Peppermint Leaf (Mentha peperita). First identified in England in 1696, peppermint is a common medicinal herb.1 Only the leaves are used medicinally; they are often used in pharmaceutical and herbal products.2
What it is used for: Peppermint increases the acidity of the stomach, thereby aiding digestion.3 It has a slight anesthetizing effect on the mucous membranes and the gastrointestinal tract.4 It is useful in the treatment of diarrhea, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, poor appetite, and spasms.5 It is also well known to be anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, antimicrobial, and a safe stimulant.6 It is often included in herbal remedies and blends because its aromatic quality renders such concoctions more acceptable to the body, more digestible, and actually helps increase the assimilation and utilization by the body’s major systems.7
Research Highlights: Numerous studies have elucidated the medicinal value of peppermint. In one double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, patients with nonulcerative dyspepsia were given an herbal remedy consisting of peppermint and caraway oil. Both primary and secondary analyses indicated the superiority of the peppermint/caraway blend.8 Another study found that patients using peppermint experienced fewer spasms when undergoing barium enemas.9 There is also some indication that peppermint can help clear up gallstones; an uncontrolled study involving 31 patients saw a total stone resolution in 73% of the cases when a peppermint derivative was taken regularly.10
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As with any medical information on health, it is always best to check with your personal physician who knows your medical history best since they are more qualified in giving you the best recommendation. Our information, advice or recommendation is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have.
1. The Complete Guide to Natural Healing. (2000). International Masters Publishers, AB., 1:16.
3. Balch, P. & Balch, J. (2000). Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 3rd ed., Avery Publishing, pg. 106.
6. Mowrey, D. (1986). The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine, Keats Publishing, pg. 72.
7. Mowrey, D. (1986). The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine, Keats Publishing, pg. 103.
8. PDR For Herbal Medicines, 3rd ed. (2004). Thompson PDR, pg. 629.