Peppermint extract is an herbal extract of peppermint (Mentha x piperita) made from the essential oils of peppermint leaves. It is commonly used in cooking, as a dietary supplement, as an herbal or alternative medicine, and as a pest repellent. The liquid is obtained by extracting the oils from dried or fresh leaves and the flowering tops of the plant using alcohol and is commonly sold in 1 oz. or 4 oz. bottles.
Uses in cooking
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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.
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.
Peppermint extract may also be added to hot water to create peppermint tea.
Medicinal uses of peppermint extract are well-documented, however the efficacy of most applications is only beginning to be tested in clinical trials.
Peppermint extract is commonly used to soothe symptoms of the common cold and the flu, and as a digestive aid to relieve bloating and flatulence. It is an anti-inflammatory which be used to treat arthritis and rheumatism. It may be used to aid in the relief of pain from menstrual cramps and headaches. Additionally, peppermint oil may be an effective remedy for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. It is also used as a natural remedy for toothache.
Use as a pest repellent
Peppermint oil is commonly used to repel ants, flying insects, and rodents.
Use as a physical performance enhancer
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