For troubled tummies or senses in need of invigoration, there’s nothing better than the scent of peppermint. As a cross between watermint and spearmint, this indigenous and highly aromatic herb to Europe and the Middle East is now widely spread and cultivated around the globe.
The use of peppermint for medicinal and aromatic purposes dates back thousands of years - to 1,000 B.C. In fact, historical accounts dating back to ancient Chinese and Japanese folk medicine mention mint as a remedy in teas to soothe digestion and in the exploration of Egyptian pyramids, peppermint oil was found. Additionally, in Greek mythology, the nymph Mentha was transformed into the mint plant we recognized today by Pluto, who had fallen in love with her and wanted the world to appreciate her for years to come.
When we think of peppermint, most of us think about minty toothpastes, mouthwashes, or chewing gums. Peppermint’s strong aroma and pleasant warming sensation is well-recognized for its ability to freshen breath and clear the respiratory tract. Edibles with peppermint also contain antimicrobial properties, which can aid in keeping mouth bacteria in balance.
Not to mention, peppermint is absolutely delicious and can be enjoyed in teas, paired with chocolate, used in candy making (it’s a favorite around the holidays!), or made into ice cream. Mint varieties, including peppermint, are also wonderful for infusing in water with cucumber, lemon, or other fruits. Here are a few of our favorite peppermint recipes to try the next time you get a craving for something minty!
- Iced Apple Peppermint Tea
- Two-Mint Lemonade
- Cucumber Mint Cooler
- Lemon & Feta Roasted Artichokes with Mint
- Stuffed Minty Grape Leaves
- Molten Peppermint Chocolate Cake
- Peppermint Popcorn
But beyond its taste, peppermint is well-regarded for its medicinal properties. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, peppermint has been long used for soothing upset stomachs or to aid digestion, too. It’s calming and numbing effects have been used for treating nausea, menstrual cramps, indigestion, anxiety, headaches, and skin irritation. That same numbing effect can also deliver a cooling sensation to the skin, making peppermint essential oil a popular choice for relaxing tight or sore muscles in baths, balms, and soaps.
Feeling stuffy? Combining peppermint with eucalyptus, oregano, or rosemary in an herbal steam or bath can provide relief if you feel congestion coming on during cold and flu season.
When it comes to aromatherapy, peppermint is adored for its abilities to improve mental focus and boost energy. Many massage therapists and aromatherapists also use peppermint in combination with lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, and chamomile to calm, reduce pain, and encourage relaxation. Paired with citrus, peppermint can also be invigorating and uplifting.
At NOTE Fragrances, we adore the awakening scent of peppermint as a featured note in some of our fragrances and body care products.
- Give your lips a good zing along with nourishing moisture with our Peppermint Leaf Shea Butter Lip Balm. This natural lip balm is creamy, rich, and hydrating with vitamin E and the peppermint freshness you love in your toothpaste. A must for keeping in your bag on the go - dab it on throughout the day to get a refreshing boost that can improve your focus and leave you feeling energized!
- If you love the scent of peppermint, its close cousin wintergreen is a featured note in our signature Santal Woods Eau de Parfum. This enticing and alluring scent combines wintergreen with lemon, persian lime, lavender, black pepper, vetiver, sandalwood, and other herbal notes for an aromatic and intriguing experience. A true escape for the senses.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy peppermint?