What Are Essential Oils
Essential oils are the liquid and fragrant essence of various plants, herbs, or roots, many of which contain compounds that have medicinal qualities.
Do you struggle with bloating, gas, constipation, or other digestive issues? Weve created a FREE guide to healing your gut naturally.
These oils are extracted from plants using various techniques, including distillation with steam or water, or with a mechanical press. Essential oils are used for aromatherapy, as fragrance in perfumes, foods and lotions, and even medicinally in supplements.
How Can You Cure Irritable Bowel Syndrome
There are more than one alternatives available for IBS, however, not all treatments work for everyone. Based on your symptoms and triggers, your medical practitioner would advise the right medication for you. Along side, you would be required to monitor your triggers, including managing your stress levels and making some lifestyle changes like adding more fiber to the diet, avoiding caffeine and more to avoid IBS. These have been described in detail below.
It is important to follow your medical practitioners instructions while treating your IBS. Your body can get used to IBS medications and laxatives if you do not use them carefully.
Another super effective IBS treatment is peppermint essential oil. The oil of peppermint belongs to the top note of essential oils. It is known for its minty and strong aroma and for its effectiveness in treating headaches naturally.
For those, who have been trying medication and other lifestyle changes since quite some time, this therapy is a must.
How Can Essential Oils Help With Bloating
Essential oils have been prized for centuries in traditional medicine as a natural treatment for a wide range of disorders. Modern science is just now beginning to uncover the medicinal properties of these oils and, in particular, their ability to act as digestive aids.
Most of the popular essential oils for digestion get their tummy-trouble relieving powers from the powerful phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and amino acids they contain which often have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects. By either taking these oils internally or applying them topically, we can receive these effects throughout our digestive tract to help ease irritation and inflammation, which helps to reduce bloating.
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How To Use Peppermint Oil
Essential oils are intended to be inhaled, used in room diffuser, or diluted in a massage oil. Oral intake of essential oils is not recommended, as they may contain dangerous levels of some ingredients. Some essential oils can be toxic or burning. Its also possible to be allergic to peppermint oil.
Do not apply essential oils directly to the skin. You should always dilute them in a carrier oil, such as mineral oil or sweet almond oil.
You should only ingest essential oils under the recommendation and supervision of a licensed aromatherapist or a doctor.
If you are advised to take peppermint orally, its important that you seek out products that are made for consumption. Some peppermint oils may be blends or otherwise not intended for internal use. Essential oils that are labeled therapeutic grade are safer to swallow. You can try straight peppermint oil, which can be dropped into empty veggie capsules for easier swallowing. You can also find capsule options or soft gels that are enteric-coated, which can lessen the likelihood of heartburn as a side effect.
Before Taking Peppermint Oil Capsules
To make sure that this is the right treatment for you, it is important that you speak with a doctor or pharmacist before you start taking peppermint oil capsules if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You have severe constipation.
- You have passed any blood from your bowels, or if you have had any abnormal vaginal bleeding.
- You feel sick or have lost your appetite, or if you have recently lost weight.
- You feel or look unwell.
- You have recently travelled abroad.
- You have difficulty or pain when you pass urine.
- You are 40 years of age or over and it is some time since your last attack, or if your symptoms have changed since your last attack.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine, or if you are allergic to menthol, peanuts or soya.
Other Ways To Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
Another common and popular way of treating irritable bowel syndrome naturally includes basic lifestyle changes and the;inclusion of fiber rich diet. A few basic lifestyle changes that your doctor can recommend are:
- Do not consume caffeine in coffee, soda, tea, chocolates or more
- Add fiber rich food like vegetables, nuts, whole grains and fruits to your diet
- Drink at least 3 to 4 liters of water per day
- Avoid smoking, better off, quit smoking.
- Exercise often and try reducing stress in your life
- Monitor things like spices, milk, cheese or more that might be triggering your IBS
- Eat every two hours, however, do not overeat or undereat
- Do not stay hungry for longer durations, no matter what
What Kind Of Peppermint Oil To Get
Ravindra recommends choosing an organic peppermint essential oil, since it’s produced from plants that aren’t treated with synthetic pesticides, insecticides, or fertilizers.;
Peppermint oil can be applied topically undiluted, but some may prefer to dilute with a carrier oil, like coconut or argan oil, which is gentler on the skin. A small number of people may experience irritation from topical peppermint oil, in which case you should stop using it.
