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Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • 1,8-cineole, 3,8 dihydroxy-p-menthane-7-carboxylic acid, 5,7-dihydroxycromone-7-O-rutinoside, 7a-hydroxymintlactone, 8-hydroxymenthone, a-bourbonene, aceite de menta, alpha-humulene, alpha-pinene, anisic acid, balm mint, beta-caryophyllene, beta-myrcene, beta-pinene, black mitchum, black peppermint, brandy mint, caffeic acid, carvone, camphor, chlorogenic acid, cineol, cobalt, coumarin, curled mint, diastereomeric mintlactone, diosmin, eriocitrin, feuilles de menthe (French), folia Menthae piperitae, flavonoids, frantsila, hesperidin, iron, isomenthone, iosmin, isomintlactone, isopentyl isovalerate, isorhoifolin, Japanese peppermint, Katzenkraut (German), Kubanskaia-6 peppermint, Kubanskaya-6 peppermint, lamb mint, limonene, linalool, lithospermic acid, luteolin, luteolin 7-O-beta-glucuronide, luteolin-7-rutinoside, menta prima (Italian), Mentha arvensis L. var. piperascens, mentha extract, Mentha longifolia, Mentha piperita Huds. L. Mentha piperita var. officinalis, Mentha piperita var. vulgaris, Mentha x piperita L., Mentha x piperita nothosubsp., Menthae longifoliae, Menthae piperitae aetheroleum (peppermint oil), Menthae piperitae folium (peppermint leaf), menthe anglaise (French), menthe poivre (French), menthe poivrée (French), menthofuran, menthofurolactone, menthol, menthone, menthyl acetate, methyl rosmarinate, mintlactones, Mitcham peppermint, monoterpenes, narirutin, Native Wilmet, neomenthol, oleum Menthae piperitae, Our Lady's mint, pebermynte (Danish), peppermint oil, Pfefferminz (German), Pfefferminze (German), phenols, piperitone, p-menthane-3,8-diol, p-menthane-3,9-diol, Polyhybrid-7, Porminzen, pulegone, rosmarinic acid, rutin, Schmecker, sterols, terpenes, terpenoids, vitamin A, volatile oil, white peppermint, WS(R) 1340.
  • Brand names: Ben-Gay®, China Maze®, Cholaktol®, Citaethol®, Colpermin®, Iberogast®, Kiminto®, Listerine®, Mentacur®, Mentholatum®, Mintec®, Rhuli Gel®, Robitussin® cough drops, SX Mentha®, Vicks VapoRub®.
  • Combination product examples: Absorbine Jr® (calendula, Echinacea, Artemisia, menthol), Enteroplant® (caraway oil, peppermint oil); STW-5 or Iberogast® (German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) flower, clown's mustard (Iberis amara) plant, angelica (Angelica archangelica) root and rhizome, caraway (Carum carvi) fruit, milk thistle (Silybum marianum) fruit, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) leaf, celandine (Chelidonium majus) aerial part, licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) root, peppermint (Mentha x piperita) leaf); STW-5-II (German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) flower, clown's mustard (Iberis amara) plant, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) leaf, licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) root; STW-5-S (German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) flower, angelica (Angelica archangelica) root and rhizome, caraway (Carum carvi) fruit, milk thistle (Silybum marianum) fruit, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) leaf, celandine (Chelidonium majus) aerial part, licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) root, peppermint (Mentha x piperita) leaf).

Background

  • Peppermint is a flowering plant that grows throughout Europe and North America with a long history of use for digestive conditions.
  • Peppermint oil has been used historically for numerous health conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion. It is also often used for digestive problems in children.
  • Peppermint is also commonly used in the food and drug industries for its scent, flavor, and cooling and soothing properties. Other possible applications include using peppermint as a muscle relaxant during certain medical procedures and for soothing symptoms associated with respiratory infection and difficulty breathing.
  • Peppermint oil is available as bulk herb oil, capsules, and in liquid form. The United States is a major producer of peppermint, and the largest markets for peppermint oil are manufacturers of chewing gum, toothpaste, mouthwash, and drugs.
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Evidence

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Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

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Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.