Peppermint essential oil is gradually becoming a household name in Nigeria and we are going to teach you how to make one at home. A lot of people are beginning to see the benefits of using peppermint oil and the craving for it is increasing day by day.
Peppermint essential oil is a herbal extract of peppermint made from the mint leaves, its botanical name is Mentha × Piperita and it belongs to the family of Mint. Its uses are enormous and cannot be overemphasized and that is why we at Great Homemaking are here to teach you about the uses of Peppermint essential oil and how you can source and make your own at home either for personal use or for commercial purposes.
What are the Uses of Peppermint Essential Oil?
- Treatment of Digestive Issues: Peppermint oil is known to be effective in the treatment of digestive issues like bloating and indigestion. It acts as antispasmodic and relaxes the smooth muscles in the intestine thereby reducing the symptoms of bloating and gas and bloating. It can be taken orally or dropped in hot water with lemon and ginger.
- Relief from Cold, Headache, and Muscle Pain: Peppermint is a natural decongestant. It contains menthol and menthol helps to relieve blocked sinuses and congested airways which are common symptoms of a cold. Peppermint is also used to relieve headaches. Rub on your hands and massage your temples, the back of your neck, your shoulders, and your chest area to relax muscle contractions which causes headaches.
- Flavoring Agents in Foods and Products: Some foods and recipes like Ice cream, sandwiches, and cookies are prepared with peppermint flavor. Products such as mouthwash and other cosmetics are also produced using peppermint oil.
- For Hair Growth: A solution of peppermint oil helps stimulate the scalp and facilitate the growth of hair. It also imparts a freshened smell and tingly sensation on the skin and scalp. Add it to your beauty products and see the magic.
- Massaging: When used to massage, Peppermint Essential oil has been found to relieve muscle spasms and flatulence, to disinfect and soothe inflamed skin, and to release muscle tension.
Where to get Peppermint Leaf in Nigeria
Mint leaf which can be used to prepare Peppermint oil should not be mistaken for our own scent leaf in Nigeria (Nchanwu, Efirin). Though they look the same, it’s not the same. Mint leaf can be found in foreign stores in Nigeria like Spar, Shoprite, and the rest. You can also order online and it will get delivered to you.
How to Prepare Peppermint Oil at Home
Before we start our journey of preparing our Peppermint oil. We need to make sure we have everything we need.
- Fresh peppermint plant leaves
- Carrier oil of your choice (more on that later)
- A small glass jar or container with a lid
- Spoon, knife, or mortar and pestle
- A small bowl
- Cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer
- Regular sized strainer or colander
Step 1: Wash and Dry your Peppermint Leaves
You must have obtained your peppermint leaves in the shop or in your garden. Separate the leaves, put it in a colander, and run water through it to remove sands and impurities. Wash thoroughly and allow the leaves to dry.
Step 2: Muddle the Leaves
Use mortar and pestle, spoon, knife or any heavy object to crush the leaves into tiny bits. Muddle with a light pressure to release the oil in the leaves but be careful not to grind the leaves too much, as this can cause them to become bitter and make them harder to strain later on.
Step 3: Transfer to a Jar and Pour Carrier Oil
Transfer the crushed leaves into a jar and pour your carrier oil inside. Carrier oil can be Olive oil, Coconut oil, Olive oil, etc. Allow the oil to submerge the leaves and cover the jar airtight.
Step 4: Allow the Oil to Sit for 48 hrs
Keep the jar airtight and keep in a dark part of the house and allow it to stay for 24-48 hours for potency.
Step 5: Strain the leaves
Use your cheesecloth or strainer to strain the leaves out from the jar. Put the cheesecloth over another jar and pour the contents on it separating the oil from the leaves.
Step 6: Muddle New Leaves and Add to the Oil
Prepare a new bunch of new mint leaves the same way you prepared the first one. Add it to oil to increase the concentration and potency. Keep repeating the process until the oil turns dark in color and gives off a strong aroma.
Boom! Your Peppermint Oil is ready. Now you know how to make Peppermint essential oil at home, you can prepare it for personal use or commercial purposes (sell and make profits). Peppermint Oil can last up to 6 months provided it’s in an airtight container and kept in a dark place.