Peppermint Oil: There are two main types of peppermint oil. One is mentha arvinses, the other mentha piperita. We sell Mentha piperita.
Mentha piperita is grown mainly in the US and Canada. Other countries do grow some. This is a complex oil. The buyers who buy most of this oil assay it. Mentha piperita assays show components as a percent of the total oil. Those components are heads, menthofuran, menthol (alcohol), ketone (menthone), liminane, pulagone, EUC, and contaminants if present. The oil is graded for color and odor. Oils from different areas will usually have different characteristics. An oil can have good assay numbers, but a bad smell. One common problem for a bad odor is weeds in the field. The oil from some weeds will end up in the mint oil. Improper distillation techniques can cause odor or color problems. Oil is put in 55 gallon (400 pound) drums at the still. Even drums of good oil from the same uniform field distilled (cooked) properly will many times have slightly different characteristics. This raw oil direct from the still is a complete mentha piperita peppermint oil.The buyers (handlers) who buy most of this oil may blend it with oils (including dementholized arvinses) from other areas and cut out parts of the oil, if necessary, to get it to particular end user specifications. These end users include gum, candy, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. manufacturers. The oil sold at Rainbow Gardens is the complete full spectum mentha piperita oil. It is grown and distilled here in Montana's Flathead Valley. Our peppermint is all single cut (cut once per year).
Mentha arvinses, also called corn mint, is grown mainly in India & China. Menthol is removed from this oil to make menthol crystals. The by product is dementholized mint oil (DMO). This is still peppermint oil and comes into the US for a price the fraction of US grown mentha piperita. The low price of mentha arvinses is a big factor in the use of arvinses in peppermint blends. We do not sell mentha arvinses.
Spearmint Oil: Two types of spearmint oil are Scotch (mentha cardiaca) and Native (mentha spicata). Both are grown in our area. Our spearmint is single cut Scotch.
Oils are packaged in clear 1/2 oz., 2 oz., 16 oz. bottles, and 400 pound
(55 gallon) drums.
(click here for pictures of bottles & drums)
Dill (Dill weed) Oil: The dill plant is harvested and distilled much like mint. This oil goes in 55 gallon drums and moves to a buyer who resells it. Most of this oil probably ends up in pickle jars.
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