Who Should Avoid Peppermint Oil
When used as instructed, peppermint oil is generally safe, but certain people may experience potential adverse effects.
Low Iron Levels
Those with low iron levels or iron-deficiency anemia should avoid peppermint products because they may inhibit iron absorption .
People taking prescription medications or herbs should take caution when using peppermint oil due to potential interactions.
Like grapefruit juice, peppermint oil can inhibit many of the pathways responsible for metabolizing commonly used drugs. Check with your doctor for any potential interactions before starting peppermint products.
Reduced Stomach Acid
If you have low or no stomach acid it may be wise to avoid peppermint oil capsules.
This includes people using acid-blocking medications like antacids, H2-blockers and proton-pump inhibitors as they reduce the acidity of the stomach.
If youre still interested in using peppermint oil for digestive relief, separate these products by at least two hours.
Those with chronic diarrhea may want to avoid peppermint oil until the diarrhea resolves.
Do not use peppermint oil if you notice a negative response.
When applied topically, some people experience skin irritation and contact dermatitis .
There have also been rare reports of digestive burning, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, belching, dry mouth and increased appetite when using peppermint oil.
Pregnant or Lactating Women
Peppermint Oil For Digestion
The small intestine has three sections, the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The duodenum connects to the stomach and measures about twenty-five centimeters long. Ducts from the pancreas and gallbladder connect to the small intestine early at the duodenum so the digestive enzymes and bile they release may pass through the full length of the small intestine. Following the duodenum is the jejunum, the middle section of the small intestine, about one meter long. The twists and folds of the small intestine really begin with the jejunum, and as the jejunum subtly transitions into the ileum these folds, twists, and projections increase. The ileum is the final section of the small intestine, which connects to the large intestine, about 1.8 meters long. The ileum is thicker, more vascular, and has more developed mucus folds than the jejunum.
How food transits through the small intestine determines how well it is digested. Each section of the small intestine absorbs different nutrients, and if food is pushed through one section faster than optimal due to IBS, then food wont be properly digested. For example if food is pushed through the duodenum faster than ideal, it wont be mixed with fat-digesting bile as well as it could be, and fats will only be at best poorly digested and absorbed even if they spend long lengths of time in the jejunum and ileum..
Side Effects Of Peppermint Oil
In most adults, the small doses of peppermint oil contained in dietary supplements and skin preparations appear to be safe. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, however, should avoid such products because little is known about their safety during pregnancy and lactation.
Possible side effects of peppermint oil include:
Although enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules may reduce the risk of heartburn, their protective coating can break down more quickly and increase the risk of heartburn when taken at the same time as prescription and over-the-counter medications that decrease stomach acid and which are often used for heartburn or acid reflux. It’s best to take such drugs at least two hours after taking enteric-coated peppermint oil products. A stomach condition called achlorhydria, in which the stomach doesn’t produce hydrochloric acid, also may hasten the coating’s breakdown. So people with the condition are advised against using peppermint oil.
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Study Selection And Data Extractions
The titles and abstracts of the studies were carefully reviewed by two of the authors independently to include RCTs that evaluated the influence of enteric-coated PO on IBS, based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria . When there was a disagreement, a third reviewer determined whether the study qualified for inclusion. We also reviewed the bibliography of prior meta-analyses, review articles, and studies that underwent full-text screening for additional studies to maximize the yield .
What Kinds Of Peppermint Oil Do Experts Recommend
Peppermint comes in a variety of forms, including oral capsules, topical essential oils, and diluted extracts for food flavoring. Peppermint can also come in the form of teas, but according to McDougall, Peppermint tea is not manufactured with medical use in mind, and it has no proven effect on IBS.
For IBS symptoms in particular, oral capsules are the most recommended form of peppermint oil, because research has suggested they are the most effective for medical purposes, McDougall states.
If you choose to try a peppermint oil, its key to know what to look for in an oral supplement. When it comes to swallowing peppermint oils, look for ones that are labeled therapeutic grade, since these are safer to swallow, Sonpal recommends.
You should also be aware that peppermint oil supplements can result in mild side effects. It can cause acid reflux and heartburn, so it should be taken in moderation or under consultation with a doctor or pharmacist, McDougall warns.
The NIH echoes this caution, noting that oral peppermint oil supplements can have side effects of nausea, dry mouth, abdominal pain, and, in rare cases, allergic reactions. Peppermint oil capsules that are enteric-coated are less likely to lead to heartburn, the NIH states.
Be sure to consult with your doctor before adding a peppermint oil supplement to your IBS treatment regimen.
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Can Ibs Patients Drink Green Tea
If you have IBS, you can use black, green, or white tea as an alternative to regular tea. Make homemade iced tea and store it in the refrigerator. When dining out, you should ask for unsweetened iced tea. Sugar, in addition to artificial sweeteners, can be added.
