This is another in our series of super easy, anyone can do this, make it yourself products that are way more useful than you probably think. Mint oil is not only popular in aromatherapy, cooking but even in all natural pest control. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, a natural way to rid your yard of wasps is by spraying them and their nest with mint oil.
As a medicine mint oil can be used to treat indigestion, cramps and nausea. The natural menthol in peppermint oil can be used to treat respiratory problems by helping to clear the respiratory tract. Mint oil causes a cooling sensation when applied to the skin, making it perfect for use in soaps, lotions or any other fragranced product. It is also effective in the treatment of lice and dandruff making it ideal for shampoo. Peppermint oil is also used in toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash to eliminate bad breath and treat toothaches because of its antiseptic properties. You can even apply mint oil directly to your forehead to help relieve headaches.
The amount of mint and oil depend on how much you want to make. I used a half pint jelly jar so I used about two handfuls of mint leaves. You can use both the leaves and stems, but I prefer to use just the leaves. To remove the leaves from the mint stem, hold it upside down and run your fingers along the stem top to bottom like a zipper. They should pop right off. Don’t overfill the jar. If you cram it full there is no room for the oil to get to the plant and it will just rot.
Place the leaves in the jar, use your muddler or handle of a butter to bruise the leaves. You don’t need to mush them up, you just want to get a little of the oil coming out. Use your butter knife to fluff up the leaves and then pour in your oil of choice covering the leaves. Use your butter knife to stir the mixture and make sure everything is covered in oil, then cap your jar. If it is hot outside, leave your jar outside, in the sun for two days. Give it a shake twice a day to keep it mixed up. If it is not hot out you can leave it outside or in a sunny windowsill for one month, shaking it daily. After the time has elapsed, strain the plant matter out of the oil and store in a cool, dark place for up to six months.
Thank you to my wonderful friend Laura for supplying the mint. My mint was very scraggily this year and hers always seems to come in overdrive. I used about 1/5th of what she gave me to make the oil, the rest will go to make mint syrup, mint tincture (aka extract) and I hung quite a bit of it to dry to make tea from. The shortest one of those bunches is about 12″ long.