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What is peppermint oil used for?

Sarah LoBisco
Integrative Medicine
Peppermint oil is most revered for its ability to calm upset bellies and support digestion in herbal circles. There have been several clinical trials that have shown its efficacy in treating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.  In fact, a 2005 literature review of 16 different trials concluded that peppermint oil “may be the drug of first choice in IBS patients with non-serious constipation or diarrhea to alleviate general symptoms and to improve quality of life.”

Other studies have pointed to peppermint oils ability to calm spasms and assist with functional digestive issues. One trial also demonstrated its efficacy in relieving nausea in those receiving chemotherapy. Another trial showed peppermint could help with neuropathic pain from shingles. A few studies also supported the use of peppermint as an antiviral agent against herpes.

Peppermint has also been studied for enhancing cognition, antimicrobial support, headache relief, and dental health. A few rodent studies also demonstrated radiation protection and support for allergies.

Although peppermint oil is generally considered safe, some people may have side effects such as skin irritation. It is important to let your physician know when taking any supplement or herbal products.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.