Peppermint: Medical Uses Peppermint is used for colds, fevers, and gastrointestinal complaints. Historical Uses Peppermint has been used historically for indigestion, colic, and fevers. Growth This perennial aromatic herb of the mint family can be grown as a houseplant or in an herb garden. It spreads easily in a garden. Part Used • Leaves Major Chemical Compounds • Volatile oil made up of menthol, menthone, and menthyl acetate Clinical Uses Peppermint is given for colds, fevers, and gastrointestinal complaints. Peppermint oil capsules have improved symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Mechanism of Action This herb has carmative (gas-relieving) and antispasmodic effects because it blocks calcium and decreases hypercontractility of intestinal smooth muscle. Menthol has a choleretic effect. Peppermint: Dosage Tea (infusion): 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried leaves in 8 ounces of boiling water, steeped for 5 minutes. Cover the cup to prevent volatile oils from escaping. Drink three times daily. Side Effects Peppermint may cause hypersensitivity reactions and contact dermatitis. Contraindications • Peppermint is contraindicated in patients with gallstones. • Peppermint may reduce or negate the Read more […]
Archive for category Peppermint'
Mentha piperita L. (Lamiaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Black mint (Mentha piperita Sole), White mint (Mentha piperita Sole). Note that Mentha x piperita L. is a hybrid between Mentha spicata L. and Mentha viridis L. Pharmacopoeias Concentrated Peppermint Emulsion (British Ph 2009); Gastro-resistant Peppermint Oil Capsules (British Ph 2009); Peppermint (US Ph 32); Peppermint Leaf (British Ph 2009, European Ph 2008); Peppermint Leaf Dry Extract (European Ph 2008); Peppermint Oil (British Ph 2009, European Ph 2008, US Ph 32); Peppermint Spirit (British Ph 2009, US Ph 32); Peppermint Water (The United States Ph 32). Constituents Essential oils, including menthol, menthone, menthyl acetate as the main components, and cineole, isomenthone, neomenthol, piperitone, pulegone and limonene. A maximum level of pulegone is permitted, since this is toxic, see pennyroyal. Peppermint also contains flavonoids such as rutin, menthoside, luteolin and phenolic acids, and lactones. Use and indications Peppermint leaf and distilled oil have carminative, antispasmodic, diaphoretic and antiseptic properties, and are mainly used to relieve symptoms of indigestion. Peppermint is commonly used as a flavouring ingredient Read more […]
• Peppermint oil and/or peppermint leaf extracts can be used for IBS, dyspepsia, flatulence, intestinal colic and biliary disorders. Note, however, that peppermint oil is contraindicated in inflammation of the gall bladder and severe liver disease. • Although enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules may prevent side-effects such as reflux and allow higher doses to be used, traditional extracts of peppermint, including hydro-ethanolic extracts and infusions, may also be effective. • Peppermint leaf extract combines well with chamomile, caraway, licorice, lemon balm, angelica, St Mary’s thistle and the bitter candytuft (Iberis amara) in the treatment of functional dyspepsia. • Peppermint oil can be used as an inhalation or chest rub for coughs, sinusitis and bronchitis. Commission E approved peppermint oil for internal use in the treatment of respiratory tract inflammation and hot peppermint leaf infusion is used as a diaphoretic tea in the treatment of colds and influenza. • Peppermint oil can be inhaled to reduce nausea and may enhance cognitive performance and tactile tasks. • 10% peppermint oil in ethanol solution can be applied externally for tension headaches and applied over affected areas Read more […]
