Peppermint Oil Benefits and How to Use It

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peppermint oil

What is peppermint oil?

Peppermint oil is a herbal supplement that is found to be active on several treatments. Peppermint oil is effective to treat the common cold, colic, indigestion, dysmenorrhea, inflammation of kidney and mouth, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome or IFB, vomiting, tension, headaches, pain etc.

Peppermint is a hybrid mint that is across between watermint and spearmint. In Europe and North, America peppermint can be found. Peppermint oil is extracted from the peppermint plants, and this oil is used for various purposes. The scientific name of peppermint oil is Mentha x Piperita. Here we are going to use peppermint oil uses and peppermint oil side effects.

Brand Name

The brand names of peppermint oil are Balm Mint, Brandy Mint, Lavandulae aetheroleum, Black Peppermint, Curled Mint, Metha Piperita, Feuilles de Menthe, Menthe Poivree, White Peppermint, and Our lady’s Mint. Peppermint oil is available on these brand names.

Generic Name

The generic name is peppermint oil.

Drug class

The drug class of peppermint oil are gastrointestinal and Herbals.

Forms of peppermint oil

In a variety of forms, peppermint oil can be found.

  • The most common is peppermint essential oils. It is a very concentrated form of peppermint that is applied in aromatherapy or compounded and applied to the skin.
  • Peppermint extracts are a more compounded form of peppermint that is used to add on peppermint flavor in food.
  • Peppermint capsules are another form that is used as supplements.
  • The scent of peppermint oil is very sharp, that is so cool and refreshing, and the taste is also similar. When you consume something with peppermint flavor, you will feel this freshness in your mouth. Though there are many chemicals, used to make peppermint oil; still, Menthone and menthol are the main chemical components that are used to make peppermint oil.

Peppermint oil uses

There are several peppermint oil uses that are used widely. Here are some example of peppermint oil uses;

  • Peppermint oil can be used as a treatment for many conditions like nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, and digestive issues. This oil is also used to treat headaches and the common cold.
  • The peppermint oil is used as a topical application to treat itching, headache, and muscle pain.
  • This oil is used in mouthwashes and some flavored foods.
  • Peppermint oil is also used in cosmetic products and soaps to add a pleasing and refreshing scent.

Benefits of peppermint oil

As there are many peppermint oil uses, naturally there are many benefits of this oil. From ancient times peppermint oil is used for medical purposes in Greece, Egypt, and Rome. Not only in old ages, but peppermint oil has many benefits in the present also. Though some benefits are found on the basis of personal testimony, researchers are still discovering the versatile benefits of peppermint oil. Here we will explain some benefits of peppermint oil.

For Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Peppermint oil is used to relieve irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. According to researches, it is seen that peppermint oil has focused on treating IBS. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic gastrointestinal condition that includes diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. According to a recent review, a Trusted Source of 12 trials experimented with the ability of peppermint oil capsules, and it was compared to a placebo for treating IBS. Following researches, peppermint oil improved symptoms of IBS along with abdominal pain. The particular ways that peppermint oil improves the IBS symptoms and other gastrointestinal conditions are still unknown. According to the result of possTrusted SourceiTrusted SourcebilitiesTrusted Source;

  • Peppermint oil relaxed the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Anti-inflammatory components are present in peppermint oil.
  • Peppermint oil affected the bacteria that naturally exist in the GI tract.
  • This oil decreased pain sensation in the gastrointestinal tract.

For treating nausea

According to some studies, it is discovered that peppermint oil is effective to treat nausea. After operation nausea can happen. According to a small study trusted Source, the effect of inhaling peppermint oil was practical on postoperative nausea. They discovered the patient’s nausea level was lower after inhaling the peppermint oil. A recent review of studies tested the impacts of aromatherapy on postoperative nausea. Peppermint oil was involved in four of these studies, and it was compared to a placebo. The researchers found that peppermint oil had little or no impact on severe nausea. In the early stages of pregnancy, symptoms like vomiting and nausea are visible. According to a recent study trusted Souce on 56 pregnant women, aromatherapy with peppermint oil affected vomiting and nausea. Researchers found no massive difference between placebo and peppermint oil.

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For treating gastrointestinal or GI conditions

Peppermint oil is significantly effective to treat abdominal pain from digestive tract issues. Menthol or peppermint oil is one of the leading chemical components that are used in combination with caraway for treating functional dyspepsia. Functional dyspepsia is recognized by bloating and pain in some areas of the stomach. Results of several studies that involved peppermint and caraway were summarized in a recent review trusted Source article. This combined treatment of peppermint and caraway appears effective in relieving such symptoms that are associated with functional dyspepsia. According to another review of herbal remedies over gastrointestinal conditions in adolescents and children revealed that peppermint oil was effective to reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of abdominal pain. Still, peppermint oil was not effective than simethicone drops to treat colic.

For treating pain

Peppermint oil or menthol is used in different forms to treat pain from migraine attacks to headaches by applying it on the skin. In tablet form, peppermint oil decreased the discomfort for people who deal with trouble in swallowing. Peppermint oil and wintergreen oil is applied to treat migraine, tension headaches. One small study trusted researched on the topical application of a 10% menthol solution to treat migraine. The researchers discovered that when this oil was applied to the temples and forehead, it gave an intense relief, light sensitivity, and less nausea in comparison with the placebo. Another study trusted Source examined the effectiveness of gel to treat migraines. This gel was made of menthol, and it was applied to the skin when a migraine occurred. Researchers found useful improvement even after two hours of the application of the gel. According to a recent studyTrusted Souce, peppermint oil tablets were effective on people who have difficulty swallowing and deal with non-cardiac chest pain. More than 50 percent of people reported effectiveness on their issues.