Is green tea helpful in the treatment of IBS? Why is green tea associated with disease? There are mixed opinions on the benefits of green tea and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. While still minimizing any irritation, is a viable alternative to regular green tea for those who want to reap the benefits but avoid the risk of caffeine. Green tea, like other teas, does not have the same caffeine content as other drinks. Because most IBS sufferers intestinal environments are less developed, drinking lukewarm to hot drinks is generally healthier. Green tea without caffeine will still have the same benefits as green tea with caffeine.
People suffering from IBS are especially vulnerable to waste and toxins drinking water can aid in the elimination of these substances. If you are in a hot climate, limit yourself to eight cups of water per day. Matcha green tea contains three times as much antioxidants as regular green tea.
Peppermint Oil For Gerd
In addition to improving digestion through normalizing gut motility and reducing bloating, gas, and indigestion, peppermint oil is also useful in treating acid reflux, clinically known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease . Peppermint oil helps with GERD for the same reason it improves gut motility, it works to relax smooth muscle activity.
Peppermint oil reduces multiphasic, spontaneous, and missed esophageal contractions while improving the amplitude and duration of these contractions. Notably peppermint oil completely eliminated simultaneous esophageal contractions. What this means is that peppermint oil reduced erratic all-over-the-place esophageal contractions and stabilized them back to regular consistent strong waves of activity.
Peppermint oil also helps normalize duodenal contractions, with 90 mg of peppermint oil relaxing the smooth muscle activity of the duodenum and stomach, reducing the frequency and duration of contractions in both parts of the digestive system. Altogether, peppermint oil is a useful treatment option for GERD that is effective and well-tolerated, causing adverse events very infrequently.
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Peppermint Oil And Gerd
Peppermint oil relaxes the muscles between the esophagus and the stomach, the lower esophageal sphincter, and worsen symptoms in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease . GERD is a long-term condition in which acid from the stomach moves up into the esophagus. It is best to consult a doctor before taking peppermint oil if you are or have previously experienced GERD.
How Peppermint Oil Can Soothe Ibs Symptoms
So what is it about peppermint oil that makes it a potential IBS symptom reliever? Peppermint oil is a muscle relaxant. As such, it produces an antispasmodic effect, targeting specific symptoms of IBS, in particular pain, cramps, and bloating, says Scott McDougall, the director and a registered manager of the Independent Pharmacy in Bristol, United Kingdom.
When food is digested, a natural series of muscle contractions in the gut called peristalsis helps push food through your digestive system and urine to your bladder, McDougall explains. In people with IBS, the nerves that facilitate peristalsis are much more sensitive, and the inner wall of the digestive system reacts more strongly to certain foods that dont typically cause issues in people without IBS, he says.
Common foods that can trigger IBS symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic, include milk and dairy products, wheat, beans, citrus fruits, and carbonated beverages, among others. In people with IBS, the guts reaction to these foods often causes pain, bloating, and other symptoms, says McDougall.
Certain components of peppermint oil may calm the digestive pains common in IBS. The menthol in peppermint has a decompressing effect on the intestinal smooth muscle. This leads to pain relief for bloating and constipation, says Niket Sonpal, MD, an adjunct assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and a clinical instructor at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.
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Can Essential Oils Relieve Symptoms Of Ibs
There are several essential oils that you may find beneficial for reducing IBS symptoms.
Some essential oils, such as lavender, produce feelings of calm and relaxation when used in aromatherapy. Others are anti-inflammatories and have antispasmodic properties that relax intestinal smooth muscle.
According to research, the following essential oils show promise for IBS symptom relief.
What Do We Know About Safety
- Peppermint oil appears to be safe when taken orally or applied topically in the doses commonly used. Peppermint oil has been safely used in many clinical trials.
- Possible side effects of peppermint oil taken orally include heartburn, nausea, abdominal pain, and dry mouth. Rarely, peppermint oil can cause allergic reactions.
- Capsules containing peppermint oil are often enteric-coated to reduce the likelihood of heartburn. If enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules are taken at the same time as antacids, the coating can break down too quickly.
- Side effects of applying peppermint oil to the skin can include skin rashes and irritation. Peppermint oil should not be applied to the face of infants or young children because serious side effects may occur if they inhale the menthol in the oil.
- Little is known about whether itâs safe to use peppermint oil during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
- Peppermint tea, which is made from peppermint leaves, appears to be safe. However, the long-term safety of consuming large amounts of peppermint leaf is unknown.
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How Do Peppermint Oil Capsules Work
Peppermint oil contains the active ingredient menthol.
It is thought that peppermint oil capsules have several actions on your gut.
Firstly, it works by relaxing the smooth muscle inside your gut. It does this by blocking the calcium channels .
There may also be some interactions with serotonin and opioid receptors in your gut, as well as a possible anti-microbial affect .
Peppermint Oil For Bloating & Gas
Peppermint oil has been shown to reduce acute and chronic occurrences of bloating and indigestion, and peppermint also reduces abdominal pain and frequency in those who have dyspepsia .
