Peppermint (Mentha × piperita, also known as Mentha balsamea Wild.)is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint. Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now widely spread and cultivated in many regions of the world. It is occasionally found in the wild with its parent species.
HISTORICAL AND MYTHOLOGICAL REVIEW:
Peppermint probably emerged spontaneously towards the end of the 17th century from the cross between water mint (Mentha aquatica L.) and the Eurasian mint (Mentha spicata L. ssp. Spicata)
Although the genus Mentha comprises more than 25 species, the most common one used is peppermint. While Western peppermint is derived from Mentha piperita, Chinese peppermint, or “Bohe” is derived from the fresh leaves of Mentha haplocalyx.Mentha piperita and Mentha haplocalyx are both recognized as plant sources of menthol and menthone and are among the oldest herbs used for both culinary and medicinal products.
There are three varieties of M. piperita L.: variety vulgaris Sole or Mitcham mint, the most widespread throughout the world; variety sylvestris Sole or Hungarian mint, and variety officinalis Sole. Two varieties of the species, black mint (which has violet-coloured leaves and stems) and white mint (which has pure green leaves) are under cultivation (Briggs, 1993; Bruneton, 1995; Leung and Foster, 1996; Wichtl and Bisset, 1994). The most extensively cultivated is the so-called English or black mint, M. piperita officinalis rubescens Camus. This variety yields more volatile oil than white mint (Masada, 1976).
The names for mint are fairly uniform in most European languages: German Minze, Danish and Norwegian mynte, Dutch munt, Basque menda, Estonian münt, Finnish minttu, Czech máta, Polish mięta, Russian myata [мята], Lithuanian mėta, Latvian mētra, French menthe and Italian menta. All these names derive from Latin mentha mint.
Peppermint generally grows best in moist, shaded locations, and expands by underground rhizomes. Young shoots are taken from old stocks and dibbled into the ground about 1.5 feet apart. They grow quickly and cover the ground with runners if it is permanently moist. For the home gardener, it is often grown in containers to restrict rapid spreading. It grows best with a good supply of water, without being water-logged, and planted in areas with part-sun to shade.
The leaves and flowering tops are used; they are collected as soon as the flowers begin to open and can be dried. The wild form of the plant is less suitable for this purpose, with cultivated plants having been selected for more and better oil content. They may be allowed to lie and wilt a little before distillation, or they may be taken directly to the still.
Peppermint plants to do produce fertile seeds and reproducing only by vegetatively spreading its rhizomes. Rhizomes are simply a horizontal plant stem that grows underground; roots are typically grown off of the rhizomes.
Like other true mints, propagation is recommended by division, cuttings, or ground layering. When someone is propagating a plant, they are in a sense aiding the plant in reproduction, because they (the plant) are unable to.
Harvest can generally take place from late spring until early autumn
Many essential oil growers harvest when the majority of plants are just before full bloom, during summer (July in most areas of US). This is the first cut that is solely intended for distillation and essential oil production. However, in many cases they can harvest a second cut about two months later, and this second cut is intended solely for dried material. In other cases, farmers that are not interested in essential oil can normally harvest three cuts, with the first being around late spring, the second during summer and the third around early autumn.
ISO 676:1995 - contains the information about the nomenclature of the variety and cultivars
ISO 5563:1984 - a specification for its dried leaves of Mentha piperita Linnaeus
Peppermint oil - ISO 856:2006
Peppermint has a high menthol content. The oil also contains menthone and carboxyl esters, particularly menthyl acetate. Dried peppermint typically has 0.3–0.4% of volatile oil containing menthol (7–48%), menthone (20–46%), menthyl acetate (3–10%), menthofuran (1–17%) and 1,8-cineol (3–6%). Peppermint oil also contains small amounts of many additional compounds including limonene, pulegone, caryophyllene and pinene.
Peppermint contains terpenoids and flavonoids such as eriocitrin, hesperidin, and kaempferol 7-O-rutinoside
1. Kofsil syrup
Parts used for medicinal purpose
Leaves, Stem, ,
Leaf juice - 5 - 10 ml
Cold infusion - 25 -30 ml
Oil - 1 -3 drops
there is no specific antidote to PPMT oil .
M. arvensis piperascens is used as a substitute for, or adulterant of, peppermint oil.
Adulteration Cornmint is cheaper than peppermint as it grows wild and is frequently used to dilute or even be a substitute for the peppermint oil.
