Peppermint: Medical Uses
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.
Major Chemical Compounds
• Volatile oil made up of menthol, menthone, and menthyl acetate
Mechanism of Action
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.
• Peppermint is contraindicated in patients with gallstones.
None are known.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
No restrictions are known.
Summary of Studies
Kline et al. (2001). This randomized, double-blind, controlled, multicenter study of 42 children with a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome showed improvement in 75 percent of those who received peppermint oil capsules for 2 weeks.
May et al. (2000). This randomized, controlled trial using one capsule twice daily of 90 mg peppermint oil and 50 mg caraway oil (Enteroplant) in 96 patients with a diagnosis of functional dyspepsia over 28 days resulted in a positive risk-beneft ratio and was well tolerated.
• Peppermint may cause allergic reactions and rash.
• Don’t take peppermint if you have gallstones.
• Peppermint may interfere with homeopathic remedies. If you take such a remedy, consult your homeopathic practitioner.