An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile (easily evaporated at normal temperatures) compounds from plants. Essential Oils are our nature’s best kept secret and are also referred to as ‘essences’. These oils are botanical extracts of various plant materials such as flowers, herbs, roots, leaves, etc. Each contains its mix of active ingredients which determine what purpose the oil is used for. An essential oil is essential in the sense that it contains the natural chemicals that give the plant its “essence” (specific odor and flavor)—the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived. Making of a steam distilled essential oil is a traditional and the best technique till date that produces the best quality and highly therapeutic oil.
The aroma of Peppermint Essential Oil is familiar and pleasant to most. Peppermint Oil is very intense and is far more concentrated than most other steam distilled essential oils. Peppermint Essential Oil is rich in antiseptic and antibacterial properties and is widely known for its purifying properties. At low dilutions, it is fresh, minty and quite uplifting. Emotionally, Peppermint Essential Oil is stimulating and is a good choice for inclusion in blends intended to help enhance alertness and stamina. Peppermint essential oil is used topically (applied to the skin) for headache, muscle aches, itching, common cold, headaches, and other conditions., Peppermint oil is safe for topical application, however, dilution with a carrier oil is necessary. When ingested, Peppermint essential oil promotes healthy respiratory function and clear breathing & promotes digestive health. For using Peppermint Oil for hair, diluting it with a carrier oil and applying it on hair helps in promoting hair growth by stimulating hair follicles and increasing blood circulation.
Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with cold-pressed oils to minimize any skin sensitivity.
Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
Internal use: Dilute one drop in about 100 ml food/ liquid.
Cooking with Essential Oils - Cooking with Essential oils is just not about adding flavor to the food but also bringing in health benefits and of course the convenience when fresh ingredients are not available. Steam distilled essential oils are best to consume. Steam distillation technique produces much lower yield of oil making a bottle of oil highly expensive in front of the flavoring synthetics available in the market. Essential oils are highly volatile & heat sensitive as cooking evaporates essential oil due to the steam so always add essential oil to the recipe after you have taken it off the heat to get the best flavour & nutrition with least drops. However for recipes that call for baking – add while making the batter only. Just add a few drops extra as heating tends to decrease the aroma & nutrition but some amount will be retained.
Precautions - A drop of essential oil is extracted from more than 100 long leaves of a plant therefore these are very powerful and concentrated oil and hence should always be used under proper guidance. Doses of essential oils vary for prevention and cure and also depend on the age, body constitution and health of the individual. Keep it out of reach of children. Avoid its neat contact with skin. Do not swallow without diluting it.