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Ingredient Lookup

Peppermint Oil

Nutritional Information

1 tbsp, peppermint oil

  • Calories 119
  • Calories from Fat 121.5
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 13.5g21%
  • Saturated Fat 2.282g11%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 6.237g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 4.32g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 0mg0%
  • Potassium 0mg0%
  • Total Carbohydrate 0g0%
  • Dietary Fiber 0g0%
  • Sugars 0g
  • Protein 0g0%
  • Calcium 0mg0%
  • Iron 0mg0%
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 0%

Peppermint Oil on Wikipedia:

This article is about the herb. For the tree commonly known as peppermint, see Agonis flexuosa. Peppermint Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Eudicots (unranked): Asterids Order: Lamiales Family: Lamiaceae Genus: Mentha Binomial name Mentha × piperita L.

Peppermint (Mentha × piperita, also known as M. balsamea Willd.[1]) is a hybrid mint, a cross between the watermint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha spicata). The plant, indigenous to Europe, is now widespread in cultivation throughout all regions of the world[2]. It is found wild occasionally with its parent species.[2][3]



Peppermint flowers

Peppermint was first described by Carolus Linnaeus from specimens that had been collected in England; he treated it as a species,[4] but it is now universally agreed to be a hybrid.[5]

It is a herbaceous rhizomatous perennial plant growing to 30–90 cm (12–35 in) tall, with smooth stems, square in cross section. The rhizomes are wide-spreading, fleshy, and bare fibrous roots. The leaves are from 4–9 cm (1.6–3.5 in) long and 1.5–4 cm (0.59–1.6 in) cm broad, dark green with reddish veins, and with an acute apex and coarsely toothed margins. The leaves and stems are usually slightly hairy. 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 is from mid to late summer. The chromosome number is variable, with 2n counts of 66, 72, 84, and 120 recorded.[3][6][7]


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 rhizomes. If placed, it can grow anywhere, with a few exceptions.[3][7]

It is an invasive species in the Great Lakes region, noted since 1843[8].


1887 illustration

Peppermint has a long tradition of medicinal use, with archaeological evidence placing its use at least as far back as ten thousand years ago.[citation needed]

Peppermint has a high menthol content, and is often used as tea and for flavouring ice cream, confectionery, chewing gum, and toothpaste. The oil also contains menthone and menthyl esters, particularly menthyl acetate.[9] It is the oldest and most popular flavour of mint-flavoured confectionery. Peppermint can also be found in some shampoos and soaps, which give the hair a minty scent and produce a cooling sensation on the skin.

Freeze-dried leaves

In 2007, Italian investigators reported that 75% of the patients in their study who took peppermint oil capsules for four weeks had a major reduction in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, compared with just 38% of those who took a placebo.[10]

Similarly, some poorly designed earlier trials found that peppermint oil has the ability to reduce colicky abdominal pain due to IBS with an NNT (number needed to treat) around 3.1,[11] but the oil is an irritant to the stomach in the quantity required and therefore needs wrapping for delayed release in the intestine. This could also be achieved by using the whole herb or leaves rather than the volatile components alone. Peppermint relaxes the gastro-esophageal sphincter, thus promoting belching. Restaurants usually take advantage of this effect by taking advantage of its use as a confectionery ingredient, which they then call ``after-dinner mints.``

Peppermint flowers are large nectar producers and honey bees as well as other nectar harvesting organisms forage them heavily. A mild, pleasant varietal honey can be produced if there is a sufficient area of plants.

Peppermint oil is used by commercial pesticide applicators, in the EcoSmart Technologies line of products, as a natural insecticide.[12]

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,[13] and in the United States.[14]


Peppermint generally thrives in moist, shaded locations, and expands quickly by underground stolons. It is often grown in containers to restrict rapid spreading. It grows best with a good supply of water, and is often planting 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 then are carefully 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. Seeds sold at stores labelled peppermint generally will not germinate into true peppermint, but often produce a less intensely scented spearmint-like plant. The true peppermint rarely produce seeds, and only by fertilization from a spearmint plant, which contributes only their own spearmint genes that dilutes down the scent and flavour.


The toxicity studies of the plant have received controversial results. Some authors reported that the plant may induce hepatic diseases, while others found that it is of protective functions against the liver damages which are caused by heavy metal inductions [15], [16]. In addition to that, the toxicities of the plant seem to variate from one cultivar to another [17] and are dose dependent [15], [18]. This is probably attributed from the content level of pulegone [19]. Some of the toxic components may come from herbicides [20], [21].

List of the cultivars

A number of cultivars have been selected for garden use:[6]

Mentha × piperita 'Candymint'. Stems reddish. Mentha × piperita 'Citrata' (Orange Mint, Eau De Cologne Mint). Leaves aromatic, hairless. Mentha × piperita 'Crispa'. Leaves wrinkled. Mentha × piperita 'Lime Mint'. Foliage lime-scented. Mentha × piperita 'Variegata'. Leaves mottled green and pale yellow. Mentha × piperita 'Chocolate Mint'. Flowers open from bottom up; reminiscent of flavour in Andes Chocolate Mints, a popular confection.[22]

Commercial cultivars may include

Dulgo pole [23] Zefir [23] Bulgarian population #2 [23] Clone 11-6-22 [23] Clone 80-121-33 [23] Mitcham Digne 38 [24] Mitcham Ribecourt 19 [24] Todd's#x2019 [24] This section requires expansion.

