Mentha piperita, Linne'. The dried leaves and tops with not mor than 2 p.c. of stems over 3 Mm. (1/8') thick, or other foreign organic matter.

Habitat. Asia, Europe, N. America; wild in low ground, wet places; cultivated in Japan, Germany, England, Michgan, New York, etc.

Syn. Menth. Pip.; Brandy (Lamb) Mint, Lammint, Herba Menthae Piperitae; Fr. Menthe poivree; Ger. Folia Menthae piperitae, Pfefferminzblatter.

Pi-pe-ri'ta. L. Piper, pepper -- peppery-mint -- i.e., from its aromatic burning taste.

Pep'permint -- pepper + mint -- i.e., mint with pepper properties.


Perennial herb, possibly from M. Hirsu'ta, Water Mint, by cultivation; rootstock creeping, producing long suckers by which it multiplies; stem square, purplish, .6-1.3 M. (2-4 degrees) high. Leaves, ovate-oblong, 1-9 Cm. (2/5-3 3/5') long, petiole 4-15 Mm. (1/6-3/5') long, pubescent, acute, sharply serrate, light green, purplish-brown, upper surface nearly glabrous, lower surface glandular-hairy, especially on veins; more or less crumpled and frequently detached from stems, which are quadrangular, 1-3 Mm. (1/25-1/8') thick, glabrous except for a few scattered deflexed hairs; flower-whorls in oblong (oval) spikes which are usually compact, or somewhat interrupted at base, 1-1.5 Cm. (2/5-3/5') broad rounded at summit, and in fruit 3-7 Cm. (1 1/5-2-4/5') long; bracts oblong-lanceolate, very acuminate, 4-7 Mm. (1/6-1/3') long, calyx tubular, equally 5-toothed, pubescent, glandular-punctate, often dark purplish; corolla tubular-campanulate, 4-cleft, 3 Mm. (1/8') long, often light purple; stamens 4, short; nutlets ellipsoidal, .5 Mm. (1/50') thick, blackish-brown; odor aromatic, characteristic; taste aromatic, pungent, followed by cooling sensation in the mouth. Powder, greenish -- leaf epidermis with wavy vertical walls, stomata, non-glandular hairs with papillose walls, glandular hairs with volatile oil and crystals, chlorenchyma, tracheae, parenchyma, pollen grains. Should be collected in dry weather, Aug.-Sept., when in bloom; strongest and most pungent of all mints. Solvents: alcohol; water partially. Dose, gr. 15-60 (1-4 Cm.).


Leaves chiefly of varieties of this species: (a) var. officina'lis--leaves narrower, spikes longer; (b) var. vulga'ris -- leaves broader, base more rounded, spikes more blunt and close; spearmint leaves, which may readily be distinguished from peppermint which has leaves with petioles, inflorescence thicker and more crowded, flowers larger with shorter calyx-teeth, and its own distinctive odor and taste.


English is regarded best, Japanese is consumed chiefly for obtaining menthol (50-80 p.c.), while United States produces most.


Volatile oil 1 p.c. (menthol), resin, tannin, gum, chlorophyll.

Oleum Menthae Piperitae. Oil of Peppermint, U.S.P. -- (Syn., Ol. Menth. Pip., Peppermint Oil; Fr. Essence de Menthe poivree; Ger. Pfefferminzol.). This volatile oil, distilled from the fresh, overground parts of the flowering plant and rectified by steam distillation, is a colorless liquid, strong penetrating odor of peppermint, pungent taste, followed by a senation of cold upon drawing air into the mouth; soluble in 4 vols. of 70 p.c. alcohol, showing not moe than slight opalescence and no separation of oil globules (abs. of dementholized or impure peppermint oil), sp. gr. 0.912, levorotatory; contains 16 constituents: at least 5 p.c. of esters, calculated as menthyl acetate, CHCO and 50 p.c. of total mentol, free and as esters; also acetic and isovaleric acids, acetaldehyde, isovaleric aldehyde, amyl alcohol, pinene, phellandrene, limonene, CH, menthone, CHO, menthyl isovalerate, menthyl ester, cadinene, CH, a lactone, dimethyl sulphide; the hydrocarbons holding menthol dissolved are mainly the several terpenes (English -- pinene, phellandrene, sesquiterpene; Japanese -- sesquiterpene alone) with carvene odor, the higher boiling ones, (CH,having less pleasant odor; menthol and its esters (first 2 constituents) are most important, the others occurring in small quantities, being objectionable for flavoring and removed by rectification with steam. Tests: 1. Distil oil 25 cc., collect the first 1 cc. and carefully superimpose it on 5 cc. of mercuric chloride T.S. -- no white film at zone of contact in 1 minute (abs. of dimethyl sulphide, found in non-rectified peppermint oils). Should be kept cool, dark, in well-stoppered, amber-colored bottles. Dose, mj-5 (.06-.3 cc.).


Oil of erigeron, castor oil, oil of turpentine, oil of copaiba, oil of camphor, oil of sassafras, alcohol; the first, second, and third prevent its solubility in equal volume of 80 pc. alcohol; the fourth gives buttery mass with sulphuric acid; oils of turpentine, camphor, and sassafras each render its action with iodine more violent, the two latter being red with nitric acid; dementholized oil (lower sp. gr.).

