Peppermint

Botanical  Information

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

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