Standardization of its products and services

ISO 676:1995 - contains the information about the nomenclature of the variety and cultivars [25] ISO 5563:1984 - a specification for its dried leaves of Mentha piperita Linnaeus [26] Aromatherapy Candy cane Chewing gum Peppermint oil - ISO 856:2006 [27] Insect repellent Mint chocolate Peppermint tea Peppermint candy This section requires expansion.

See also

Altoids Essential oils List of plants used as medicine Mentha Mentha longifolia Menthol Pennyroyal Pulegone Spearmint (Mentha spicata) Spice and Condiment


^ World Health Organization. ``WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants Volume 2``. Retrieved 3 June 2009.  ^ a b Euro+Med Plantbase Project: Mentha × piperita ^ a b c Flora of NW Europe: Mentha × piperita ^ Linnaeus, C. (1753). Species Plantarum 2: 576–577. ^ Harley, R. M. (1975). Mentha L. In: Stace, C. A., ed. Hybridization and the flora of the British Isles page 387. ^ a b Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5. ^ a b Blamey, M. & Grey-Wilson, C. (1989). Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. ISBN 0-340-40170-2 ^ ``List of invasive species in the Great Lakes Great Lakes United / Union Saint-Laurent Grands Lacs``. Retrieved 2009-02-07.  ^ PDR for Herbal Medicines, 4th Edition, Thomson Healthcare, page 640. ISBN 978-1563636783 ^ Cappello, G.; et al. (2007). ``Peppermint oil (Mintoil) in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: A prospective double blind placebo-controlled randomized trial``. Digestive and Liver Disease 39 (6): 530–536. doi:10.1016/j.dld.2007.02.006.  ^ Bandolier Journal: Peppermint oil for irritable bowel syndrome ^ EcoSMART Product label ^ Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk: Mentha x piperita ^ USDA Plants Profile: Mentha x piperita ^ a b Akdogan, Mehmet (2004). ``Investigation of biochemical and histopathological effects of Mentha piperitaLabiatae and Mentha spicata Labiatae on liver tissue in rats``. Human & Experimental Toxicology 23 (1): 21–28. Retrieved 3 June 2009.  ^ Sharma, Ambika et al. (2007). ``Protective Effect of Mentha piperita against Arsenic-Induced Toxicity in Liver of Swiss Albino Mice``. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology 100 (4): 249–257. Retrieved 3 June 2009.  ^ Akdogan, Mehmet (2003). ``Investigation of biochemical and histopathological effects of Mentha piperita L. and Mentha spicata L. on kidney tissue in rats``. Human & Experimental Toxicology 22 (4): 213–219. Retrieved 3 June 2009.  ^ Akdogan, Mehmet et al. (2004). ``Effect of Mentha piperita (Labiatae) and Mentha spicata (Labiatae) on iron absorption in rats``. Toxicology and Industrial Health 20 (6 - 10): 119–122. Retrieved 3 June 2009.  ^ Farley, Derek R.; Valerie Howland (2006). ``The natural variation of the pulegone content in various oils of peppermint``. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 31 (11): 1143–1151. doi:10.1002/jsfa.2740311104.  ^ Edwards, J.; F.E. Bienvenu (1999). ``Investigations into the use of flame and the herbicide, paraquat, to control peppermint rust in north-east Victoria, Australia``. Australasian Plant Pathology 28 (3): 212–224. doi:10.1071/AP99036.  ^ Adamovic, D.S. et al.. ``Variability of herbicide efficiency and their effect upon yield and quality of peppermint (Mentha X Piperital L.)``. Retrieved 6 June 2009.  ^ Mountain Valley Growers: Mentha piperita cv. Chocolate Mint ^ a b c d e Stanev, S.; V.D. Zheljazkov. ``Study on essential oil and free menthol accumulation in 19 cultivars, populations, and clones of peppermint (Mentha X Piperita)``. Retrieved 6 June 2009.  ^ a b c Jullien, Frédéric et al.; F.E. Bienvenu (1998). ``An optimising protocol for protoplast regeneration of three peppermint cultivars ( Mentha x piperita)``. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 54 (3): 153–159. doi:10.1023/A:1006185103897.  ^ International Organization for Standardization. ``ISO 676:1995 Spices and condiments -- Botanical nomenclature``. Retrieved 8 June 2009.  ^ International Organization for Standardization. ``ISO 5563:1984 Dried peppermint (Mentha piperita Linnaeus) -- Specification``. Retrieved 7 June 2009.  ^ International Organization for Standardization. ``ISO 856:2008 Oil of peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.)``. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 

External links

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