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Peppermint oil is extracted from peppermint plant, which is a cross-breed mint between spearmint and watermint. Peppermint plant originated from the Middle East and Europe, but has spread out to almost every corner of the world.
Peppermint is a plant that flourishes best in regions where conditions are moist with plenty of shade and water. The plant spreads out through rhizomes. Peppermint exists in two forms namely, wild species and cultivated species. Peppermint flowers produce large amounts of nectar that is used by bees to make honey.
Peppermint Oil Extraction
Peppermint oil is extracted from peppermint plant flowers and leaves. The leaves and flowers are cut just as the flowers begin opening. They are then opened up completely to allow faster drying and wilting and afterward the peppermint oil is distilled. However, the cut leaves and flowers may also be taken directly to distillation without being allowed to wilt. The wild species of the plant produces less oil with the cultivated species producing more and quality peppermint oil.
Peppermint Oil Composition
Ccontains menthol in very high contents. Additionally, the oil also has elements such as methyl acetate and menthone. Peppermint oil also contains traces of pinene, pulegone, and limousine, which are natural pesticides.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is naturally obtained by distilling the flowers and leaves of the pepper plant and making a ensuring a high concentration of menthol in the oil. Peppermint essential oil is mostly used in the manufacture of toothpaste and chewing gum. The oil also improves the functioning of the respiratory system and helps in relieving stomach upset. Other than the above-mentioned uses, peppermint essential oil has the following uses:
A combination of peppermint essential oil and lemon juice is used to for mouth refreshing.
Peppermint essential oil is also added to smoothie recipes to bring out a refreshing twist.
Peppermint essential oil is very helpful in calming the body especially when one has sore muscles.
Peppermint essential oil also gives the body a cooling effect.
Peppermint Oil Uses
Peppermint oil has a variety of uses that range from oral, topical and antimicrobial uses. Peppermint oil is the most resourceful essential oil in the world due to its multiple applications.
Other than clinical uses, peppermint oil can be used for the following:
Side Effects Of Peppermint Oil
Despite the many benefits accrued to peppermint oil, it has some negative effects,which it may impose on the users. One of the most talked about effects is inducing hepatitis. However, most of the side effects vary depending on the user and the amount of pulegone contained in the peppermint oil product.
If the peppermint oil products are mixed with antacid, they can result in severe heartburns or even nausea. Application of peppermint oil products on infants around the chest region may cause serious respiratory complications.
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