Peppermint oil contains menthol, which is thought to generate the cooling, analgesic sensation by dilating the blood vessels and stimulating sensory nerve endings. It’s scent is a strong, refreshing, mint aroma with underlying herbal notes. When used in mouth products it also packs a minty fresh punch and keeps breath smelling appealing.
Peppermint is sometimes believed to be the world’s oldest medicine, as evidence can place it ten thousand years ago.
It has a unique effect on the scalp, as menthol can disrupt the hair fall cycle, prolonging the process of hair fall thereby allowing the hair to be retained within the scalp for a longer period. This result is best achieved with regular use of menthol on the scalp.
Peppermint oil (Mentha piperita) belongs to the Labiatae family. The oil is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves and flowers. The oil is a pale liquid, and its main constituents are menthol and menthone.
This herbaceous plant usually grows up to approximately three feet tall with dark green leaves and purple flowers.
Though native to temperate regions of Europe, Asia and Africa, peppermint is now widely cultivated worldwide. It is thought to be a naturally occurring hybrid of wild mint varieties.
There are about 25 species in the Mentha genus, some of which have a citrus or lavender aroma.