Last Updated: September 28, 2022

    Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is a hydrid plant that is used for its sensory properties (aroma and taste) and the oil is used internally as a carminative and intestinal aid. It appears to be well supported for relaxing the stomach and intestines, and effectively reduces abdominal pain in IBS.

    Peppermint is most often used for .


    Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is a plant which is a hybrid from watermint and spearmint, used initially for culinary and food manufacturing purposes but has also been used for its supposed medicinal benefits. Peppermint has an oil component which appears to be its medicinal component, and this oil has a very large content of menthol which is seen as its bioactive ingredient. This menthol is nontoxic at the recommended dose, but is the same menthol also found in some cigarette products.

    The main medicinal role of peppermint is due to its muscle relaxing properties in the stomach and intestinal tract, and internal usage of peppermint appears to be able to speed up the early phase of digestion in the stomach while reducing colonic motility. It is known as a carminative agent (thought to relief flatulence), and it has a fair bit of evidence to supports its usage in reducing abdominal pain in persons with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It doesn't seem to influence other symptoms of IBS too much, but the reduction of abdominal pain is quite notable.

    Other possible benefits of peppermint oil include fast headache relief (which involves applying a topical solution of 10% peppermint oil to the scalp at the onset of a tension headache) and possibly a reduction in nausea when used as aromatherapy. It is safe with the recommended dosages, but overconsumption of peppermint oil supplements does have a toxic level which is feasible to reach intentionally.

    What are other names for Peppermint

    Note that Peppermint is also known as:
    • Menthol
    • Mentha piperita
    • Mentha balsamea
    Peppermint should not be confused with:
    • Spearmint or Watermint (the plants from which peppermint is a hybrid)

    Dosage information

    Oral supplementation of peppermint oil for the purpose of gastrointestinal health and motility involves consuming anywhere between 450-750mg of the oil daily in 2-3 divided doses, and this is around 0.1-0.2mL of the oil itself per dosage. The exact optimal dosage of peppermint is not known, and the numbers reflect a menthol content somewhere between 33-50%.

    Usage of peppermint for the treatment of headaches involves having a solution of 10% peppermint oil and applying a relatively thin layer to the front of your head upon the start of a headache, with another application after 15 minutes and 30 minutes (for three applications in total).

    Usage of peppermint for aromatherapy does not follow any particular dosing, and similar to other forms of aromatherapy it should be used as either an oil or in a distiller until a pleasant aroma permeates the vicinity.

    Any form of peppermint oil should be effective although for persons who experience heartburn (acid reflux) and wish to supplement with peppermint oil for their intestines, then an enteric coated capsule would be useful (since the muscle relaxing effects may affect the esophagous if the capsule breaks prematurely).

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    Examine Database References

    1. Calmness - Mark Moss, Steven Hewitt, Lucy Moss, Keith WesnesModulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylangInt J Neurosci.(2008 Jan)
    2. Nausea Symptoms - Betty Lane, Kathi Cannella, Cathy Bowen, David Copelan, Grace Nteff, Katrina Barnes, Melanie Poudevigne, Jacqueline LawsonExamination of the effectiveness of peppermint aromatherapy on nausea in women post C-sectionJ Holist Nurs.(2012 Jun)
    3. Nausea Symptoms - Tate SPeppermint oil: a treatment for postoperative nauseaJ Adv Nurs.(1997 Sep)
    4. Nausea Symptoms - Burns EE, Blamey C, Ersser SJ, Barnetson L, Lloyd AJAn investigation into the use of aromatherapy in intrapartum midwifery practiceJ Altern Complement Med.(2000 Apr)
    5. Nipple Cracks - Melli MS, Rashidi MR, Nokhoodchi A, Tagavi S, Farzadi L, Sadaghat K, Tahmasebi Z, Sheshvan MKA randomized trial of peppermint gel, lanolin ointment, and placebo gel to prevent nipple crack in primiparous breastfeeding womenMed Sci Monit.(2007 Sep)
    6. Nausea Symptoms - Anderson LA, Gross JBAromatherapy with peppermint, isopropyl alcohol, or placebo is equally effective in relieving postoperative nauseaJ Perianesth Nurs.(2004 Feb)
    7. Gastric Emptying Rate - Inamori M, Akiyama T, Akimoto K, Fujita K, Takahashi H, Yoneda M, Abe Y, Kubota K, Saito S, Ueno N, Nakajima AEarly effects of peppermint oil on gastric emptying: a crossover study using a continuous real-time 13C breath test (BreathID system)J Gastroenterol.(2007 Jul)
    8. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms - Merat S, Khalili S, Mostajabi P, Ghorbani A, Ansari R, Malekzadeh RThe effect of enteric-coated, delayed-release peppermint oil on irritable bowel syndromeDig Dis Sci.(2010 May)
    9. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms - Kline RM, Kline JJ, Di Palma J, Barbero GJEnteric-coated, pH-dependent peppermint oil capsules for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in childrenJ Pediatr.(2001 Jan)
    10. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms - Alexander C Ford, Nicholas J Talley, Brennan M R Spiegel, Amy E Foxx-Orenstein, Lawrence Schiller, Eamonn M M Quigley, and Paul MoayyediEffect of fibre, antispasmodics, and peppermint oil in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysisBritish Medical Journal.()
    11. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms - Rees WD, Evans BK, Rhodes JTreating irritable bowel syndrome with peppermint oilBr Med J.(1979 Oct 6)
    12. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms - Liu JH, Chen GH, Yeh HZ, Huang CK, Poon SKEnteric-coated peppermint-oil capsules in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a prospective, randomized trialJ Gastroenterol.(1997 Dec)
    13. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms - Lech Y, Olesen KM, Hey H, Rask-Pedersen E, Vilien M, Ostergaard OTreatment of irritable bowel syndrome with peppermint oil. A double-blind study with a placeboUgeskr Laeger.(1988 Oct 3)
    14. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms - Cappello G, Spezzaferro M, Grossi L, Manzoli L, Marzio LPeppermint oil (Mintoil) in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a prospective double blind placebo-controlled randomized trialDig Liver Dis.(2007 Jun)
    15. Headaches - Göbel H, Fresenius J, Heinze A, Dworschak M, Soyka DEffectiveness of Oleum menthae piperitae and paracetamol in therapy of headache of the tension typeNervenarzt.(1996 Aug)
    16. Headaches - Göbel H, Schmidt G, Soyka DEffect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetric headache parametersCephalalgia.(1994 Jun)
    17. Diffuse Esophageal Spasm Treatment - M Pimentel, G G Bonorris, E J Chow, H C LinPeppermint oil improves the manometric findings in diffuse esophageal spasmJ Clin Gastroenterol.(2001 Jul)
    18. Pain - Shavakhi A, Ardestani SK, Taki M, Goli M, Keshteli AHPremedication with peppermint oil capsules in colonoscopy: a double blind placebo-controlled randomized trial studyActa Gastroenterol Belg.(2012 Sep)
    19. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms - Alam MS, Roy PK, Miah AR, Mollick SH, Khan MR, Mahmud MC, Khatun SEfficacy of Peppermint oil in diarrhea predominant IBS - a double blind randomized placebo - controlled studyMymensingh Med J.(2013 Jan)
    20. Nipple Cracks - Manizheh Sayyah Melli, Mohammad Reza Rashidi, Abbas Delazar, Elaheh Madarek, Mohammad Hassan Kargar Maher, Alieh Ghasemzadeh, Kamran Sadaghat, Zohreh TahmasebiEffect of peppermint water on prevention of nipple cracks in lactating primiparous women: a randomized controlled trialInt Breastfeed J.(2007 Apr 19)