Peppermint

Plant Part Used

Leaf

Introduction

Peppermint is a widely used herb for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Peppermint tea has long been used in treating children’s digestive problems such as colic, flatulence, and upset stomach. The oil of peppermint is used routinely in Europe to treat a variety of digestive complaints.

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

Tea: 3-6gm dried leaf as infusion, 2-3 times a day.

Enteric Coated Preparation: 1 tablet (0.2ml oil per tablet), 2-3 times a day.

Most Common Dosage

Tea: 3gm as infusion, 3 times a day.

Enteric Coated Preparation: 1 tablet (0.2ml oil per tablet), 3 times a day.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to:

Oil: not less than 4.5% (w/w) and not more than 10% (w/w) of esters calculated as menthyl acetate; not less than 44% (w/w) of free alcohols calculated as menthol; not less than 15% (w/w) and not more than 32% (w/w) ketones calculated as menthone.

Leaf: contain not less than 1.2% of volatile oils.

Reported Uses

The most prevalent and heavily researched use for peppermint is in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Many clinical trials have suggested that enteric coated peppermint preparations may effectively treat many symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. (1) , (2) , (3) Scientists think this benefit comes from peppermint oil’s ability to support normal function of the muscles that control the intestines and because it functions as a carminative, or gas-reducing agent.

Other studies have examined peppermint’s possible role in lessening the symptoms of chronic indigestion. Results have suggested that peppermint may dramatically reduce pain and discomfort for some users. (4)

Peppermint may also be useful for treating postoperative nausea. According to one study, patients who received peppermint required fewer conventional drugs to ease their nausea. (5) Topically applied peppermint oil may also have the ability to lower the intensity and pain of tension-related headaches. (6)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.

Health Conditions

If you have liver disease, biliary tract obstruction or cholecystitis the oil form of this dietary supplement is not recommended. (7) Talk to your doctor before taking this dietary supplement.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

Read More

   1) Essential Oil

References

  1. Rees WD. Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Peppermint Oil. Br Med J. Oct1979;2(6194):835-36.
  2. View Abstract: Pittler MH. Peppermint Oil for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Critical Review and Metaanalysis. Am J Gastroenterol. Jul1998;93(7):1131-35.
  3. View Abstract: Liu JH, et al. Enteric-coated Peppermint-oil Capsules in the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Prospective, Randomized Trial. J Gastroenterol. Dec1997;32(6):765-68.
  4. View Abstract: Madisch A, et al. Treatment of Functional Dyspepsia with a Fixed Peppermint Oil and Caraway Oil Combination Preparation as Compared to Cisapride. A Multicenter, Reference-controlled Double-blind Equivalence Study. Arzneimittelforschung. Nov1999;49(11):925-32.
  5. View Abstract: Tate S. Peppermint Oil: A Treatment for Postoperative Nausea. J Adv Nurs. Sep1997;26(3):543-49.
  6. View Abstract: Gobel H, et al. Effectiveness of Oleum Menthae piperitae and Paracetamol in Therapy of Headache of the Tension Type. Nervenarzt. 1996;67(8):672-81.
  7. Shulz V, et al. Rational Phytotherapy: A Physicians’ Guide to Herbal Medicine. New York: Springer-Verlag; 1996:187-90.