Cold Shoulders, or How to Cope in Summer
I love history. And whenever there’s a new fragrance to consider, my initial move is to find out about its background; how it was used, how far back, and why. So it is with peppermint.
Before I tell you why I love this particular essential oil, you need to know how old the stuff is. In the fourth century BC, peppermint was considered to be an aphrodisiac. Alexander the Great allegedly refused to allow his troops to consume it because he was afraid it encouraged erotic thoughts and reduced a man’s desire to fight. Goodness, that’s powerful stuff.
Three hundred years later, Greeks and Romans were adding it to their sauces and wines and using it as an adornment.
There’s mention of peppermint in 13th century Icelandic medical journals but medicinally, there’s no record of its use in Europe until some 500 years later. Peppermint was used to relieve cholera and is still employed to soothe flus, colds, and some ailments of the nervous system. At one time, ‘hysteria’ was to be treated with peppermint. You have to wonder why the world hasn’t run out of the oil based on that last ailment alone.
When I think of Middle Eastern hospitality, my mind goes straight to mint tea. It’s just what they do, believing too that the mint enhances virility.
What I love about peppermint is its ability to make your skin cold. When you’re eating a mint and drink water, the water feels so much colder.
When you use jane’s short & sweet Peppermint Sugar Scrub during the summer, the essential oil that lingers on your skin keeps you cooler as you move through the sweltering day. It’s my favorite aroma for the hottest part of the year. And using it in your morning shower is a great way to help awaken for the day!
And are you ready for why???
Receptors in your mouth and on your skin’s surface are triggered by the menthol, which is the chemical in mint. These “transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 8’s” (or TRPM8 receptors) send cold signals to the brain and fool us into feeling cooler. How fantastic is that?
Here’s to a great start to summer, armed with a little more history, science and sugar scrub under our belts.