Important: Ravindra says peppermint oil should not be used on or around infants or children, as it may cause breathing issues.;
Peppermint oil has a very low risk of toxicity when applied topically or taken orally, and has been used safely in numerous clinical studies. There is still a very small risk of allergic reaction, so if you experience redness, itching, or blistering where you’ve applied peppermint oil, you should stop using it.;
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Reduction Of Colonic Spasm During Gi Procedures
As a consequence of its relaxing properties on smooth muscle, peppermint oil given via enema has been examined in two trials as a means to reduce symptoms of gastrointestinal spasm during administration of barium enema and possibly during colonoscopy.10,11 In a randomized controlled trial of 383 patients undergoing barium enemas, 37 to 41 percent of those who received peppermint oil experienced a non-spasm examination, compared with 13.4 percent of those who received placebo .10 In an RCT of 141 patients undergoing barium enemas, no residual spasm was evident in 60 percent of the treated group, compared with 35 percent of the control group .11
Is It Safe For Me To Take Peppermint Oil Capsules
Yes, it is safe for you to take these capsules. BUT there are a few things you need to be aware of.
Around 13% of people in studies found that they had some side affects but these were fairly minor .
Side affects you may experience from taking peppermint oil capsules ;
- Increased appetite
Please be careful that you do not chew the capsules. Most people in these studies who suffered with heartburn, chewed the capsules. Remember, you want the capsule to open up once it has left your stomach.
One last thing is, we dont yet know how safe taking these capsules are long-term. Studies currently are only around 2-12 weeks long .
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Deciding If Peppermint Oil Is Right For You
Warning: Never give peppermint oil to an infant or young child! Older children may take special preparations of peppermint oil or drink peppermint tea, but always check with your childs pediatrician first.XResearch source
Peppermint Oil May Relieve Irritable Bowel Pain
For children suffering with irritable bowel syndrome , relief may come in the form of a common herb–peppermint, researchers report.
In a study of youngsters aged 8 to 17, peppermint oil capsules helped relieve IBS, a collection of gastrointestinal symptoms including bloating, severe abdominal pain, and cycles of constipation and diarrhea that do not fit into known disease categories. While some believe that the cause may be stress-related or due to psychological problems, that theory is controversial.
“Peppermint oil should be considered for the treatment of moderate levels of pain in children with IBS,” Dr. Robert M. Kline, of the University of Missouri-Columbia, and colleagues write in the January issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.
In the 2-week study, 42 children with IBS were treated with peppermint oil or an inactive placebo pill.
On the first day of the study, all of the children complained of abdominal pain and many also complained of diarrhea, constipation and gas. Following the 2-week treatment period, however, 71% of the youth given peppermint oil said they felt ”better” or “much better,” compared with 43% taking the placebo. While peppermint oil reduced the severity of abdominal pain, it did not reduce other symptoms, the report indicates.
“The analysis showed that peppermint oil did not alter heartburn, gas, urgency of stools, belching, stool pattern or stool consistency,” the authors write.
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What Dose Of Peppermint Oil Capsule Shall I Take For Ibs
I am sure you are eager to get going with this supplement. BUT, this is a difficult question to answer.
The research is really varied. Studies use a wide variety of doses, so it is difficult to advise you specifically on what will work for you.
Instead,; I would suggest you follow the manufactures guidelines and use the dose that they suggest on the packet.
Important Information About All Medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
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About Safety And Side Effects
The FDA recommends only using essential oils according to manufacturers guidelines.
Essential oils are not meant to be taken orally. Some possible side effects from taking peppermint extract orally include heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. Choose an extract if youre adding peppermint oil to food.
Aromatherapy or topical use of diluted essential peppermint oil can have significant benefits with little risk. But be aware that peppermint aromatherapy can be toxic to pets. Always consider children, pets, and pregnant women before using aromatherapy.
If taken in very large doses, peppermint oil can be toxic. It contains a known toxic compound called pulegone. Cosmetic formulations of peppermint oil are supposed to contain one percent or less pulegone, although in some cases they may contain more.
Its also important to remember that peppermint essential oil is very concentrated and should always be diluted properly before topical use. Only a few drops are needed for diluting in an ounce of carrier oil.
In some cases, peppermint oil thats applied to the skin may cause irritation or a rash to occur. If youre concerned about having a skin reaction to peppermint oil, test a small patch of your skin first.
How Can You Use Peppermint For Ibs
Peppermint oil comes from the flowers and leaves of the peppermint plant, a hybrid of spearmint and watermint. People have used peppermint for thousands of years as a medicinal for a number of ailments from joint pain to intestinal problems.;It gets used in :
- Topical ointments
You can ingest peppermint oil by simply adding drops to something like tea or taking a 180-200mg supplement pill, though the most recommended form would be enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules. This is the most efficient method, as it keeps the oil from breaking down in your stomach .
