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THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF PEPPERMINT (MENTHA X PIPERITA)

Peppermint is a perennial herb that can reach 60cm tall. The plant grows in Britain and Europe and is extensively cultivated in central and southern Europe and America. Leaves or stems are used. It has been traditionally used as a digestive aid.

ACTIONS  & INDICATIONS:

Carminative and Digestive:

  • It helps relax gastrointestinal sphincters and with bloating and flatulence.
  • Effect is best produced by the ingestion of few drops of essential oil
  • Used for colic, dyspepsia, flatulence, indigestion

Anti-emetic:

  • Used for vomiting in early months of pregnancy and in nausea after surgery with gynaecological patients.

GIT (gastro intestinal tract):

  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis

Respiratory:

  • Peppermint has anti- mycobacterial effect . It has also been shown to retard the growth of many varieties of bacteria and fungi.
  • It's thought to help relieve symptoms of allergies and asthma as well.
  • Used for common cold, chest rubs containing menthol used to treat coughs and bronchitis.

Anti spasmodic:

  • Helps to smooth and promote muscle relaxation – effective for  tension headaches and stomach cramps

Cautions:

  • Patients with reflux oesophageal symptoms should avoid using peppermint
  • It should not be used on faces of small children and infants.
  • It should not be used in gall bladder inflammation, severe liver disease
  • Best to avoid oral use in pregnancy
  • Some evidence shows that peppermint increases the bio-availability of felodipine, simvastatin, cyclosporin (Anon 2002) so it is not advised to use it concurrently. (Braun and Cohen)

Dose:

  • Dry herb, tea, tincture, peppermint essential oil, enteric coated capsules made with fresh peppermint leaves.

Essential oil:

  • Digestive disorders- 0.2-0.4ml three times daily in dilute preparations
  • IBS - 0.2-0.4ml three times daily in enteric coated capsules
  • Inhalation – 3-4 drops added to hot water
  • External use – ( for analgesic ( apply on forehead for headaches) anaesthetic or antipruritic activity – 0.1-1% m/m

When drinking peppermint tea for chronic stomach problems, talk to your health practitioner or nutritionist.

 

   
   
 

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© 2008 Ketki Vinaychandra – Singapore naturopath