Mentha arvensis (a species of mint) goes by many names including podina, pudina, yerba buena, corn mint, field mint, Japanese mint, and wild mint. These names differ mainly according to cultures and languages. The one thing that remains constant across cultures and languages is the agreement on the potency and popularity of its essential oil — mint essential oil.
If your interest is piqued by this wonderful essential oil, read on now to discover more about the oil.
What is Mint Essential Oil Made Of?
Mint essential oil is derived from the leaves of Mentha arvensis. Mentha arvensis is a leafy perennial herb that grows up to around 60 cm and is native to the temperate regions of Europe, western and central Asia, and North America.
The plant is often found in heaths, wet marshes, ditches, and moist prairies — essentially wherever there is adequate moisture. Besides that, the plant also produces white, pink, or pale purple flowers and has fuzzy leaves where the essential oil is derived from.
These fuzzy leaves are harvested somewhere between May and August. Only well-matured leaves should be harvested as the half-mature ones lack the all-important minty aroma.
How is Mint Essential Oil Extracted?
Mint essential oil is extracted by steam distilling the leaves of Mentha arvensis. This is where hot steam is pushed through the leaves to release the essential oil within. The steam is then cooled and condensed into a mixture of essential oil and water. The two are then separated resulting in the pure mint essential oil you see in stores.
Benefits of Mint Essential Oil
1. Treats and relieves digestive issues
Mint essential oil has long been used extensively for digestive purposes. The oil is known to provide relief for indigestion, diarrhea, colic, dyspepsia, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, flatulence, and stomachache.
This is partly due to the oil’s carminative (aids in relieving flatulence) properties. However, menthol, an active ingredient in the essential oil, also helps with certain digestive issues. For example, it pacifies intestinal and stomach linings while its cooling property treats ulcers.
To help with digestive issues, add three or four drops of the mint essential oil into your warm bath. In addition to that, you can also mix two drops of the essential oil with a carrier oil (sesame oil, perhaps) and gently massage your abdomen and stomach with the blend.
2. Calms nausea and morning sickness
Mint essential oil has the potential to calm and relieve nausea as well as morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy.
So, the next time you feel the waves of nausea washing over you, get your hands on some mint essential oil and inhale deeply.
3. Relieves inflammation, irritation, and pain
Additionally, the richness of menthol in mint essential oil helps to relieve conditions like arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, pain, numbness, soreness, ache, irritation, and inflammation.
Most of these conditions can be addressed by applying the essential oil topically. So, mix a few drops of the mint essential oil with a carrier oil — such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, and almond oil. Then, massage the mixture onto the affected area.
4. Treats and heals respiratory problems
Mint essential oil can potentially help with everything from cold and cough to more serious conditions like bronchitis and asthma. A large part of this is, again, because of the menthol in the essential oil.
Mint essential oil provides a multi-faceted solution for respiratory problems. For instance, mint essential oil’s minty and cool scent is used in vaporizers to help unclog nasal passage due to phlegm. Besides that, it is also used as an expectorant to loosen mucus and phlegm deposits in order to expel them from the respiratory tract. On top of that, the oil can also very easily treat sinus congestion and clear the nasal passages.
For some reprieve from the discomfort and pain of these conditions, add two to three drops of the essential oil to a few drops of carrier oil. Rub the blend all over your chest, back, throat, and forehead.
5. Filled with antibacterial and antifungal properties
Apart from the above, mint essential oil also acts as a natural antiseptic agent to treat various skin conditions. This includes wounds, scars, eczema, burns, scabs, ringworms, and insect bites.
The rich menthol in the oil helps to relieve any pain associated with these conditions, too.
To take advantage of mint essential oil’s antibacterial and antifungal properties, try this: dilute the essential oil with a little bit of coconut oil and dab onto the affected area with a cotton ball.
6. Reduces fever
If you feel a fever heading your way, you know it is time to turn to mint essential oil to reduce the high body temperature.
The febrifuge (ability to reduce fever) and diaphoretic (ability to increase perspiration) properties of the essential oil can help to reduce fever by releasing body heat through sweat.
Mix two drops of mint essential oil with coconut oil and rub the combination on the soles of your feet to bring down the temperature. Make sure to also include plenty of bed rest.
7. Maintains healthy skin
Additionally, many people also swear by this oil for healthy skin because of its excellent skin cleansing properties.
Simply add a drop or two of mint essential oil to your serum, moisturizer, or lotion to contain breakouts, treat pimples, remove blackheads and blemishes, hydrate dry skin, and treat inflammation.
No, there is no mistake here. Mint essential oil truly does all of the above for a healthier and clearer complexion.
8. Deodorizes the house and laundry
Fresh and uplifting, there is no better scent for your laundry. Simply add a few drops of the oil to your detergent or dryer ball.
Besides that, you can also deodorize and remove odors from your house by diffusing a few drops of this fresh essential oil.
Mixing Mint Essential Oil with Other Essential Oils
Minty, fresh, and cool, mint essential oil’s familiar aroma blends well with woodsy essential oils like sandalwood and cedarwood.
Additionally, the oil also complements spice oils such as basil, black pepper, and clove.
For double doses of freshness and energy, try pairing mint essential oil with citrus essential oils. For example, lemon, orange, and grapefruit essential oils are excellent with mint essential oils.
If floral scents are right up your alley, mint essential oil’s middle note goes well with lavender oil.
Unfortunately, there are some side effects associated with mint essential oil for certain people. However, this is typical of most essential oils.
Be wary of ingesting mint essential oil as it can cause some issues such as stomach upsets and heartburn.
Some people may also develop allergic reactions to the oil such as redness, hives, itching, and blisters. Hence, always try the oil out with a patch test first. Apply a drop of mint essential oil to your inner forearm and cover it up with a bandage. If you do not see any adverse reaction after 24 hours, the oil is safe to use.
Is Mint Essential Oil Right for You?
Cool, minty, and refreshing, you likely are already familiar with the scent of mint essential oil. Hence, look at its benefits and uses to decide if it is the essential oil for you.