How to make peppermint oil, it’s an easy-to-grow, fast-spreading plant that many home gardeners are eager to try. But when you find yourself overrun with a lush batch of peppermint, what is a gardener to do? Preserve it in oil, and use it for home remedies!
Homemade peppermint oil isn’t as complicated as you might imagine. Even a child could do it! In fact, teaching a child how to make peppermint oil would be a fantastic homeschooling lesson or family activity.
You can use peppermint leaves from the store if you don’t grow them yourself, but peppermint is cheap and easy to grow, and it will cost far more to buy it in little packages at the store. If you can’t grow it, you may be able to buy a plant or a bundle of cut peppermint from a farmer’s market at a reasonable price, or a small peppermint plant from a garden center.
Here is what you will need:
- A bunch of fresh peppermint leaves
- A glass jar that is large enough to make the desired amount of oil, preferably one with a tight-fitting lid
- The carrier oil of your choice (any edible oil will do, and if you have olive oil, that will work just fine)
- Harvest your peppermint leaves, trimming off the ends of the stems if necessary. (Skip this step if you purchased your peppermint pre-packaged.)
- Wash the peppermint leaves, checking for dirt and bugs if they were home grown.
- Crush or chop the peppermint leaves in order to rupture the cells and release the precious peppermint oil contained in them.
- Put the crushed or chopped peppermint leaves in the jar.
- Pour in the carrier oil. Be sure to pour in enough oil to cover the leaves completely, and push the leaves down a bit if necessary.
- Put the lid on the jar and fasten it tightly, then wait at least 24 hours.
- Open the jar and pour the oil into a bowl, while straining out the old peppermint leaves.
- Crush or chop more peppermint leaves, and put them into the jar.
- Pour the oil from the bowl back into the jar, being sure to cover the new peppermint leaves.
- Repeat steps 7-9 once a day for a total of five days.
- Strain out the peppermint leaves a final time, then pour the oil back into the jar and cover tightly.
- Store your fresh peppermint oil in a cool, dark place.
Peppermint oil can be used for many things, including digestive upset, respiratory problems, stress, and dental issues. You may also want to try mixing it in with shampoo or massage oil, as peppermint is excellent for the hair and skin. Just be sure to always dilute it before using, as peppermint is a “hot” oil that can irritate sensitive skin, and always avoid touching the eyes and other mucous membrane areas of the body.
Now that you know how to make peppermint oil, you’ll never be without this amazing, powerful natural remedy!