It’s hard not to feel happy when you think of “peppermint.” Just the word itself has a bounce and a spark that can make you feel brighter. Peppermint reminds people of ice cream, candy shops, summer days, winter treats, and chewing gum commercials. But what exactly is “peppermint”? Where did it come from?
Peppermint: A Refresher
Peppermint is part of the mint herb family and has been used throughout human history. Thought to have originated in the Mediterranean area of Africa, peppermint’s use as a medical treatment goes back several thousand years.
Greek Mythology finds “Minthe” as one of the river nymphs in one of the five rivers leading to Hades. Coming upon Minthe during one of his river runs, Hades became smitten with her. His wife, Persephone, wasn’t so pleased. She captured Minthe and turned her into a lowly weed. Hades, feeling horrible for the innocent nymph, turned the week into the peppermint plant we see today—enticing people with her sweet scent.
History is dotted with peppermint’s influence. Egyptian medical texts from 1550 BC cites its ability to calm stomach upset. Mint was so valuable in Egypt that, for a while, it was used as currency for trade. The Roman philosopher, Pliny, thought so highly of peppermint that he wanted the plant worn as a crown to “stimulate the mind and soul.”
Europe, as early as 1240 AD, used peppermint as both a culinary and medicinal herb. Early settlers introduced peppermint to Native Americans to use in medicine. And though peppermint — the herb — is edible, it is it's essential oils that are its crowning glory.
Peppermint: Essential Oil
Although most people don’t think of peppermint as an essential oil, its liquid oil form is what is used most often in both food and medicine. Peppermint essential oils are extracted from the leaves, creating a potent concentration of its scent and flavor. It’s like liquid sunshine!
Because of its popularity, peppermint has an immediately recognizable scent. Cool and soothing, peppermint oils are a must-have in any aromatherapy cache. Peppermint essential oils help to alleviate tension headaches and migraines. The Association of Migraine Disorders recognizes the use of peppermint scents in reducing the strength of migraines and easing pain.
Peppermint oil also boosts alertness and cognitive function. In a journal review of peppermint essential oils, an identified use of peppermint was as a treatment for mental fatigue and anxiety. Peppermint oil awakens the nervous system without overly stimulating it. A 2016 study found peppermint to be beneficial at clearing the mind and increasing focus.
Peppermint oils also help to lift a person’s mood. The smell of peppermint provides a quick boost of “feel-good” chemicals within the body. The fresh, sweet, and crisp scent provides a balance of calm and alertness — something everyone strives for.
Breath in the Sunshine
CalmiGo is proud to introduce peppermint as part of our scented elements collection. Peppermint’s comforting and uplifting scent is the ideal complement to your CalmiGo companion. Keep yourself alert. Keep yourself calm. Peppermint does both!