Nutrition and Wellness

The Medicinal Properties of Peppermint: A Comprehensive Guide

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β€œFor individuals dealing with digestive issues or bowel disorders, can adding peppermint to a nutrition plan help manage symptoms and digestion?”

Peppermint

First grown in England, peppermint’s medicinal properties were soon recognized and are cultivated today in Europe and Northern Africa.

How It Is Used

  • Peppermint oil can be taken as a tea or in capsule form.
  • Consult a physician or licensed healthcare professional to determine the proper dosage for the capsule form.

For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Peppermint is taken as a tea to treat general digestive problems. It is known to reduce the production of gas in the intestine. Today, researchers recognize peppermint as effective for irritable bowel syndrome when used in oil form. (N. Alammar et al., 2019) Peppermint oil has been approved for use by IBS patients in Germany. However, the FDA has not approved peppermint and oil to treat any condition, but it has listed peppermint and the oil as generally safe. (ScienceDirect, 2024)

Interactions With Other Medications

  • Individuals who take lansoprazole to reduce stomach acid may compromise the enteric coating of some commercial peppermint oil capsules. (Taofikat B. Agbabiaka et al., 2018)
  • This can happen using H2-receptor antagonists, proton pump inhibitors, and antacids.

Other potential interactions include: (Benjamin Kligler, Sapna Chaudhary 2007)

  • Amitriptyline
  • Cyclosporine
  • Haloperidol
  • Peppermint extract may increase serum levels of these medications.

It is recommended to discuss medication interactions with a healthcare provider before starting supplements if taking any of these medications.

Pregnancy

  • Peppermint is not recommended for use during pregnancy or by nursing individuals.
  • It is unknown if it could affect a developing fetus.
  • It is unknown if it can affect a nursing baby.

How To Use The Herb

It is not that common, but some individuals are allergic to peppermint. Peppermint oil should never be applied to the face or around mucous membranes (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. 2020). Using more than one form, such as tea and oil, is not recommended because it could lead to side effects.

  • Because the FDA does not regulate supplements like peppermint and others, their contents may be varied.
  • Supplements may contain harmful ingredients or not contain the active ingredient at all.
  • This is why seeking reputable brands and informing an individual’s healthcare team of what is being taken is highly recommended.

It has the potential to worsen certain conditions and should not be used by:

  • Individuals who have chronic heartburn. (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. 2020)
  • Individuals who have severe liver damage.
  • Individuals who have inflammation of the gallbladder.
  • Individuals who have obstruction of bile ducts.
  • Individuals who are pregnant.
  • Individuals with gallstones should consult their healthcare provider to see if it is safe.

Side Effects

  • The oil may cause an upset stomach or burning.
  • Enteric-coated capsules may cause a burning sensation in the rectum. (Brooks D. Cash et al., 2016)

Children and Infants

  • Peppermint was used to treat colic in infants but is not recommended today.
  • The menthol in the tea may cause infants and small children to choke.
  • Chamomile could be a possible alternative. Consult a healthcare provider to see if it is safe.

Beyond Adjustments: Chiropractic and Integrative Healthcare


References

Alammar, N., Wang, L., Saberi, B., Nanavati, J., Holtmann, G., Shinohara, R. T., & Mullin, G. E. (2019). The impact of peppermint oil on the irritable bowel syndrome: a meta-analysis of the pooled clinical data. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 19(1), 21. doi.org/10.1186/s12906-018-2409-0

ScienceDirect. (2024). Peppermint Oil. www.sciencedirect.com/topics/nursing-and-health-professions/peppermint-oil#:~:text=As%20a%20calcium%20channel%20blocker,as%20safe%E2%80%9D%20%5B11%5D.

Agbabiaka, T. B., Spencer, N. H., Khanom, S., & Goodman, C. (2018). Prevalence of drug-herb and drug-supplement interactions in older adults: a cross-sectional survey. The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 68(675), e711–e717. doi.org/10.3399/bjgp18X699101

Kligler, B., & Chaudhary, S. (2007). Peppermint oil. American family physician, 75(7), 1027–1030.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2020). Peppermint oil. Retrieved from www.nccih.nih.gov/health/peppermint-oil#safety

Cash, B. D., Epstein, M. S., & Shah, S. M. (2016). A Novel Delivery System of Peppermint Oil Is an Effective Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms. Digestive diseases and sciences, 61(2), 560–571. doi.org/10.1007/s10620-015-3858-7

Khanna, R., MacDonald, J. K., & Levesque, B. G. (2014). Peppermint oil for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of clinical gastroenterology, 48(6), 505–512. doi.org/10.1097/MCG.0b013e3182a88357

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The information herein on "The Medicinal Properties of Peppermint: A Comprehensive Guide" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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