Today, peppermint oil is popular for the following:
It helps muscles relax: peppermint’s main active ingredient, menthol, found in the leaves and flowers of the plant is thought to have a relaxing effect on the smooth muscle of the intestine, relieving muscle spasms.3,4 When applied to the skin, it’s muscle-relaxant effect has been shown to soothe headaches, too.5
It can ease stomach pain: scientists think peppermint temporarily desensitises pain sensors in the gut, reducing abdominal discomfort.6 A 2016 study in Digestive Diseases and Sciences found it also works as an anti-inflammatory and reduces excess gassiness, which can relieve tummy aches and pains.7
It can tackle constipation: peppermint’s relaxant effect on muscles means it also speeds up transit of food through the gut, reducing symptoms of indigestion such as bloating and constipation.8
It can help keep your teeth clean: peppermint is a popular toothpaste flavour for a reason, and not just the fresh minty taste. It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which can help your mouth fight against dental plaque.9
For headache relief, apply 10% of peppermint essential oil diluted with a carrier oil, such as almond oil, sparingly to the skin.
If you experience any of these side-effects, stop taking peppermint oil and see your GP.Shop Supplements Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
Sources1. European Medicines Agency. Assessment report on Mentha X Piperita L Folium 2. National Center For Complimentary And Integrative Health. Peppermint Oil 3. Encyclopedia.com. Peppermint 4. Ford AC, et al. Effect of fibre, antispasmodics, and peppermint oil in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis 5. Gobel H, Schmidt G, Soyka D. Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetric headache parameters 6. Canadian Society of Intestinal Research. GI Society. Peppermint and IBS Pain Relief 7. Cash BD, Epstein MS, Shah SM. A Novel Delivery System of Peppermint Oil is an Effective Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms
8. As above9. Dagli N, et al. Essential oils, their therapeutic properties, and implication in dentistry: A review
10. As Source 111. American Family Physician. Peppermint oil 12. As Source 2