in the plant (the essence) are much more powerfully present in the distilled essential oil.
Ancient peoples who used plant and flowers for their scent. Today it is common to use peppermint essential oil as an aid to aromatherapy either using a diffuser to spread the fragrance throughout a room, or more directly, by applying a small amount to the palms, cupping the hands around the nose, and inhaling or even applying the oil topically. While aromatherapy sounds “New Age”, it’s simply a new word for the ancient practice of deriving medicinal benefits and wellbeing from the oil naturally produced in the peppermint plant.
What is Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil, and Why Should I Care?
There is a large caveat to all the benefits listed above. Not everything called peppermint essential oil can deliver on the promise of increased health and peace of mind. Many of the oils available today are merely synthetic reproductions of the essential elements contained within peppermint essential oil, while others are diluted, or may even contain unknown additives, being produced only for fragrance or perfumery. The health benefits ( if any) of such concoctions will be negligible. You may even inadvertently damage your heath. With essential oils, it is always important to know what you are buying. If you want more than a source of fragrance or perfume, you should always check your sources and make sure you are buying therapeutic grade natural essential oils only. When you buy peppermint oil from Oils Now, you can be confident you are getting a therapeutic grade of pure essential oil, and at wholesale prices.