In 2014, world production of peppermint was 92,296 tonnes, led by Morocco with 92% of the world total reported by FAOSTAT of the United Nations. Argentina accounted for 8% of the world total.
In the United States, Oregon and Washington produce most of the countrys peppermint, the leaves of which are processed for the essential oil to produce flavorings mainly for chewing gum and toothpaste
Peppermint was first described in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus from specimens that had been collected in England; he treated it as a species, but it is now universally agreed to be a hybrid. It is a herbaceous rhizomatous perennial plant that grows to be 30–90 cm (12–35 in) tall, with smooth stems, square in cross section. The rhizomes are wide-spreading, fleshy, and bear fibrous roots. The leaves can be 4–9 cm (1.6–3.5 in) long and 1.5–4 cm (0.59–1.57 in) broad. They are dark green with reddish veins, and they have an acute apex and coarsely toothed margins. The leaves and stems are usually slightly fuzzy. The flowers are purple, 6–8 mm (0.24–0.31 in) long, with a four-lobed corolla about 5 mm (0.20 in) diameter; they are produced in whorls (verticillasters) around the stem, forming thick, blunt spikes. Flowering season lasts from mid- to late summer. The chromosome number is variable, with 2n counts of 66, 72, 84, and 120 recorded. Peppermint is a fast-growing plant; once it sprouts, it spreads very quickly
Leaves being the most important part from which oil is extracted, the anatomical characters are relevant. Upper epidermis composed of large, clear epidermal cells with sinuous, vertical walls and possessing few or no stomata, few glandular trichomes present; palisade parenchyma, comprising a layer of columnar cells rich in chloroplasts; spongy parenchyma, of 4–6 layers of irregularly shaped chloroplastid- containing cells and intercellular air-spaces. Lower epidermis of small epidermal cells with sinuous, vertical walls and numerous diacytic stomata; in the region of veins and midrib, exhibits non-glandular and glandular trichomes as outgrowths; non-glandular trichomes uniseriate, papillose, 1–8-celled; glandular trichomes have 1–2-celled stalk and 1–8-celled glandular head containing the essential oil. Calcium oxalate crystals absent
Outside of its native range, areas where peppermint was formerly grown for oil often have an abundance of feral plants, and it is considered invasive in Australia, the Galápagos Islands, New Zealand, and the United States in the Great Lakes region, noted since 1843
Peppermint typically occurs in moist habitats, including stream sides and drainage ditches. Being a hybrid, it is usually sterile, producing no seeds and reproducing only vegetatively, spreading by its runners. If placed, it can grow almost anywhere
Peppermint is mostly used as a flavouring agent for foods like meat, fish, sauces, soups, tea, tobacco, cordials etc. Peppermint oil is used for flavouring in mouth washes, tooth pastes etc. Peppermint is commonly used as a home remedy to treat stomach disorders, theumatism. It is also used in ointments for headaches, cough drops etc. Peppermint oil and dried Peppermint leaves are antiseptic, carminative, refrigerant, stimulant and diuretic.
The leaves are used with their intense minty scent, which is clearly notable when rubbed - it comes from the essential oil contained in the leaves.
Internally for spasms and cramps in the stomach-intestinal tract and bile ducts, associated with flatulence (Commission E, ESCOP). The HMPC has classified peppermint leaves as a traditional herbal medicinal product (see "traditional use").
Internal use as described for the drug, the oil is applied externally in particular for irritable bowel syndrome and catarrh of the upper respiratory tracts, but also as an inhalant (Commission E, ESCOP).
Externally as a rub for myalgia (muscle pain) and neuralgia (nerve pain), particularly for tension headaches and skin symptoms such as itching, hives, painful skin irritation (ESCOP).
The HMPC has accepted peppermint oil for internal use as being effective against cramp pains in the gastrointestinal tract (especially irritable bowel syndrome), and for external use only the action against tension headaches for "well-established medicinal use"
Herbalists consider peppermint as an astringent, antiseptic, antipruritic, antiemetic, carminative, vermifuge, diaphoretic, analgestic. The plant extract possesses radioprotective, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antitumorgenic,antinociceptive,antiandrogenic,antiallergic, antispasmodic, anticatarrhal properties amongst others.
Dorman HJ, Koşar M, Başer KH, Hiltunen R. Phenolic profile and antioxidant evaluation of Mentha x piperita L.
