Peppermint is a very popular medicinal herb having been used as a traditional remedy since the early 18th century.
Peppermint mildly anesthetizes mucous membranes and acts as an antispasmodic thus making it useful for digestive problems by calming the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and reducing spasm. It also has significant anti-oxidant activity and is known to enhance digestion by increasing stomach acid production and stimulating bile flow. Due to these properties many people with digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, characterized by symptoms including abdominal cramping, spasm and pain find it to be of benefit.
Peppermint, in the form of enteric coated capsules, has been shown in clinical studies to significantly improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) due to small bowel bacterial overgrowth; a condition also common in chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and fibromyalgia. In one case study in an IBS significant improvement was seen both in symptoms reported by the patient and on hydrogen breath analysis, indicating a decrease in small bowel bacteria.
Peppermint be helpful in relieving:
- Intestinal Cramping
- Intestinal Spasm
- Maldigestion (incomplete digestion of foods)
Peppermint can also be helpful in respiratory conditions, allergic and colds/flu by helping to clear the respiratory passages and sinuses (when the oil vapors are inhaled).