Plant Parts Used

Leaf or stem — essential oil is distilled from the aerial parts. CHEMICAL COMPONENTS

Peppermint leaves contain about 2.5% essential oil, 19% total polyphenols compounds, 12% total flavonoid compounds (eriocitrin, luteolin-7-O-rutinoside, hesperidoside) and 7% total hydroxycinnamic compounds (including rosmarinic acid) (Duband et al 1992). The biochemistry, organisation, and regulation of essential oil metabolism in the epidermal oil glands of peppermint have been defined and research is underway to create 'super' transgenic peppermint plants with improved oil composition and yield (Wildung & Croteau 2005).

Essential oil Over 100 constituents have been identified in peppermint oil. The principal constituents are menthol (35-55%), menthones (10-35%), isomenthone, menthyl acetate, menthofuran and cineole. To comply with the European Pharmacopoeia, the oil must not contain more than 4% pulegone and not more than 1 % carvone.

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