|INCI: ||Mentha suaveolens|
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APPLE MINTMentha suaveolens (Lamiacee)
Origin: Italy (Sicilia)
Also called "Wooly mint", botanically, this rare and specific variety of mint that should not be confused with common mint. It is an aromatic perennial herbaceous plant that grows up to ninety centimetres tall, with an erect, hairy trunk with few branches, grey-green rough, velvety oblong leaves and pink-white flowers gathered in fragrant clusters.
A somewhat sporadic species, in Europe it grows wild in certain Mediterranean areas.
The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the whole fresh flowering plant (the yield is very poor) and is a transparent, pale yellow liquid with a penetrating, minty-bitter scent that at times recalls the sourness of an unripe apple or even pineapple pulp. It combines well with the essential oils of: Buchu, Calamus, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Marjoram, Oregano, other Mint oils and Benzoin absolute.
(according to popular herbalist tradition)
Mentha villosa boasts a truly ancient herbalist tradition: Hippocrates considered it an aphrodisiac while Pliny had already identified its analgaesic properties.
Normally used as a condiment, in folk medicine it was used to prevent cataracts, to facilitate sleep, to calm pain from renal and biliary colic, to fight bad breath and even to reawaken sexual desire.
It used to be scattered in granaries to keep mice away as they seem to be repelled by its smell.
Essential oil of Mentha villosa, a product as extraordinary as it is rare and precious, is non-toxic and non-irritating (except in high concentrations). It has analgaesic, antifermentative, antimycotic, antispasmodic, antiseptic and carminative properties.
Recent studies conducted in the U.S.A. (published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information) have scientifically proven the excellent action carried out by this essential oil in the treatment of some forms of vaginal mycosis, including Candidiasis above all.
It is mainly used in pharmaceutical formulations and less often in cosmetics.