Peppermint, a cross between two types of mint (water mint and spearmint), is used as both a flavoring agent and a medicine. The leaves and stems contain the volatile oil menthol. It is available as a tea, prepared from dried leaves, a tincture, enteric-coated capsules and topical preparations.
Features & Benefits
- A number of studies have shown that enteric-coated peppermint capsules can help treat symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Topical use can have soothing and cooling effect on skin irritations caused by hives, poison ivy or poison oak
- Peppermint calms the muscles of the stomach and improves flow of bile
- Menthol, peppermint’s main active ingredient, is an effective decongestant.
Suggestions & Precautions
- When used internally, enteric-coated capsules should be chosen. This prevents the peppermint oil from being released in the stomach, which can cause heartburn and indigestion.
- Do not take peppermint or drink peppermint tea if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or hiatal hernia
- Large doses of peppermint oil can be toxic. Pure menthol is poisonous and should never be taken internally.
- Never apply peppermint oil to the face or chest of an infant or small child, as it may cause spasms that inhibit breathing