Everyone knows about Lavender essential oil and how it helps pretty much everything, but there are many essential oils that have long histories around the world that little is known about, even in the aromatherapy world.
This plant has had many names throughout the years. It is also called Japanese mint, Chinese mint, field mint, wild mint, Canadian mint, and American corn mint.
Most often, outside of aromatherapy, it is called Wild Mint. It is part of the Lamiaceae family of plants and its main use is to flavour sweets. It has that very strong minty taste that is used in the extra strong mints, so much ‘mintier’ than peppermint. This is due to the menthol content in the oil, which can be as high as 86%.
Latin name: Mentha arvensis
Synonyms: Japanese mint, Field mint
Plant family: Lamiaceae
Extraction: Distillation of the fresh flowering herb
Origin: China, Japan, Europe, India, Siberia and the Himalayas
Cornmint is a rather fragile herb and is one of many mint varieties. It grows to around 2 feet high and the essential oil is prolific in the leaf. The lance shaped leaves develop from whorls at the tops of the stems. Always check the Latin name when buying mint to ensure that the correct oil is purchased, as there are other mints such as peppermint, catmint, spearmint etc. that all have very different properties to each other even though they are all mints.
The essential oil of Cornmint is a pale yellow-green oil with a strongly penetrating grassy, minty, fresh aroma. The first thing that hits your nose, is extra-strong mint! It really is quite breathtakingly refreshing and uplifting.
Traditionally, Cornmint essential oil has been used throughout history, since ancient times for digestive problems of all varieties. It was also very popular for helping to treat toothache, headache and cramp. In Chinese medicine, according to ancient texts it was used to treat sore throats, head colds, earache, tumours and skin conditions. It was also used as natural nausea preventative for pregnant women and also as a treatment for liver problems. Interestingly it was also used to treat measles! Maybe this is because Cornmint essential oil is a great oil for helping to take away pain and itching and heat.
Cornmint essential oil has a wide range of therapeutic uses today, and is an extremely versatile essential oil. Some of these properties are that it is anaesthetic (takes pain away almost instantly), anti-migraine, antispasmodic (good for cramps), digestive, expectorant (brings up phlegm), mucolytic (breaks down mucus), nerve tonic and stimulant. It is used mainly to help migraine, neuralgia, bronchitis, sinusitis, colic, herpes, indigestion, nausea, colitis, IBS, tumours, apathy and nervous conditions.
Cornmint essential oil blends really well with oils such as Ho, Sandalwood, Lavender and Basil.
As far as I know there are no known contra-indications. However, because of the high menthol content (around 80%), the oil should not be used neat on the skin in case of reaction or taken internally. Also, menthol can set solid. If this happens, warm the bottle gently in your hands.
As I mentioned above, Cornmint essential oil is really high in menthol. Menthol is a really cooling and pain-relieving molecule, and this is what makes Cornmint so effective – the menthol, once inside the body, encourages the nervous system to send messages to the brain that block the way the brain interprets temperature and pain. This produces a cooling sensation making it a wonderful oil to help relieve hot, painful sensations, such as arthritic flare-ups and hot flushes.
Because of the menthol, Cornmint essential oil can also give relief from sunburn and headaches and is also very uplifting and mentally stimulating. Menthol also helps the body by encouraging blood vessels to dilate. This helps to increase the blood flow to injured or inflamed parts of the body.
Cornmint essential oil also contains limonene, a terpene with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and pinene which provides added anti-inflammatory benefits and increased mood enhancement.
So, if you want an all-natural cure-all for many of the most common health problems, such as headaches, colds, sore throats, and poor moods, this oil is perfect. Add it to your essential oil box and discover why it was so vital to ancient cultures around the world.
NB – since menthol is so cooling, I don’t recommend you use more than 2 drops in a bath. It will make you very cold regardless of how hot your water is.
Penny Price Aromatherapy has several blends including Cornmint essential oil. Three of these products are Nurture Clarity, Nurture Courage and Cool Rollerball.
Because Cornmint essential oil is so cooling yet stimulating to the mind, I decided many years ago to create a blend using this oil to help my friends and clients think and learn clearly. So, I made Clarity for a lotion, a massage oil and also as a pure essential oil blend for the bath and vaporisers. Clarity is a relaxing, clearing blend, used to balance head tension,
clear migraines, headaches and hangovers, give focus to apathy and confusion, and to give a feeling of clarity and well-being. With Lavandin, Cornmint, Basil and Roman Chamomile essential oils, I think I have made a sassy little blend to promote clear thinking and decision making.
Because we all need a little confidence and courage these days, this little blend of pure and natural essential oils is perfect to carry round in your pocket for those self-doubt moments! The is designed to help increase confidence and courage without aggression and should be inhaled regularly for a spiritually strengthening and to ensure a confident, grounding effect. I used Lavandin, Melissa, Cornmint and Basil essential oils to create this uplifting and strengthening product.
Roll-off the blush – this lovely little rollerball is for when your body comes over with a heatwave/hot-flush, to help cool you down. With a blend of 100% natural pure essential oils with a carrier, to help you in your times of need, Cool, is a blend of essential oils which include Lavandin, Cornmint, Roman Chamomile and Clary Sage. Perfect for the menopause.
Recipes and ways to use Cornmint Essential Oil – all products available from Penny Price Aromatherapy
The Little Sassy Blend
To stay self-confident, courageous and in control. In a 10ml dropper bottle use the recipe below:
3ml Cornmint essential oil
3ml Basil essential oil
3ml Lavandin Super essential oil
1ml Sweet Orange essential oil
Blend all the oils well in the bottle and push in the dropper cap. Use up to 8 drops at a time in a vaporiser, or use on a tissue to carry round with you when needed.
No Aches or Pains Blend
For an effective pain relieving body lotion. In a 100ml jar with cap use the recipe below:
80ml Blending Cream Base
12ml Aloe Vera Gel
1ml Lavender High Altitude essential oil
1ml Roman Chamomile essential oil
1ml Cornmint Essential oil
(30 drops is 1ml from a Penny Price Aromatherapy essential oil bottle)
Put the Blending Cream, Aloe Vera Gel and Arnica in a small basin and whisk together. Add the essential oils and stir well, then transfer to the jar, clean the edges and put the lid on. Use during the day whenever needed on painful areas of the body.
Menopause Magic Moments
This recipe will help you to keep your hot flushes under control. In a 100ml jar use the following recipe:
90mls Aloe Vera Gel
5mls Rosehip oil
4mls Rose hydrolat
8 drops Cornmint essential oil
8 drops Peppermint essential oil
7 drops Lavender High Altitude essential oil
7 drops Sandalwood essential oil
Put the Aloe Vera Gel into the 100ml jar and stir round to soften. Add the rosehip and stir again, then add the hydrolat and mix well. Finally add the essential oils in the order they are written in the recipe and stir well. Clean the edges of the pot and put on the lid. Use as needed on the back of the neck and chest throughout the day and before going to bed.
Feel that Zing Shower Gel
This is a really invigorating way to start your zingy day! In a 100ml bottle with pump top blend the following recipe:
99ml Shower Gel Base or Bath Foam Base
15 drops Cornmint essential oil
8 drops Lavandin Super essential oil
7 drops Bergamot essential oil
Put the bath foam into a small bowl and add the essential oils. Stir really well and then, using a funnel, put the blend into the bottle and apply the lid. This can take some time so be patient! Use first thing in your morning shower.
I do hope that you try out the wonderful Cornmint essential oil – if you have any questions about Cornmint essential oil or the recipes in this Blog please don’t hesitate to contact us.