Peppermint is a cooling, relaxing herb that contains properties that help ease inflamed tissues, calm muscle spasms or cramps, and inhibit bacteria and microorganisms. It also has pain-relieving and infection-preventing qualities.The medicinal parts of peppermint are derived from the whole plant, and include a volatile oil, flavonoids,phenolic acids, and triterpenes. The plant is primarily cultivated for its oil, which is extracted from the leaves of the flowering plant.
The essential oil contains the principal active ingredients of the plant: menthol, menthone, and menthyl acetate. Menthyl acetate is responsible for peppermint’s minty aroma and flavor. Menthol, peppermint’s main active ingredient, is found in the leaves and flowering tops of the plant. It provides the cool sensation of the herb.
The menthol content of peppermint oil determines the quality of its essential oil. This varies depending upon climate, habitat, and where the peppermint is grown. For instance, American peppermint oil contains 50–78% menthol, while English peppermint oil has a menthol content of 60–70%. Japanese peppermint oil contains 85% menthol. Peppermint and its oils help with intestinal function.Peppermint also contains vitamins A and C, magnesium, potassium , inositol, niacin, copper, iodine ,silicon, iron , and sulfur .