2022 Sourcing Impact
Total Lives Impacted: 350,440
People Empowered via Sourcing Jobs: 76,194
- India: 76,169
- USA: 25
Lives Supported by Sourcing Jobs: 350,440
- India: 350,377
- USA: 63
The high menthol content of the doTERRA Peppermint oil sets it apart from others when it comes to quality—making it one of the best-selling favorites among doTERRA essential oils.
Why the Pacific Northwest and India?
Different climates and kinds of soil impact the chemical profile of the peppermint plant. The Pacific Northwest is an ideal climate for growing peppermint because of the consistently high rainfall each year. The rain contributes to a high menthol content, which gives peppermint its minty aroma and flavor.
A few northern states in India have climates similarly suited for optimal mint cultivation. By sourcing some of our Peppermint essential oil from India, we can support small-scale farmers.
People Empowered: Supporting Smallholder Farmer Cooperatives Two of the three main Indian growing seasons are usually dedicated to producing food crops, but the middle growing season often goes unused. This middle growing season is perfect for cultivating peppermint as an annual crop (unlike in the US, where it’s a perennial). Peppermint is an important cash crop for millions of Indian farmers and their families, the vast majority of whom are small producers with land holdings under two hectares.
Most of our Mentha piperita crop grown in India is produced in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, but we’ve expanded to Bihar as well. Peppermint grows well in all three, but the states were also chosen for the economic opportunity peppermint would provide the population. Bihar is one of the poorest states in India. It and Uttar Pradesh are also two of the most populated states. Bihar has historically produced other mints, but as scientists discovered ways to produce isolates in labs, demand for mint farming diminished. Our peppermint plant needs were a natural and welcome opportunity for many farmers in Bihar. Peppermint is a cash crop that supplements their traditional crop income, which is less lucrative and grows during other seasons. Our Co-Impact Sourcing® Mentha piperita expansion has furthered growth of peppermint nurseries, which provide seedlings for farmers, and advisory services, which help farmers optimize their yields and efficiency, as well as provide general training on the best agricultural practices for their specific crops.
Local distillation units near the fields process the peppermint plants, and spent biomass—plant material that’s already been distilled—fuels the distillation boilers. This recycling reduces waste and economically supports farmers who don’t have to buy firewood, chop trees, or otherwise purchase fuel for the boilers.
The Harvesting and Distillation Process Peppermint, a hybrid of water mint and spearmint, is a perennial plant. The essential oil comes from the aerial parts of the plant (everything above ground). When peppermint is ready to harvest, it’s cut down to the ground then left in the field for up to 24 hours to dry. It’s chopped up before distillation. About three pounds of peppermint leaves produces one 15 mL bottle. During autumn, the material left over from distillation is used as mulch.