homemade peppermint oil

The Damsel went out to her herb garden and shook her head in dismay. As usual, the peppermint was out of control.

Why can’t the cilantro grow like that? The Damsel can think of many delicious solutions to an out-of-control-cilantro problem. But what do you do with peppermint?

The Damsel has used a leaf or two in lemonade, and she’s even made tea with it. That’s nice. But a leaf or two hardly puts a dent in the mint population currently at the Damsel’s cottage.

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Lo and behold she discovered peppermint oil has a lot of uses. People use it to cure nausea, indigestion, cold symptoms, headaches, muscle and nerve pain,  stomach and especially bowel conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. And that’s just the beginning. Apparently mice and ants hate it, so a person could get rid of the little critters without poison or snapping traps.

It can be expensive. A little 4 oz. bottle costs about $10. So what would Grandma do? Peppermint, meet oil. Oil, meet peppermint.

The Damsel grabbed a few big handfuls, yanked them right out by the roots. A person could cut the mint and let it keep growing, but the whole point of this was to reduce the mint population explosion.

She washed it and stripped leaves from the stems. Another person could have used stems and all, but the Damsel has so much mint she can use just the leaves and feel perfectly good about it.

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Find a handy jar. A pint canning jar will do, or a small salsa jar with a tight lid. Use it to measure vegetable oil into a pan. Heat to 160 degrees. The Damsel discovered that 160 is nothing to a pan of oil. It won’t even act hot yet at that temp.

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The Damsel would like to announce that if you mention the dirty burner felony in the above picture, she will not take it kindly.

Chop the mint a bit. The more cut edges, the more minty goodness will ooze into the oil.

IMG_2924Stuff the cut mint into the jar–the one you measured the oil with. Fill it nice and full. It can be pretty tight, but not cram-packed.

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When the oil is warmed, pour it into the jar, filling it as full as is practical. No need to worry about head space or breathing room. You aren’t going to process it or freeze it or anything.

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Poke it a bit to get air bubbles out but don’t fuss.

IMG_2939Screw on the lid and put it away in a dark place for a month. A MONTH???? The Damsel hates waiting. But some things take time.

If you live local to the Damsel, come on over and get a start of mint for your own garden. Permit her a cruel chuckle as she contemplates the eventual overrun of your garden. Unless, of course, you are smarter than she was and plant it in a pot.

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24 thoughts on “homemade peppermint oil

  1. I love mint plants, but I’ve never had much luck with container gardening it, and I don’t have a plot of land at the moment. I’ve heard that’s common–that mint doesn’t grow as well when you don’t give it space to take over. If I lived farther up your direction, though, I’d grab a bit and try it anyway, though. I’ve never tried with an already-started plant.

    Awesome post, as always.

  2. Is this peppermint essential oil? What kind of preparation would one use to make candy? We have used it for headaches before and paid the $10. Too bad we didn’t go to Old School back then. 🙂

    • From what the Damsel has been told, this process does yield essential oil. Did it work for your headache?

      She’ll look into using it for making candy. There has to be a way, right?

      • Gil is the one with the headaches and he used it quite a few times. Its subtle, calming and sort of a distraction from the pain.

  3. Hum…too bad I bought a new bottle of it not long ago. I would have come over to get a bottle started if I’d only known. :^)

  4. Hello Damsel! I read Erica’s comment on Facebook and for some reason thought it was her blog, but I realize now it’s YOURS. I love it- you have great ideas! We would love you to do a post next Sunday the 7th if you would like, that peppermint oil one would be awesome but you can do whatever you want (if you want) Anyways, have a great night! Just email me at http://www.oneshetwoshe.com and let me know!

    Thanks
    Jessica
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

  5. I don’t think this is an essential oil, which takes a chemical process to extract the oil from the leaves, but it is an infused oil. I suspect it is not as strong as the essential oil, but I am not sure. This brings me to my question…..
    how do you use this oil?

    Haha…..why can’t cilantro…….? Well, it can’t do this because it is a cool weather annual, which bolts and sets seed as soon as it gets hot, then dies. However, there will be cilantro everywhere the next season. (at least in the South Texas heat) Does it self sow readily in your climate?

    • The Damsel is pretty sure you’re right about this, although the website where she got the directions (she looked at several to get her method) called it essential oil. Infused sounds more correct.

      And…the cilantro…haven’t seen it reseed at all, but then again it mostly gets eaten before it has a chance.

      • Yeah, if it is harvested right up to a freeze, then it won’t re-seed. We seldom have a freeze before it goes to seed (down here in the sub tropics). LOL.

    • Hi Elisa!
      Come on over for starts! Glad you like the blog. Come back every other day or so for another dosage, LOL.

  6. I want some… I’ve been meaning to ask you for a start for a while now. I just have to find a good place to put it…

    • Good question! I’m planning to do a follow up post in a month, when my mint oil will be finished…and I’ll look into that.

  7. Pingback: peppermint oil…a month later « Old School

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