Mentha Piperita has a high concentration of natural pesticides, mainly pulegone (found mainly in Mentha arvsis var. piperascens cornmint, field mint, Japanese mint, and to a lesser extent (6,530 ppm) in Mentha Ã— piperita subsp. nothosubsp. piperita) and menthone.It is known to repel some pest insects, including mosquitos, and has uses in organic gardening.The chemical composition of the essential oil from peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.) was analyzed by GC/FID and GC-MS. The main constituents were menthol (40.7%) and menthone (23.4%). Further components were (+/-)-menthyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, limonene, beta-pinene and beta-caryophyllene.
Research and health effects
Mentha Piperita is under preliminary research for its potential as a short-term treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, and has supposed uses in traditional medicine for minor ailments. Peppermint oil and leaves have a cooling effect when used topically for muscle pain, nerve pain, relief from itching, or as a fragrance. High oral doses of peppermint oil (500 mg) can cause mucosal irritation and mimic heartburn. As an aroma, peppermint may have memory- and alertness-enhancing properties.
Medicinal uses of peppermint have not been approved as effective or safe by the US Food and Drug Administration. With caution that the concentration of the peppermint constituent, pulegone, should not exceed 1% (140 mg), peppermint preparations are considered safe by the European Medicines Agency when used in topical formulations for adult subjects. Undiluted peppermint essential oil is safe for oral intake when only a few drops are used.