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The most well-known and commonly used mint essential oils are peppermint (Mentha piperita) and spearmint (Mentha spicata). This article looks at the lesser known oils of bergamot mint (Mentha citrata) and cornmint (Mentha arvensis).
All mint essential oils are from the plant family Lamiaceae.
Bergamot mint (Mentha citrata), which is also called orange mint or Eau de Cologne mint, is different from the far more commonly used bergamot (Citrus bergamia).
Production: Steam distilled from the herb's flowers.
Aroma: Sweet, herbaceous, minty with subtle underlying citrus and floral.
Perfume/Aromatic note: Top to middle
Is bergamot mint safe to use during pregnancy? Yes, according to Plant Therapy. Consult a professional for specifics.
Is bergamot mint essential oil safe for children? Yes, according to Eden's Garden.
Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition
Bergamot Mint Essential Oil Benefits and Uses
The Heart of Aromatherapy: Use bergamot mint to support the respiratory system, clear mucous and congestion, soothe sore muscles, support digestion, ease nausea, and feel motivated and inspired. This oil's chemistry is similar to lavender and is very skin friendly. The book offers this relaxing diffuser blend:
Plant Therapy: To help calm agitated emotions, use bergamot mint in DIY body care. Or diffuse the essential oil to help clear congestion and support the respiratory system.
Breathing for Deep Sleep Oil
Blend all oils in a 1-ounce (30 ml) glass jar. Massage some of the blend into your chest, shoulders, and upper arms when sniffles or a stuffy nose are keeping you awake.
You can use this blend throughout the evening as you wind down from your day, giving the oils time to take effect even before you go to bed.
If you want to make this blend for kids over age five, take out the eucalyptus and use this recipe:
Diffuser Blend for Creative Inspiration
Source: Aromahead Newsletter
For a stock blend to use in a diffuser or personal aromatherapy inhaler, combine 50 drops bergamot mint, 25 drops rose geranium, and 25 drops yuzu in a dropper bottle. Source: Eden's Garden
Cornmint essential oil (Mentha arvensis) is also called Japanese or wild mint. Although this oil is not commonly used in holistic aromatherapy — peppermint is preferred — cornmint is a lower-cost substitute for peppermint for fragrancing and soapmaking.
Production: Steam distilled from the leaves. Because the distilled oil is about 85% menthol, most of the oil sold has been dementholized. (When buying the oil, know whether it's dementholized or not.) Much of the world's menthol comes from the cornmint plant.
Aroma: Minty, warm, and herbaceous.
Perfume/Aromatic note: Top
Is cornmint safe to use during pregnancy? Probably not. Consult a professional.
Is cornmint essential oil safe for children? Do not use on babies or young children.
Main components of dementholized cornmint:
People with cardiac fibrillation or a G6PD deficiency should avoid cornmint. Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition
Cornmint Essential Oil Benefits and Uses
375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols: Cornmint is considered a tonic stimulant and may stupefy at high doses. The oil may help relieve migraines and headaches.
The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia: Cornmint improves digestion, relieves flatulence, opens the sinuses, uplifts the mood, lessens pain, and repels insects.
Diffuse the refreshing scent of cornmint to awaken the senses, sharpen
focus, and spark optimism. The oil has a cooling effect in massage oil
blends for muscles and joints. To support digestion, use this essential
oil in an inhaler.
Base Formula: Cornmint can help soothe itching, rashes, and eczema and also assist in the healing of wounds. This refreshing, stimulating oil promotes alertness and concentration and is useful in alleviating fatigue and shock. Cornmint essential oil may help relieve digestive upsets, respiratory problems, headaches, migraines, and muscle aches and pains.
Cooling Foot Spray
Mix all ingredients into a 4-ounce spray bottle. Shake well before use. Store in the refrigerator for an even cooler effect.
Note: You may want to add a solubilizer to blend the essential oils with the carriers.
Queasy Tummy Rub
In a 10-ml roller bottle combine:
To use, apply to the abdomen and and massage in a clockwise direction.
Source: Rocky Mountain Oils
Photo Credits: Bergamot mint by Magnus Manske, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Cornmint by AnemoneProjectors, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.