Peppermint essential oil is the first line of defense against stomach pains, bloatedness and nausea in our household. When I was wheeled out of the OT after a laproscopy myomectomy surgery last year, I was bleeding profusely. The doctor gave me a jab to stop the bleeding but the jab had side effects and made me severely nauseous. I reached for my peppermint essential oil, which I had put on the table next to my bed before the surgery and lathered the oil on my neck, temples and bridge of my nose. I drifted to sleep and woke up with no more nauseous feeling. Praise God! I couldn’t even imagine what the effects of retching would have done to the fresh wounds on my abdomen had I vomited. Whenever my youngest daughter has a tummy ache, she would apply peppermint essential oil on her tummy and bring a bottle to school.
Yesterday my eldest daughter was down with a tummy flu with a temperature. She had a bad bout of diarrhea, vomited twice and had stomach cramps. She applied peppermint essential oil on her tummy and the cramps slowly dissipated. So did the vomiting and nauseous feeling. She did not even need to take the medicine for vomiting and stomach cramps given to her by the doctor. This morning, the fever subsided and she was well enough to go back to school.
When it comes to the uses of peppermint for upset stomach, its most potent compound is menthol, a strong antispasmodic that helps to calm spasms in the stomach and intestines.
This antispasmodic activity makes peppermint useful for vomiting, gas pains, colic, intestinal cramping, and even minor symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In addition to being anti-spasmodic, menthol reduces built-up gas, stimulates the production of bile, and relieves pain.
Clinically speaking, peppermint oil is recommended for its anti-nausea benefits and soothing effects on the gastric lining and colon because of its ability to reduce muscle spasms.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC, a study shows that 75 percent of participants using peppermint oil had significantly reduced symptoms of bloating, gas, pain and diarrhea. However, UMMC reports that some studies have mixed results. Peppermint oil also increases production of digestive fluids while increasing circulation.
Here are some top peppermint essential oil benefits:
Alleviates stomach pain
Relieves digestive issues
Inhibits bad breath
Brings clarity and mental focus
Soothes respiratory problems
Loosens sore muscles
Peppermint oil is not recommended for small children or infants and should be avoided if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. In addition, peppermint tea should be avoided if you suffer from gastrointestinal reflux, also called GERD, or if you have a hiatal hernia. When consumed in large amounts, peppermint oil can be toxic. If you suffer from any type of adverse reaction, stop using this herb immediately and contact your medical provider for an evaluation.