Peppermint extract

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peppermint extract is a herbal extract of peppermint (Mentha × piperita) made from the essential oil of peppermint leaves. Peppermint is a hybrid of water mint and spearmint.[1] The oil has been used for various purposes over centuries.[1]

Peppermint extract is commonly used in cooking, as a dietary supplement, as an herbal or alternative medicine, as a pest repellent, and a flavor or fragrance agent for cleaning products, cosmetics, mouthwash, chewing gum, and candies.[1][2] Its active ingredient menthol causes a cold sensation when peppermint extract is consumed or used topically. There is insufficient evidence to conclude it is effective in treating any medical condition.[1][3]


Peppermint extract is obtained through steam distillation, solvent extraction, and soxhlet extraction.[citation needed]


Peppermint extract is commonly used as a flavoring agent; it is also used in alternative medical treatments, although there is no sufficient evidence that peppermint extract is effective in treating any medical condition.[1][3] Moderate levels can be safely mixed into food items, or applied topically, sprayed on surfaces as a household cleaner, or inhaled using aromatherapy.[1] However, the menthol in peppermint oil may cause serious side effects in children and infants if inhaled.[1] Peppermint oil may have adverse interactions with prescription drugs.[3]

Uses in cooking[edit]

Peppermint extract can be used to add a peppermint flavor to baked goods, desserts, and candy, particularly candy canes, mints, and peppermint patties. Extracts for cooking may be labeled as pure, natural, imitation, or artificial. While pure and natural extracts contain peppermint oil specifically, imitation and artificial extracts generally use a mix of ingredients to achieve a flavor resembling peppermint.[4]

Peppermint extract can be substituted in recipes with peppermint oil (a stronger ingredient primarily used in candy-making), crème de menthe, or peppermint schnapps. If the food is not heated, the alcoholic properties of liqueurs may remain present in the finished product.[5]

Peppermint extract may also be added to hot water to create peppermint tea.[6]

Use as a pest repellent[edit]

Peppermint oil is commonly used to repel ants, flying insects, rodents, and spiders.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Peppermint". National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, US National Institutes of Health. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2023.
  2. ^ "Peppermint oil: Synopsis of information". United States Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. 1949. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Peppermint". 24 June 2023. Retrieved 7 September 2023.
  4. ^ "Your Guide to Peppermint Extract, the Hint of Mint You Find Everywhere in Holiday Baking". Simply Recipes. Retrieved 2022-04-25.
  5. ^ "Can I substitute creme de menthe for peppermint extract? |". From Hunger To Hope. 2021-07-22. Retrieved 2022-04-25.
  6. ^ "Peppermint Oil : Benefits, Uses, How to Use, Cautions - Gyalabs". Retrieved 2022-04-25.
  7. ^ Douglas, E. (2017). "How to use peppermint oil for pest control".