Peppermint is a common medicinal plant that dates back thousands of years to Greek times and has antispasmodic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, congestive and antioxidant effects
Today, peppermint essential oil is the most common application, mainly the stem, leaves and flowers of peppermint and other parts extracted by distillation, the main components are menthol, menthone, because of the special spicy and fresh taste and the coolness after use, often used in cosmeceuticals, personal hygiene products, food and pharmaceutical products. Note 6
What are the recommended empirical benefits of peppermint oil (essential oil)?
1. Improve irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel disorder is a multisymptomatic, cyclical disorder of bowel dysfunction that affects about 5% to 15% of the population, and is extremely disturbing because of the disturbing symptoms, often reducing the quality of life and having a very high rate of absenteeism or absenteeism.
Possible symptoms of irritable bowel disease include: abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, painful bowel movements, desire to defecate after defecation, expulsion of gas or mucus, etc.
A meta-analysis (9 randomised placebo-controlled trials with 726 participants) of oral peppermint oil compared with placebo helped improve irritable bowel symptoms and abdominal pain. Note 1
*Conclusion: Oral peppermint oil may have a positive effect on irritability, but more long-term studies are needed to confirm its safety and efficacy
2. Relieves tension-type headaches
Tension-type headache is the most common type of headache, mainly caused by muscle contraction in the head and neck, and unlike migraine, nausea and vomiting are absent.
The main triggers of tension-type headaches may be related to mood, stress, temperature, alcohol consumption, eye strain, smoking, colds, coffee drinking, and poor posture.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (in 41 patients with tension-type headache) showed that topical application of 10% peppermint oil helped reduce clinical headache intensity compared with placebo, and the improvement effect was not inferior to the painkiller acetaminophen (pronapain and other painkillers). Note 2
*Conclusion: Topical application of peppermint oil can relieve tension-type headache, and has the advantages of high tolerance and low cost
3. Improve athletic performance
The importance of moderate exercise for the body, mind and mind is well known, reducing symptoms of cardiovascular disease, obesity, some cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and anxiety
A controlled study (30 male college students) pointed out that compared with the control group, oral peppermint essential oil could not only improve grip strength, longitudinal jump in place, and standing long jump, but also improve the measurement values of lung capacity (such as maximum spirometry, maximum inspiratory flow rate, maximum expiratory flow rate) and visual response time, sound response time, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure. Note 3
Measured values to improve vital capacity may be related to the relief of tracheal and bronchial smooth muscle tone by peppermint essential oil
Another randomized controlled study found that intake of peppermint essential oil did not significantly help with maximum oxygen consumption, exercise to exhaustion time, and cardiopulmonary measurements at rest. Note 4
*Conclusion: The effect of oral peppermint essential oil on improving exercise performance and related cardiopulmonary function values is still unknown, and more studies need to verify
4. Relieves pruritus gravitus (Pruritus Gravidarum)
Pregnancy pruritus often occurs in women around 31 weeks of pregnancy, the prevalence rate is about 1-8%, more likely in winter, and most serious during night sleep, the main symptoms are mainly abdominal itching, but may also extend to the limbs, causing patients to be deeply disturbed, serious and even cause depression
Pregnancy pruritus can be subdivided into pregnancy urticaria (PUPPP), pregnancy intrahepatic cholestasis (ICP), pregnancy pemphigoid (PG), and pregnancy ectopic rash (AEP).
A randomized triple-blind trial (2 weeks, 96 people with pruritus of pregnancy) noted that treatment with peppermint oil helped reduce the severity of pruritus in pregnancy. Note 5
*Conclusion: Preliminary studies have shown that peppermint oil can improve pruritus in pregnancy, but more clinical trials are still needed
Are there any side effects of peppermint oil (essential oil)?
For most people, it is safe to use peppermint oil in moderate and correct use, whether outdoor or internal.
However, possible side effects of oral administration include heartburn and allergic reactions such as flushing of the face, headache, and mouth sores, while possible side effects of topical use are skin rashes or tingling sensations.
Do not consume excessive amounts of peppermint oil, which may cause poisoning
Do not apply peppermint oil to the face or chest of a baby or young child, as it may cause muscle cramps and cause difficulty breathing
Pregnant and nursing mothers should check with a doctor or pharmacist before use to ensure safety
Do not use if liver and kidney function are abnormal (because safety is unknown)
Do not use it with immunosuppressant cyclosporine, which may reduce the efficiency of drug decomposition and cause unknown risks
If taking enteric-coated peppermint oil, do not combine with antacids, which may cause premature dissolution of the capsule in the stomach and affect the efficacy of the preparation
Do not use in combination with drugs that need to be metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzyme, because peppermint may interfere with the activity of cytochrome P450 enzyme, which will affect the efficacy of the drug and increase side effects
Common drugs that need to be metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzyme are: antidepressants (amitriptyline), angina drugs (propranolol), analgesic and skeletal muscle relaxants (carisoprodol), analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs (diclofenac, ibuprofen, celecoxib), coronary dilators (verapamil), anticoagulants (warfarin), Hypolipidemic drugs (lovastatin) etc.