INTRODUCTION

Mentha Oil is an essential oil concentrate derived from oil yielding plants high in menthol content, such as sunflower oil, menthe piperita or peppermint, mentha pulegium or pennyroyal, mentha aquatica or water mint etc. It has unique cooling characteristics and a residual minty smell. Because of this reason, besides vanilla and citrus, it is the third most popular flavoring agent in the world. Although pure mentha oil is known to be toxic and a single spoonful of it may be fatal to an adult.

PROPERTIES & HEALTH BENEFITS

Mentha oil is a colorless or white essential oil which brings a lasting fresh feeling to the mouth and nose. Mentha when extracted from peppermint in crystalline form remains solid at temperatures below twenty eight or thirty eight degree Celsius.

Mentha oil has many health and therapeutic benefits. It is used widely to treat various illnesses related to the digestive and respiratory systems. It has antibacterial and antiseptic properties which help rid the human body of bacteria and antibodies. It is also useful for its antispasmodic gastro sedative and miorelaxant properties. For the respiratory system it works as a decongestant and anti-inflammatory agent.

PROCUREMENT

Mentha oil is derived from leaves of mentha rich plants using a steam distillation process. Usually plants rich in mentha are cultivated from the period starting December and harvested in March-April. Plants from the mint family are seasonal and may be harvested twice or thrice in a single season. Once the crop reaches the flowering stage oil is extracted from leaves and flowers.

USES

Mentha oil is useful for the following purposes:

A raw material in pharmaceutical industry

Flavoring agent in beverage manufacturing industry

Flavoring agent for culinary products (candies, gums, desserts)

Manufacturing of cigarettes

Mouthwash and toothpaste manufacturing

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