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Using peppermint oil for IBS

Photo Credit: wladimir1804/Adobe Stock

Discovering a solution that is sustainable for symptoms linked to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) often results in feelings of defeat and pure frustration. There are countless resources now available for low FODMAP food guides and shopping lists, and many companies have introduced a space within the food industry, offering low FODMAP food options. If you are in search of new tools to deal with your symptoms, peppermint oil might be the answer you have been searching for.

What Is Peppermint Oil?

Mentha x Piperita, which is the scientific name for peppermint oil, is one of the essential oils that has been in use for hundreds of years as both a herbal supplement and natural remedy for people that suffer from IBS. It works on impacting the bacteria present in the GI tract, lengthening the orocecal transit period, and preventing contractions in the smooth muscles in the way of blocking the calcium channels. Peppermint oil can reduce inflammation and regulate immunity, which is extremely helpful when it comes to IBS-D.4. These can all assist with decreasing bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and how frequently the individual goes to the toilet.

In a review featured in the British Medical Journal, 4 trials that were controlled studied the effects between placebos and peppermint oil on the IBS symptoms in 392 people. When these candidates were randomly selected to these 2 conditions, the group taking the peppermint oil displayed a significant improvement linked to their symptoms, which happened to be 2.5 times less than the symptoms of the patients that received the placebo.

In a newer review, 9 studies were compiled which involved 726 subjects. In these studies, capsules that were enteric-coated were compared with a placebo. The data showed that 69% of the subjects that were taking the peppermint in comparison to the 31% that were taking the placebo, showed improvements in their symptoms.

When comparing spasmodics to peppermint oil, patients experienced fewer adverse side effects overall, which indicates that essential peppermint oil might be the better approach when it comes to first-line therapy.

How To Use Peppermint For IBS


When considering supplements, the enteric-coated peppermint tablets generally work best. The recommended dose involves taking 0.2 to 0.4 ml, 3 times daily.

The enteric-coated capsules can help to prevent an upset stomach and heartburn. This also ensures the peppermint can reach the part of the gastrointestinal tract which helps to decrease the symptoms that you experience the most.

If you are taking peppermint in other forms, the dosage will usually be lower ( just less than 0.2ml, 3 times daily). It is also important to follow the directions on the label to ensure you are taking the right amount.

Take the capsule or pill around 30 minutes before every meal, and lower the dose should you experience a side effect such as a burning sensation when you use the toilet.

How To Combine Peppermint Oil Into Your Daily Menu

You can combine peppermint oil into your food at very low doses when pain is not your main symptom of IBS. When consuming peppermint in an oil form, the dosage needs to be lower due to the absence of the coating. At this stage, there are no suggestions for the dosage amount.

How Long Do The Effects Of Peppermint Oil Last?

Research has indicated that favorable effects could last for as long as 4 weeks after you have stopped using peppermint, which is suggested to do with the change in the bacterial makeup inside the gut, and how it affects the smooth muscle.

Risks Associated With Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has the ability to delay how the body breaks down cyclosporine which is one of the immunosuppressant drugs. If you are taking cyclosporine with peppermint oil it can elevate the levels linked to this type of medication. Peppermint oil can also impact the medications that the liver breaks down since it can delay how fast the liver usually breaks these compounds down. If you are using enteric-coated peppermint oil pills, the medications that lower stomach acid may result in the capsules dissolving too fast. This can result in nausea or heartburn. If you are taking these types of drugs, first speak to your doctor to find out if it is safe to use peppermint oil or whether you can adjust the dose.

augusta free press
augusta free press