High Altitude Peppermint
We have two 60-acre peppermint fields in Mona, Utah. At this farm, there is another thing that I’ve done that’s very interesting that has to do with elevation.
Looking at constituent lists, you will see the minimum and maximum ranges that we use that are basically at our standard ranges.
I started distilling this peppermint on August 12, 2012, and took sample after sample, all the way from when we started until September 22, pulling samples of distilled peppermint to get to the point to where our distilling method resulted in a higher menthol level. We have the finest quality peppermint oil in the world today, without question.
At what range do the peppermint companies want the menthol in peppermint oil? They want it over 45 percent. Menthol is where the money’s at, if you’re selling it. What does menthol do? Menthol is the penetrating compound; it’s the one that drives it. It is the personifier of peppermint because it’s what makes everything else work. And how do we know this? We only know this by distilling it every single day for four solid weeks. Why? Because as far as we know, peppermint oil has never before been grown in the United States above 4,500 feet elevation, and at Mona, we are at 4,970 feet.
In Idaho there’s a grower who grows peppermint at 4,200 or 4,300 feet. However, he never distills it. I visited him and asked him, “Why?”
He said, “Because I can’t produce menthol at this elevation.”
I said, “Of course you can.”
He replied, “No, I can’t. I’ve tried it.” So he grows peppermint and just sells the roots to the growers. He doesn’t know what he can do because he never did the testing to find out.