In the past decade, people are becoming increasingly interested in using oils and extracts to bake and create aromatherapy items. It’s far better than purchasing items with a whole host of additives thrown into the mix.
Peppermint oil is considered to be far stronger than peppermint extract, this makes it a popular choice for making candles, body oils, and soaps. Peppermint extract, on the other hand, is diluted, and typically used for making fudge, cookies and candies.
There is however, a great deal to learn when it comes to oils and extracts, and there are thousands out there too.
One of the most popular oils and extracts you’ll find is peppermint. Peppermint is renowned for its health benefits, and is considered to be excellent for the digestive system.
Depending on what you plan on making with your peppermint, you’ll need to decipher whether you require oil or extract.
Although both come from the same leaf, they vary greatly in terms of strength. It also depends on whether you’re using it for baking, or for making aromatherapy items or candles. So, which of these is the strongest, peppermint oil, or extract?
If you’ve found yourself asking these questions, then don’t worry, you’re not alone. Below we’ve compiled a handy guide that will give you all of the information you need to know about these two different items.
To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look.
What Is Peppermint Oil?
Now, before we jump straight into the titular question outlined above, it’s a good idea to cover what peppermint oil is.
Peppermint oil is considered to be an essential oil. As many of you will already know, essential oils tend to be very concentrated.
Oftentimes, when being used for aromatherapy purposes, they require diluting, so that they’re not too strong or harsh on the skin.
Peppermint oil is made from extracting the essential oils from the peppermint leaves. Essential oils are basically the things which give an item its specific odor.
The peppermint leaves will be soaked until they release all of their essential oils, then they’re bottled ready for use.
What Is Peppermint Extract?
So, now that we’ve covered what peppermint oil is made up of, we can move on to discuss peppermint extract. Many of you will have found this ingredient in recipes.
Peppermint extract is usually used for baking. Some of our favorite treats such as peppermint fudge, peppermint cookies, and peppermint candy canes will all use extract.
Extract differs from peppermint essential oil, as it’s far more diluted. It will have been watered down with either alcohol, if taken from the leaf itself, or with water, if taken from the essential oil.
So How Do They Differ From One Another?
As we mentioned above, peppermint oil is far stronger than peppermint extract. In fact, it’s about four times as strong.
This means that it’s not suitable for baked goods, as they’d probably taste repulsive. It’s also harmful to consume too much peppermint in its essential form.
You can however, make peppermint extract from peppermint oil itself. The process is very easy, and all you need to do is dilute a portion of the essential oil with some water.
Just like essential oil, peppermint extract can also be made directly from the leaf.
Unlike peppermint oil however, which is completely pure and doesn’t contain any additional ingredients, peppermint extract will use alcohol to dilute it. By doing this, it isn’t as strong.
What Are The Risks Of Consuming Peppermint Oil?
As we mentioned above, peppermint oil should not be taken orally, or used in baking. It’s too strong and can pose some potentially harmful problems.
Some of the side effects of consuming peppermint oil include vomiting, nausea, and heartburn. In addition, if this oil is taken in large quantities, it can actually be toxic despite its natural origins.
This is why it’s always important to make sure that you’ve diluted it properly if you’re planning on making it yourself.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Peppermint Oil?
Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the key takeouts regarding peppermint oil, we can move on to discuss the health benefits it poses.
Peppermint oil has actually been known to improve skin and hair. You’ll often find this oil in beauty products, and it’s well known for being able to improve the quality of hair.
It’s also been linked to making hair grow at a faster rate.
As well as this, peppermint oil is also good for reducing itching. So, if you have eczema, or another skin condition that’s causing you to itch, this may help to relieve the symptoms.
Peppermint oil is also renowned for treating IBS. Many people who suffer from the uncomfortable symptoms displayed by this condition will use peppermint in order to relieve their symptoms.
It can help to relax the stomach muscles, as well as decrease pain in the GI tract, and act as an anti-inflammatory.
To sum up, peppermint oil is far stronger than peppermint extract. Peppermint oil has been taken directly from the leaf itself, and doesn’t contain any additional ingredients to dilute it.
Peppermint extract, on the other hand, contains water, which has been added to the oil in order to make it safe for consumption.
You can also make peppermint extract using alcohol to dilute the potency of the leaf.
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