Daily Dose of Peppermint Oil: 1-2tsp
Peppermint oil is from the peppermint plant which is native to Europe and North America. It is a cross between the spearmint and water mint plants. The oil is extracted from the plant and is used as a flavoring and fragrance, but is also used medicinally for many ailments. It can be taken orally in supplements and in tea form,or it can also be taken topically as an ointment. According to research, peppermint oil can be used to soothe an upset stomach and indigestion. When taken as a tea, in other liquids, or in small doses in capsules, it can soothe bloating, gas, cramping, and gastrointestinal discomfort. It works to relieve indigestion by improving the flow of bile that helps the body to digest fats more effectively. It also helps to relax muscles, so ingesting peppermint can relax the intestines to provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome as well as relax other muscles as well.
Peppermint can be rubbed over sore muscles for quick relief and on the temples to alleviate a headache. The menthol in peppermint can help loosen congestion and relieve coughing that comes with the common cold or allergies. It acts as an expectorant, thinning the mucus to make coughs more productive and also relieving dry cough and sore throat. When used in aromatherapy, peppermint can boost mental performance and promote focus because of its cool and invigorating aroma that helps us stay alert. Another common use for peppermint oil is for getting rid of bad breath caused by smoking, drinking alcohol, or eating foods that have a strong unpleasant smell. It can be achieved by drinking cool peppermint tea or by gargling with it.
The recommended dosage for peppermint oil in tea form is about 1-2 teaspoons of dried peppermint leaves in boiling water and allowing it to steep for 5 minutes. As an enteric-coated tablet, it is okay to take up to 1,200mg for treating irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint is likely safe for most healthy adults when used as directed. It may cause some side effects, most likely heart burn. It may also interact with certain medication, so it is best to consult a physician before taking it.
- Wall GC, Bryant GA, Bottenberg MM, Maki ED, Miesner AR. Irritable bowel syndrome: a concise review of current treatment concepts. World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jul 21;20(27):8796-806. PMID: 25083054.
- Vanuytsel T1, Tack JF, Boeckxstaens GE. Treatment of abdominal pain in irritable bowel syndrome. J Gastroenterol. 2014 Aug;49(8):1193-205. PMID: 24845149.