Menthol. Menthol, CHOH, U.S.P. -- Pipmenthol, Peppermint Camphor; Fr. Alcool Mentholique, Menthol Gauche, Camphre de Menthe; Ger. Mentholum, Pfefferminzkampfer, Mentha-kampfer.) This is a secondary alcohol (stearoptene), obtained from oil of peppermint or other mint oils (Japanese and Chinese oil of peppermint -- M. Arven'sis var. Piperas'cens, M. canaden'sis var. glabra'ta). It is obtained by subjecting the volatile oil simply to refrigeration at -22.2 degrees C. (-8 degrees F.), by means of ice and salt; when solidified the temperature is allowed to rise gradually, the liquid portion poured off from time to time, and the crystals deprived of oil by expression; may purify by recrystallization. It is in colorless, acicular crystals, strong peppermint-like odor and taste, with a sensation of warmth followed by cold upon drawing air into the mouth; soluble in alcohol, chloroform, ether, petroleum benzin, liquid petrolatum, fixed or volatile oils, glacial acetic acid, slightly in water; alcoholic solution neutral, levorotatory; melts at 43 degrees C. (110 degrees F.); triturated with an equal weight of either camphor, phenol, thymol, or chloral hydrate -- mixture becomes liquid; distilled with PO yields menthene, CH, is a colorless liquid of pleasant odor. Tests: 1. Heat 2 Gm. in open dish -- gradually volatilizes with residue .05 Gm. (abs. of wax, paraffin, inorganic substances). 2. Few crystals dissolved in glacial acetic acid 1 cc., + sulphuric acid 3 drops and nitric acid 1 drop -- not green (abs. of thymol). Impurities: Wax, paraffin, thymol, magnesium sulphate, inorganic substances. Should be kept cool, in well-closed containers. Dose, gr. 1-2 (.06-.13 Gm.).


Leaves And Tops

1. Spiritus Menthae Piperitae, Spirit of Peppermint. (Syn., Sp. Menth. Pip., Essence of Peppermint; Fr. Alcoolat (Essence) de Menthe poivree; Ger. (Englische) Pfefferminz (-essenz)-spiritus.)


Macerate for 1 hour peppermint leaves 1 Gm. in 50 cc. of water, strongly express; mix oil of peppermint 10 cc. in alcohol 80 cc., add macerated leaves, and alcohol q.s. 100 cc., macerate mixture for 6 hours, frequently shaking, filter. Should be kept in amber-colored bottles. Dose, mx-30 (.6-2 cc.).

Preps.: 1. Elixir Catharticum Compositum, N.F., 1.4 p.c. 2. Liquor Phosphori, N.F., p.c. 3. Mistura Rhei Alkalina, N.F., 4/5 p.c. 5. Mistura Rhei Composita, N.F., 3.5 p.c. 6. Syrupus Ficus Compositus, N.F., 3/10 p.c.


1. Aqua Menthae Piperitae. Peppermint Water. (Syn., Aq. Menth. Pip.; Fr. Eau de Menthe poivree; Ger. Pfefferminzwasser.)

Manufacture: 1/5 p.c. Similar to Aquae Menthae Viridis, page 523. Dose, 3ss-1 (15-30 cc.).

2. Spiritus Menthae Piperitae, 10 p.c. 3. Acetum Aromaticum, N.F., 1/20 p.c. 4. Cataplasma Kaolini,N.F., 1/20 p.c. 5. Elixir Euphorbiae Compositum, N.F., 1/10 p.c. 6. Gargarisma Guaiaci Compositum, N.F., 1/5 p.c. 7. Lavatio Ori, N.F., p.c. 8. Linimentum Opii Compositum, N.F., 2.5 p.c. 9. Mistura Carminativa, N.F., 1/20 p.c. 10. Mistura Chloroformi et Morphinae Composita, N.F., 1/5 p.c. 11. Oleum Hyoscyami Compositum, N.F. 1/5 p.c. 12. Pilulae Catharticae Vegetabiles, N.F., 1/8 m. 13. Pilulae Rhei Compositae, N.F., 1/18 m. 14. Tabellae Sodii Bicarbonatis, N.F., 1/20 m. MENTHOL: 1. Menthol Camphoratum, N.F., 47.5 p.c., + camphor 47.5, alcohol 5. 2. Inunctum Mentholis, N.F., 5 p.c., + hydrous wool fat 95. 3. Inunctum Mentholis Compositum, N.F., 5 p.c., + methyl salicylate 10, hydrous wool fat 85. 4. Nebula Mentholis, N.F., 2 p.c., + light liquid petrolatum q.s. 100. 5. Nebula Mentholis Composita, N.F., 1 p.c., + camphor 1, methyl salicylate 1/2, eucalyptol 1/5 oil of cinnamon 1/5, light liquid petrolatum q.s. 100. 6. Petroxolinum Mentholis, N..F., 10 p.c. 7. Dentifricium, N.F., 1/6 p.c. 8. Dentilinimentum Aconiti Compositum, N.F., 36 p.c. 9. Dentilinimentum Aconiti et Iodi Compositum, N.F., 2 -1/5 p.c. 10. Linimentum Sinapis Compositum, N.F., 2 p.c. 11. Liquor Antisepticus, N.F., 1/10 p.c. 12. Liquor Pepsini Antisepticus, N.F., 1/20 p.c. 13. Nebula Aromatica, N.F., 1/5 p.c. 14. Pulvis Antisepticus, N.F., 1/10 p.c.

Unoff. Preps.: LEAVES AND TOPS: Fluidextract, 3j-2 (4-8 cc.). Infusion, 5 p.c., 3j-2 (30-60 cc.) Syrup, 3j-4 (4-15 cc.). Troches (each contains oil 1/7 m; .009 cc.). MENTHOL: Plaster (Br.), 15 p.c., + yellow wax 10, rosin 75.


Carminative, stimulant, nervine, antispasmodic.


Spasmodic stomach and bowel pains, flatulency, nausea, cholera morbus, diarrhea, dysentery, colic, dysmenorrhea, nervous headache, hiccough, heart palpitation, vomiting, as a flavoring agent; externally the oil and menthol for rheumatism, neuralgia, toothache, antibacterial.