Significant Interactions Controlled studies are not available; therefore, interactions are based on evidence of activity and are largely theoretical and speculative. FELODIPINE Peppermint oil has been shown to increase the oral bioavailability of felodipine in animal studies — use this combination with caution. SIMVASTATIN Peppermint oil has been shown to increase the oral bioavailability of simvastatin in animal studies. Observe the patient and monitor drug requirements — possible beneficial interaction. CYCLOSPORIN Peppermint oil has been shown to increase the oral bioavailability of cyclosporin in animal studies — avoid concurrent use, unless under medical supervision. DRUGS METABOLISED BY CYP3A4 LIVER ENZYME Peppermint may increase the oral bioavailability of certain drugs by inhibition of CYP3A4-mediated drug metabolism, which has been demonstrated in vitro but not in test animals. Although these studies seem to suggest that peppermint may modulate drug metabolising enzymes, the clinical significance of this is unknown and requires further investigation. Caution is advised. Contraindications and Precautions Hypersensitivity to peppermint oil. Non-enteric-coated peppermint may be best avoided Read more […]
A single dose of 4000 mg/kg of a spray-dried infusion did not produce any macroscopic signs of toxicity in mice. Peppermint oil has been shown to be minimally toxic in acute oral studies. Short-term and subchronic oral studies reported brain lesions in rats that were given very large doses of peppermint oil containing pulegone, pulegone alone or large amounts (> 200 mg/kg/day) of menthone. Pulegone is also a recognised hepatotoxin and large doses of peppermint oil have been shown to be hepatotoxic in cultured human hepatoma cells. Peppermint oil was negative in an Ames test and a mouse lymphoma mutagenesis assay, but gave equivocal results in a Chinese hamster fibroblast cell chromosome aberration assay. There is a case report of acute lung injury following IV injection of peppermint oil. Although sensitisation to peppermint oil and/or its constituents has been reported, a solution containing 8% peppermint oil was shown not to be a sensitiser. Contact dermatitis to peppermint and menthol has been reported and there is a case report of chemical burn after peppermint oil ingestion; however, as long as the pulegone content is kept to a minimum, peppermint oil and peppermint extract are considered to have a very good Read more […]
In practice, peppermint and its derivatives are used in many forms and administered by various routes. This review will focus only on those methods that are commonly used by the public and preparations that are available OTC, such as oral dose forms, topical applications and inhalations. IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME There have been several studies examining the effects of peppermint oil in the treatment of IBS. Newer studies have tended to use pH-triggered, enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules that prevent dissolution of the capsules until they have reached the small intestine, and release into the colon is extended over 10-12 hours. Enteric coating allows administration of a higher dose than would otherwise be possible to tolerate and, importantly, avoids the risk of excessively relaxing the lower oesophageal sphincter and causing reflux. A recent review identified 15 clinical trials investigating peppermint oil in IBS. Of these, 8 of 12 placebo-controlled studies show statistically significant effects in favour of peppermint oil, with average response for ‘overall success’ being 58% for peppermint oil and 29% for placebo. Three studies that compared peppermint oil to smooth muscle relaxants showed no difference Read more […]
Common Name Peppermint Botanical Name / Family Mentha x piperita (family [Labiatae] Lamiaceae) Plant Parts Used Leaf or stem — essential oil is distilled from the aerial parts. Chemical Components Peppermint leaves contain about 2.5% essential oil, 19% total polyphenolic compounds, 12% total flavonoid compounds (eriocitrin, luteolin-7-O-rutinoside, hesperidoside) and 7% total hydroxycinnamic compounds (including rosmarinic acid). The biochemistry, organisation, and regulation of essential oil metabolism in the epidermal oil glands of peppermint have been defined and research is underway to create ‘super’ transgenic peppermint plants with improved oil composition and yield. Essential oil Over 100 constituents have been identified in peppermint oil. The principal constituents are menthol (35-55%), menthones (10-35%), isomenthone, menthyl acetate, menthofuran and cineole. To comply with the European Pharmacopoeia, the oil must not contain more than 4% pulegone and not more than 1% carvone. Historical Note The written record of mint dates back to an ancient Greek myth in which the Greek god Pluto was said to have affections for a beautiful nymph named Minthe. His jealous wife Persephone cast a spell on the Read more […]