Cooling, soothing, Peppermint Hydrosol wafting gently on the air clears my mind and I am more alert to what is!  Peppermint hydrosol is another hydrosol that I find very useful to keep on hand. Whether you are dealing with digestive issues, of easing the itchiness of a shaving rash having it on hand can bring relief really quickly. If you are interested in reading a bit more about the essential oil here is a link to a mini article on Peppermint essential oil.

(Mentha x piperita)

Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)

Plant Description:  When Carl Linnaeus first described Peppermint in 1753, he described it as a species.  Now however, it has been universally agreed upon that peppermint is actually a hybrid.  A cross between watermint (Mentha aquatic) and spearmint (Mentha spicata). This perennial herb has serrated-edged leaves and white, occasional mauve or pink flowers.  It is a very fast growing plant. Its roots send out runners and it can be quite difficult to stop it from taking over.

History/Folklore:  According to Greek mythology, the genus Mentha takes its name from a nymph name Minthe, who had an affair with the god of the underworld, Hades.  His wife, Persephone, was jealous and turned Minthe into a nondescript plant and trod her into the ground.  However, Hades then turned the plant into an herb that would be appreciated and valued until the end of time.  There is evidence of Peppermint being used in both Eastern and Western traditional medicine as an aromatic, stomachic, stimulant, antiseptic, local anesthetic and antispasmodic.  Peppermint leaf and oil are subjects of German therapeutic monographs.

Aroma and Taste:  Suzanne Catty says peppermint hydrosol smells similar to freshly crushed peppermint leaves.  Pungent, cool and refreshing but much less intense than the essential oil.  When undiluted the flavor of the hydrosol is very strong, but when you dilute it, it becomes much softer and is reminiscent of a good herbal tea.

Stability and Shelf Life:  Unstable with a shelf life of around 1 year.

pH: 6.1 – 6.3

Uses

Peppermint hydrosol has analgesic, anticoagulant, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, bactericidal, calming, cicatrisant, digestive, expectorant, lipolytic, mucolytic, sedative and stimulant properties.

Jeanne Rose recommends using peppermint hydrosol in skin care “to relieve itching, redness, inflammation and acne.  She also says it is uplifting, energizing, cooling and good for hot flashes.

Suzanne Catty recommends using this hydrosol particularly for its digestive properties.  “She says that it is useful for treating colic, bloat, heartburn or reflux, and indigestion of all kinds.”  She also suggests using it in “hydrotherapy treatments for stiff muscles, aches and pains, shin splints, sprains, and strains.” She says: “When added to hot water it will have a cooling effect.  Added to cold water it will have a heating effect.  Alternating the two types of compresses is a dramatic and profound treatment.

Len and Shirley Price share a formula by Carolyn Marshall in which peppermint hydrosol, along with Roman Chamomile hydrosol, as well as a few drops of Lavender and Geranium essential oils was very effective when dealing with chickenpox spots.

Another formula, this time created by Shirley Price uses the hydrosols of Rosemary, Peppermint and Thyme combined in the ratio of 5:3:2 to create a mouth wash for infected gums.

Peppermint hydrosol, used on its own in a simple spray bottle has been the saving grace of quite a large number of my clients who were peri-menopausal.  They found it worked really well for hot flashes.  Those who experienced night time sweats would keep a spray bottle on the side of their bed to help cool them down at night, while others would take a small spray bottle along in their purse to use as the need arose.

In Dr. Berkowsky’s Spiritual PhytoEssencing, Peppermint has a strong theme of sympathy.  A sensitivity to other people’s feelings.  The Peppermint individual wants to give and receive love.  It can be a good remedy in cases of death & grieving especially when the spouse who has been lost was the only person they could talk to.

Reference
Steffen Arctander, Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin, 1960
Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils ©1998-2018 Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc.
Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy, Healing Arts Press, 2001
Ernst Guenther, The Essential Oil, Vol V, 1948 reprinted 1972
Ann Harman, Harvest to Hydrosol, IAG Botanics LLC dba botanicals, 2015
Beverley Hawkins, Essential Oils and Carriers, Aromatherapy 101, Aromatherapy 201, Aromatherapy 301, 1999-2018
Leung & Foster, Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, John Wiley & Sons, 1996
Bettina Malle & Helge Schmickl, The Essential Oil Maker’s Handbook, Spikehorn Press, 2012, 2015
Len and Shirley Price, Understanding Hydrolats Churchill Livingstone, 2004
Jeanne Rose, 374 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, Frog Ltd, 1999