Chemical composition analysis of the essential oil of Mentha piperita L. from Kermanshah, Iran by hydrodistillation and HS/SPME methods by
Avat Arman Taherpour, Sepideh Khaef, Ako Yari, Sara Nikeafshar, Mehdi Fathi & Sara Ghambari
No internal use of peppermint oil with people that have gall stone disease, occlusion of bile ducts, gall bladder and liver damage. For external use do not apply peppermint oil directly onto mucous membranes or broken skin and never in the area around the eyes.
For infants and toddlers up to 2 years old, menthol can cause spasms or respiratory arrest, therefore peppermint oil may not be used in this age group. As a matter of precaution it is not recommended for children up to 4 years old.
There are no studies on the safety of using peppermint during pregnancy or lactation.
When used externally there may be occasionally skin irritations and eczema, and internally stomach aches in people with sensitive stomachs. In the case of inhalation-sensitive patients may be show adverse respiratory reactions.
Use in other system of medicine:
- Cultivated as a spice for cooking.
- Leaves used for tea.
- Used in salads to provide flavor.
- Used as a flavoring in confections, mint flavors, and beverages..
- One of the oldest household remedies known.
- In the Philippines, tops and leaves are considered carminative; when bruised used as antidote to stings of poisonous insects.
- Mint is used in neuralgic affections, renal and vesical calculus.
- Used for stomach weakness and diarrhea.
- Decoction and infusion of leaves and stems used for fever, stomach aches, dysmenorrhea, and diuresis.
- Pounded leaves for insect bites, fevers, toothaches, headaches.
- Crushed fresh plants or leaves are sniffed for dizziness.
- Powdered dried plant as dentrifice.
- Crushed leaves are applied on the forehead and temples for headaches.
- For toothaches: (1) Wet a small piece of cotton with juice expressed from crushed leaves; apply this impregnated cotton bud to the tooth. (2) Boil 6 tbsp. of leaves in two glasses of water for 15 minutes; strain and cool. Divide the decoction into 2 parts and take every 3 to 4 hours.
- For flatulence: Boil 4 tbsp of chopped leaves in 1 cup water for five minutes; strain. Drink the decoction while lukewarm. Facilitates expulsion of flatus.
- Alcohol or ether extract used as local anesthetic for affections of the nose, pharynx, and larynx.
- Used for obstinate vomiting of pregnancy.
- An alcoholic solution of menthol has been used as inhalation for asthma. Menthol is also used as local anesthesia for headache and facial neuralgia.
- Decoction or vapor from menthol used with lemon grass as febrifuge. Also used in hiccups.
- Plant used as emmenagogue; also used in jaundice.
- Dried plant used as dentrifice.
- Leaves and stems used as carminative, antispasmodic, and sudorific.
- Infusion of leaves used for indigestion, rheumatic pans, arthritis and inflamed joints.
- For coughs, boil 6 tbsp of chopped leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 mins; cool and strain. Divide the decoction into three parts; take 1 part 3 times a day.
- Diluted essential oil used as wash for skin irritations, burns, pruritus, scabies, ringworm and as mosquito repellent.
- For arthritis, warm fresh leaves over low flame; then pound. Apply pounded leaves while warm on the painful joints or muscles.
- As mouthwash, soak 2 tbsp chopped leaves in 1 glass of hot water for 30 minutes; strain. Use the infusion as mouthwash.
- In Japan, used as home remedy for coughs and colds. In Chinese medicine, aerial parts used for colds, influenza, headaches, and sore throat.
- Peppermint oil is often used in pharmaceutical preparations to subdue unpleasant medicinal smells.
- Menthol derived from the essential oil is used in pharmaceutical, perfumery and food industries.
- The oil and by-product, menthol and dementholized oil (DMO), have highest share in the global mint markets.
PEPPERMINT (Mentha piperita) is a popular herb that can be used in numerous forms (ie, oil, leaf, leaf extract, and leaf water). Peppermint oil has the most uses, and use data on the oil are considered relevant to the leaf extract formulations as well. This herbal preparation is used in cosmeceuticals, personal hygiene products, foods, and pharmaceutical products for both its flavoring and fragrance properties. Peppermint oil possesses a fresh sharp menthol odor and a pungent taste followed by a cooling sensation. It also has a variety of therapeutic properties and is used in aromatherapy, bath preparations, mouthwashes, toothpastes, and topical preparations. Topical preparations of peppermint oil have been used to calm pruritus and relieve irritation and inflammation.