For skin and hair issues

Peppermint oil is used to soothe itchy skin, and it is often used in cosmetic products. Still, more research is required to know the potential benefits of peppermint oil on skin and hair related issues. A small studyTrusted Source examined the topical application of peppermint oil and the influence of this oil on chronic itching. According to researchers, a 1% solution of peppermint oil is effective on long itchiness. Another research was done to test the effectiveness of peppermint oil on the skin to soothe itchiness during pregnancy. According to researchers, an application of a 0.5% solution of peppermint oil twice a day will be significantly effective to reduce itchiness. Researchers also revealed that a 3% solution of peppermint oil led to growing thick hair in mice after four weeks of treatment, and the result was similar to minoxidil.

Against yeast and bacteria

As Peppermint oil has mild antimicrobial properties, it works against some bacteria and yeast. This oil contains mild antifungal properties against strains of Candida. Various researches have been performed to discover the effectiveness of peppermint oil against multiple types of fungi and bacteria. According to research peppermint oil involved with several strains of Staphylococcus aureus put down the generation of important bacterial toxins. The result depends on the dose of peppermint oil, and the effectiveness of peppermint oil depends on the species of bacteria. According to another study, peppermint oil did not show any antimicrobial activity against a particular species of Streptococcus. Since 2017, a studyTrusted Source examined the activity of various essential oils against multiple strains of Candida yeast. Peppermint oil has some antifungal activity; still, it has the lowest activity than the other oils that were tested.

Safety and Side Effects of peppermint oil

According to the FDA, essential oils should be used following by the guideline of the manufacturer. Essential oils are not made to take orally. Some possible side effects of consuming peppermint oil orally are- nausea, heartburn, and vomiting. Moreover, peppermint oil has a severe side effect like an acute renal failure from the overdose of this oil. Try to choose an extract while you are going to add peppermint oil to your food. The topical use of peppermint oil or in aromatherapy is effective but with little risks. So, be aware as peppermint aromatherapy can appear toxic to pets. Always be mindful of using peppermint oil aromatherapy on children, pregnant women, and pets. Peppermint oil can appear toxic if it is taken in large doses as it contains a toxic component reckoned as pulegone. Always remember that peppermint essential oil is highly concentrated, and it is required to dilute before use appropriately. An ounce of carrier oil is needed to dilute a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Sometimes direct application of peppermint oil can occur itchiness or rash on the skin. So before applying peppermint oil, apply a small patch on your skin. There are several visible peppermint oil side effects. These side effects include-

  • Burning mouth syndrome.
  • Flushing.
  • Allergic reactions.
  • Diarrhea with anal burning.
  • Heartburn.
  • Rash.
  • Skin irritation.
  • Headache.
  • Mouth ulcers.
  • Respiratory collapse.
  • Pediatrics from topical use.
  • Difficulty in breathing and speaking.
  • Inflammation of the kidney.
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What other drugs interact with peppermint oil?

If your doctor has prescribed you to use peppermint oil in your medication, then the doctor and pharmacist both are aware of possible drug interactions. So, don’t start or stop your dosage without consulting with the doctor or pharmacist, or health care provider. Peppermint oil has no severe or severe or moderate or mild interactions with other drugs. Though this information doesn’t contain every possible adverse effect, hence, you must consult with a doctor before using peppermint oil and let them know about other products that you use in your medication. Do consult with your health care professional to get further medical advice regarding the usage of peppermint oil.

Warnings and precautions of peppermint oil –

As there are peppermint oil side effects, naturally, there are some warnings and cautions about the usage of peppermint oil. Avoid using peppermint oil on patients dealing lack of hydrochloric acid in the gastric sections. Don’t use it on children and infants. If you are allergic to peppermint oil, then avoid taking Menthe Piperita, Curled Mint, Menthe Poivree, Brandy Mint, Black Peppermint, Balm Mint, and White Peppermint. Don’t use peppermint oil during pregnancy and lactation. Also, avoid using peppermint oil during breastfeeding.

Who should not use peppermint oil?

As there are many considerations of using peppermint oil, everyone can’t use this oil. People who should not use peppermint oil include;

People dealing with G6PD deficiency People who are dealing with G6PD deficiency, that is a particular enzyme deficiency should not use peppermint oil or peppermint extract in aromatherapy.

  • People who take specific medication – Those people who are going through certain medicines should not use peppermint oil aromatherapy. Peppermint oil should be avoided as the aromatherapy of peppermint oil will avert an enzyme that is called CYP3A4. This CYP3A4 enzyme can be reliable for breaking down several medications. So, if you are going through prescribed medications, then you bmust consult your doctor or health care professional before using peppermint oil.
  • On Children and babies You should not use peppermint oil on babies and children. Avoid applying peppermint oil on chests and faces of infants and children as severe side effects may occur of inhaling the menthol present in peppermint oil.
  • On pets – As peppermint oil can be toxic to pets, you should not use this oil on pets like dogs and cats.

Dosage of peppermint oil

There are particular dosages of peppermint oil for different purposes. For postoperative nausea, peppermint oil should be inhaled on the amount of 0.2 ml, diluted in 2 ml of isotonic saline. For treating tension headaches, peppermint oil should be used topically as required on every 15 to 30 minutes. Try to take an adequate amount of peppermint oil to resist bowel obstruction.

The takeaway

From peppermint plant the peppermint oil is extracted that is used in various purposes like relieving gastrointestinal discomfort, relieving itchiness, nausea, vomiting, and alleviating pain. Researchers claim that peppermint oil can be beneficial to treat irritable bowel syndrome or IBS and other digestive disorders. Though peppermint oil is safe, still it can be toxic if it will be taken in large doses. Moreover, you should dilute peppermint oil properly always before use. Do consult with your doctor or health care professional before using peppermint essential oil.

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