Once in the intestine, peppermint oil has a substantial spasmolytic effect on the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. This is an amusing way of saying that it relaxes your gut muscles . Because, lets face it, who doesnt want to tell their friends that the peppermint oil is, spasmolytic!.
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Peppermint Essential Oil For Ibs
Peppermint essential oil is a highly concentrated liquid that is extracted from peppermint leaves through steam distillation. When it comes to essential oils for IBS, peppermint is the number one option.
Peppermint has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for digestive problems. It has been used in tea form to quell an upset stomach. But when it comes to IBS, peppermint essential oil is the one that has been proven to help, according to many studies.
In this 2005 study, researchers concluded, Taking into account the currently available drug treatments for IBS, peppermint oilmay be the drug of first choice in IBS patients with non-serious constipation or diarrhea to alleviate general symptoms and to improve quality of life.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Enterology, researchers found that peppermint oil is a safe and effective short-term treatment for IBS.
This 2007 study concluded that a 4 weeks treatment with peppermint oil improves abdominal symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
Peppermint essential oil is useful in treating IBS because of anti-spasmodic properties that help ease the intestinal spasms that cause pain, abdominal cramping, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. It also helps curb nausea and reduce stress that leads to IBS flareups.
How Does Peppermint Help Ibs
People have been using peppermint to help with digestion for a LONG time. And I mean long. Fun fact they can trace use of peppermint leaves in tea, and as a post meal digestive agent over 2000 years back in time.
Im sure at the time, this habit arose out of the peppermint making their tummies feel better. Totally valid a food-first herb that Im sure many of you have taken after a big meal, or to help calm your stomach when its upset.
Fast forward 2000 years, and we now have some understanding of how peppermint works in the gut. One mechanism of action is that;peppermint relaxes smooth muscles like those in your GI tract.;It appears to also have action;as an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agent by potentially reducing inflammation, or impacting the gut microbiome in some way. We dont know all the answers yet as to how peppermint & peppermint oil acts on the gut however we know from studies that those who take peppermint oil;see an improvement in abdominal pain and bloating.
A;2014 meta-analysis looked at the role of peppermint oil versus a placebo;for;managing GI symptoms. A total of 9 studies met the scientific rigor the meta-analysis looked at encompassing over 700 patients. The results of the studies were then weighed and combined to look at using peppermint to manage GI symptoms as a whole1.
The primary negative outcomes were reflux likely related to the peppermint oil causing smooth muscle relaxation higher up in the GI tract1,2,3.
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Reducing Headaches And Pain
Some evidence supports the topical use of peppermint oil to relieve tension headaches .
The methanol in peppermint oil is thought to inhibit the sensitivity of pain receptors and may also alter pain perception .
Additionally, peppermint oil used as aromatherapy may help with other chronic pain conditions by enhancing the parasympathetic relaxation response .
Key Insight: Applying peppermint oil topically or using it as aromatherapy may help improve headaches and other chronic pain conditions.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Usually, symptoms of IBS include diarrhea, constipation, lower abdomen pains and cramps, bloating and gas accumulation in the windpipe and the digestive tract. The stools get either harder or looser than normal. Constipation is usually followed by diarrhea. Bloating leads to a sticking out belly. The syndrome gets worse with stress and diet loaded with spices. Other related signs of irritable bowel syndrome include nausea, headache, depression, and fatigue.
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Precautions Side Effects And Interactions
Although its such a beneficial and effective remedy, there are some peppermint essential oil warnings to keep in mind. Can peppermint oil hurt you? Its considered safe when used appropriately.
When you are using peppermint on sensitive skin, always dilute it with a carrier oil first. If youre new to using peppermint oil, its a good idea to try a patch test on a small area of skin before applying peppermint oil to larger surfaces.
I dont recommend using peppermint oil on the face or chest of infants or young children because it can cause skin irritations. There also isnt enough evidence to recommend peppermint oil use for women who are pregnant or nursing.
Is peppermint oil safe for dogs? Because peppermint oil for fleas is so effective, its commonly used in dog flea repellents. Peppermint oil for dogs can also be used to cool sore muscles and soothe upset stomachs. Its recommended using peppermint oil topically for dogs by adding it to dog-friendly shampoos.
As for a related question you may be wondering: Is peppermint oil safe for cats? I dont recommend using peppermint oil for cats because it may cause adverse side effects. Instead, using spearmint oil on cats may help to relieve nausea, diarrhea and other digestive issues. When looking at peppermint vs. spearmint, peppermints flavor and fragrance is much stronger because it has a higher menthol content.
The following medications carry a moderate potential for interaction with peppermint oil: