Peppermint oil is steam distilled from the
flowering tops of the perennial herbs, menthapiperita or mentha arvensis (aka
The principal constiuents of peppermint oil are menthol and menthone
with lesser amounts of menthyl acetate and menthofuran among others.
is mostly cultivated in Western USA (some production in India), with the bulk
of arvensis from China and India.
The arvensis plant distillates are
particularly rich in menthol.
This is extracted in varying degrees during
production resulting in different grades of peppermint oil, graded by
Peppermint essential oil is a pale yellow,
yellow/green to colourless liquid with a penetrating characteristic minty camphoraceous odour.