For reference, in a study where 96 people with functional dyspepsia were given 90 mg of peppermint oil plus 50 mg caraway oil twice daily, on average the study participants observed an average 40% reduction in pain intensity, 43% reduction in the sensation of pressure, heaviness and fullness, and 67% global improvement as compared to their baseline assessments. The efficacy of the peppermint + caraway oil treatment was unaffected by Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria which can cause gut health problems, which approximately 50% of patients suffering from functional dyspepsia have.
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Drugs That Reduce Stomach Acid
If you take peppermint capsules at the same time as drugs that lower the amount of stomach acid, the enteric-coated peppermint capsules may dissolve in the stomach instead of the intestines. This could reduce the effects of peppermint. Take peppermint at least 2 hours before or after an acid-reducing drug. Antacids include:
Why Does One Suffer From Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The exact reason behind IBS is unknown. Studies suggest that colon might overreact and get hypersensitive even by the mildest form of stimulation. The regular, rhythmic muscle movements change and the bowel muscles spasm. This leads to diarrhea or constipation or both. It is believed that in IBS muscles do not squeeze normally and this affects the movement of stool.
Other studies link irritable bowel syndrome to muscles that dont squeeze properly, or the production of serotonin and gastrin leads to lack of signal flow between the digestive tract and the brain. A few studies suggest that it could possibly be due to the presence of bad bacteria in the colon. As mentioned above, females are more often affected by IBS than men. Scientists are also researching for hormonal activities that could trigger IBS women.
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Medicinal Uses Of Peppermint Oil
In dietary supplements, peppermint oil has been tried for a variety of digestive problems including:
- Repelling mosquitoes
Common Peppermint Oil Capsules
Many popular peppermint products are on the market.
Here is an example of some popular peppermint oil products:
- Ingredients: 90mg of peppermint oil, 50mg of caraway oil
- Dose: Use two to three times daily for up to four weeks.
- Ingredients: Peppermint leaf, clowns mustard plant, German chamomile, caraway, licorice root, milk thistle, angelica, celandine, lemon balm
- Dose: Use one milliliter three times daily for up to four weeks.
- Ingredients: Peppermint oil
- Dose: Take one capsule three times per day, 30 to 60 minutes before meals. Do not use more than 14 days.
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Chai Tea: Delicious And Fragrant But Watch The Fodmaps
Chai tea is a fantastic choice if you want a delicious and fragrant beverage that you can drink on a low FODMAP diet. It contains a small amount of FODMAPs, so avoid drinking it in the first phase of the diet if youre on the low-fiber diet. If you do add milk to your tea, make it only sparingly to avoid overconsumption.
I am a tea expert and professional herbalist and Ive been studying and practicing herbalism for over 10 years, teaching others about the healing power of plants for just as long. I have written several books on the subject of tea and herbalism, and I am always happy to share my knowledge with those who are interested in learning more.
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Are Essential Oils Safe To Use
Its important to use essential oils as directed. Unless youre purchasing supplements designed for oral use, dont drink essential oil or add it to foods or beverages in quantities other than whats specified as safe.
Essential oils are meant to be used as aromatherapy. Some are considered toxic if swallowed and are dangerous for pets. When using aromatherapy, consider pets, children, and others who might respond negatively to the oils.
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How Does Peppermint Oil Help In Ibs
The normal process of peristalsis â the contractions of smooth muscles of the gut â is altered in IBS. As such, sensations of pain, as well as bloating and other symptoms often arise.
Peppermint oil contains antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anesthetic properties that are thought to help relieve symptoms of IBS. An active ingredient in peppermint oil, menthol, is believed to reduce pain by acting on the smooth muscles of the gut.
Menthol is a waxy compound that has a cooling effect and is found in a variety of health care products to treat pain. Menthol acts by blocking calcium channels and serotonin receptors in the muscles of the gut to relax smooth muscle and reduces symptoms of IBS.
Relieve Your Ibs Symptoms With Peppermint Oil
Irritable bowel syndrome affects 25-45 million¹ people in the United States. Its often debilitating and difficult to manage. Abdominal discomfort, pain, and chronic, irregular bowel movements are common IBS symptoms.
The disorder can be frustrating, as there are no definite causes or long-term cures. While a mindful diet and medicine prescribed by your doctor can help ease symptoms, peppermint oil can also help.
Here’s all you need to know about how to take peppermint oil for IBS.
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Safety Of Essential Oils
Because of the potency of their ingredients, there are potential safety risks associated with the use of essential oils. However, with careful and appropriate use, such risks can be minimized.
Care should be taken in terms of choosing a high quality, organic and sustainably grown and processed oil. Before using an oil, you should do your research regarding safe use, e.g. is the oil safe for internal use, external application or diffusion.
Some oils should never be taken internally, or contain the risk for skin irritation if applied topically. Other oils may cause photo-sensitivity.
Most oils will require dilution for topical or internal use. This means that the oil is mixed with a “carrier oil”, such as olive oil or fractionated coconut oil. In general, essential oils should always be diluted in a carrier oil.
The bottom line is to be sure to do your research and check with your healthcare provider, before using any essential oil.
Note: The author has a Wellness Advocate account with an essential oils manufacturer.