Some of us recently had the pleasure of taking a “field” trip to a Peppermint/Spearmint farm. It’s always fun to spend time with co-workers in a different environment and being outside in the sun, was an added bonus. We were in beautiful fields where Peppermint and Spearmint are grown for essential oil. Much mint is now grown in the United States. In fact the US is one of the largest producers of mint.
Naturally, we all had to pick some sprigs and smell the wonderful aroma of fresh-from-the-field mint. It’s so uplifting and invigorating. Chris Jones, the owner of Plant Therapy, was there with his associates as well. They often personally go to farms where the oils are grown to check the quality of the plants and the practices of the farmers. They also like to look at the sustainability of the farms.
Chris Jones speaking to the farmer while the Peppermint distills
There is something about being in a field or garden that Is very grounding and pleasing to the senses. It brings one back to the earth and our dependence on it. We all were enjoying slowing down for a moment and learning about these wonderful, useful herbs. We know that Peppermint is strong and helpful with many things. In my opinion it is a must have, as it is great for physical issues as well as emotional. Plant Therapy has two Peppermint essential oils, from two different places in the world! One is grown in the US and the other is grown India. Although they can address similar issues, they have a slightly different scent.
Peppermint is cooling and can help sore muscles and joints, due to overexertion. It is better for a localized area, rather than a whole-body application. It is good for head and neck tension and congestion. I look at Peppermint with fondness, because it turned my husband from skeptical about essential oils, to someone who now asks me, “Can I use some of your Peppermint? I have a headache.” Peppermint is useful for digestive issues and has calmed my tummy in many situations. Even just smelling it, has at times done the trick for me. It is also uplifting and energizing. Peppermint essential oil is not a KidSafe essential oil, and we recommend that it be used on those ages 10 and up.
KidSafe Spearmint Essential Oil Mentha spicata is the more subtle relative of Peppermint and sometimes overlooked. but it too is a gem. It also can help with tummy issues, head and neck tension and discomfort as well. But according to essential oil expert Robert Tisserand, Spearmint is a more sedating, while Peppermint is stimulating. They are both uplifting, but in the evening I would be more likely to use Spearmint than Peppermint if needed, so as to not keep me awake. I also love that Spearmint is KidSafe.
The finished product of Peppermint essential oil and hydrosol
Any essential oil is very concentrated and requires a lot of plant material. In this case, it takes 1 acre of Peppermint to make approximately 1 lb of essential oil! This demonstrates just how powerful each drop can be. As we watched the collecting of the plant material with a swather coils and pipes and huge vats doing their distillation magic, and then the finished product, we certainly had an appreciation for the hard work that goes into each little bottle. This is a precious and abundant crop that offers such versatility of uses.
What are your uses for Peppermint and Spearmint?